One of the most famous lawsuits against a corporation is Liebeck vs. McDonald’s Restaurants. In 1994, Stella Liebeck was hospitalized for burns and other wounds after spilling McDonald’s coffee on herself. A jury later awarded Ms. Liebeck close to $3 million. This lawsuit was the subject of much media coverage at the time, and was the focus of a least one documentary on tort law. While, at first glance, this may seem like a ridiculous award for spilling coffee on yourself, keep in mind that Ms. Liebeck was 79 years old at the time and required extensive medical procedures for her injuries. Additionally, the judge later reduced the reward to $640,000.
Try to find another example of a large award in a lawsuit that received a lot of media attention and seems, at least on the surface, either ridiculous or excessive (let’s try to liven up the discussion with some extreme examples). Make sure at least one of the parties in the lawsuit is a business. Discuss why you think this award received a lot of media attention and if you think this award seems unusually large or unusual for the tort in question. Then, explain what concepts from the background materials were illustrated by this case. Cite either the Pearson tutorial on business torts or Kelley (2012) in your answer.