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Jun 5, 2009 09:25 PM

What?? There are no berries in Cap'N Crunch Crunchberries Cereal??

Ah, you gotta love our litigious (and maybe moronic?) society ...

What's next, are you going to tell me that there are no "horses" in horseradish sauce?

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  1. This moron and people like her clog up the system needlessly. Hopefully this idiot had to at least pay the court costs.

    Too bad the judge can't lock some up for being incomprehensibly stupid.

    1. I don't know guys, in one way sure, I think it's frivolous and silly that she actually took the time to do this, perhaps she had alot of time on her hands or needed some extra cash due to the recessionary times....but on the other hand, I have to somewhat applaud her for trying to make a point. Albeit a fruitless one. :) Just by looking at the package, I'd also think that there were 'real' ie. de-hydrated pellets of something that at least resembled fruit, so I think she was right in that complaint. But hey, after you've heard the McDonald's hot coffee story, you've heard them all...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Greekfood Koukla

        You've hit on my pet peeve, using the McDonald's case as an example of a frivolous lawsuit :)
        1. The health department had told McDonald's that they were serving their coffee too hot.
        2. McDonald's did not comply, and had settled other complaints of a similar nature outside of court.
        3. The woman was a passenger in a vehicle that had pulled to the side to a full stop.
        4. The coffee was hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns within seconds. These were not just a bit of redness or blistering. She needed skin grafts.
        5. She originally only asked that McDonald's pay her medical bills. Medical bills ONLY but McDonald's refused, and that is when she took it to court.


        1. re: spellweaver16

          Thank you, Spellweaver! That is one of my peeves too, and it's so nice for someone to explain the issue.

          Additionally, I find it funny that chowhounds, who should be particularly aware of appropriate temperatures for serving food, should think coffee should be served at a temperature that would require skin grafts.

          Ultimately, though, I find this kind of attention to anecdote troubling, because ultimately, they function to position society against the individuals taking issue with corporations. Both the framing of this story and the lack of important detail as outlined by spellweaver function to make sure that we all feel that litigation is part of a ludicrous impulse, of time-consuming idiocy, etc, and not a means of checking corporate carelessness gone wild. If they're big and broad missions, they are ok, but typically too big; if they are contained, they are frivolous and subject to mockery straightaway.

          That said, I'm not so much talking about this crunchberry situation; but only because I don't know the full intent of the suit.

          1. re: spellweaver16

            Thank you spellweaver, I had never heard the full story. On the surface it seemed so crazy.
            The idea of someone thinking that there are real berries in crunchberries cereal is what hit my funny bone. I can't imagine going to court of something that silly, but perhaps she thought it was like those special k cereals with the dehydrated fruit in them. :)

            1. re: spellweaver16

              Don't believe everything you read from the Academy of Trial Lawyers (aka the plaintiff's bar). For another take on this lawsuit read:


              1. Starbucks currently serves their coffee at the same temperature that burned the plaintiff.
              2. McDonald's had only 700 complaints regarding hot coffee over the previous decade (that's about a couple billion cups).
              3. She sat in the puddle of coffee for over 90 seconds.
              4. The plaintiff changed her demand from medical bills of around $20,000 to over $300,000.
              4. There was a "hot coffee" warning on her cup, but the jury determined it was too small.

              1. re: JohnE O

                Don't believe everything you read from, a mouthpiece for the most extreme tort reform advocates (aka those who would allow corporations to injure individuals with impunity)

                1. Wrong. Starbucks coffee is brewed at about 200F, but is typically served around 165-175F. (Don't believe me? Get a thermometer and check for yourself.) McDonalds required its franchisees to set the thermostats on the urns at 190F.

                2. "Only" 700 complaints? Only? Including complaints from the Health Department and the Shriners' Burn Hospitals? C'mon, give me a break.

                3. Irrelevant. Even boiling coffee cools quickly after it's been spilled. Surface area, and all. It's how much damage the coffee will do before it cools that's the issue. And although there are lots of variables involved, the simple fact is that 190F coffee will cause worse burns than 170F coffee.

                4. She only changed her demand after McDonalds refused to pay her medical bills.

                4 (again; or 5, for those of us who can count). The jury didn't just reject the "hot coffee" warning because it was too small, but because it was insufficient - everybody knows that coffee is hot, but McDonalds failed to warn that the coffee was significantly hotter than from any other retail source.

              2. re: spellweaver16

                Why would any health department tell any restaurant establishment that a beverage or soup for that matter is "too hot" to be served?? Doesn't stuff going in a steamtable have to be reheated to140 or so degrees anyway?

            2. The judge should have set up a competency hearing for the plaintiff after dismissing the suit. The really sad thing is that people like this are allowed to vote and drive cars.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JohnE O

                The same thoughts ran though my mind.

              2. I read that in the paper the other day! Nearly spit out my coffee!

                1. Oh, maybe that explains why I get funny looks when I ask the nursery for a crunchberry tree.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chowser


                    thanks chowser, i needed that :)