Schiller & Hamilton - July 2019

Watch Their World Expand With Every Step HIKING WITH YOUR KI

Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike.

they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves.

Bring Along Some Tools of Discovery

Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you. Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look.

Encourage Their Curiosity

One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn

Burning Negligence Why the McDonald’s Coffee Case Matters for Personal Injury Lawsuits Today

The McDonald’s Coffee Case has been parodied on TV shows for nearly 30 years now, and if you believe this case is a frivolous lawsuit — like the image the fast-food marketing geniuses have painted — you may be surprised to learn the real details. THE FACTS In February of 1992, Stella Liebeck, age 79, was sitting in the passenger seat of her grandson’s car after getting a McDonald’s coffee. Since the car did not have cup holders, she balanced the cup between her legs to add sweetener. The coffee spilled across her thighs, causing third-degree burns. Ultimately, Liebeck was hospitalized for eight days and underwent two years of medical treatment, during which she was partially disabled. Liebeck’s initial $20,000-request for McDonald’s to cover her medical expenses was counteroffered by the multibillion-dollar company for $800. Instead of accepting that offer, Liebeck sought the help of attorney Reed Morgan, who sued McDonald’s for gross negligence. In August of 1994, Liebeck’s attorneys argued that McDonald’s required its restaurants to serve coffee at 180–190 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just a mere 30 degrees from boiling point. A liquid that hot can cause third-degree burns within three seconds of skin contact. McDonald’s counterargued that its coffee would be cool enough to drink when commuters made it to work, hence the high temperatures. However, reports found that McDonald’s knew their coffee was too hot and detailed 700 burn complaints. Ultimately, the jury found McDonald’s to be 80% at fault for Liebeck’s burns, and, after appeals, the case was settled out of court. The money went toward Liebeck’s care prior to her death in August of 2004. THE VERDICT’S EFFECTS Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants proved corporations cannot get away with negligent practices and ignore customers’ complaints. (See our article on mass tort cases on Page 3 for more information on this!) Despite misinterpreted outcries shaming this case as frivolous, legal experts agree that while Liebeck is responsible for spilling coffee, she should not be held responsible for thinking the coffee would not burn her the way it did. If she had known the pain she would endure, she may have exhibited greater care.

Today, restaurant coffee is still served near a piping 190 degrees, but better packaging and labels have made for safer morning routines. We have Stella Liebeck to thank for that.

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