The Assumption of St. Ronald

McDonalds deserves to recover NO damages from the Tecoma 8, nor from anyone else for one simple reason: “assumption of risk“.

If you knowingly engage in an activity in which there is an obvious or clearly stated risk, you are not entitled to sue for damages in the event of injury sustained therein. Take for example, riding on a roller coaster. The operator of that ride must do “due diligence” to ensure the ride is safe and that no physical harm will come to those who ride it, such as may occur from malfunction of the ride or some component of it. However, they issue very clear warnings that people with certain medical conditions (e.g. heart problems, pregnancy) should not ride. They also point out that they are NOT responsible for items that may be lost during the ride (loose change, glasses, &c.)

If someone hops on the roller coaster, having seen the sign but decided to take the RISK of if it inducing a heart attack, they cannot expect to sue for damages should they, in fact, have an M.I. Same holds for the person who, say, looses spare change, or that expensive piece of jewlery that became dislodged and was ejected during the ride.

McDonalds boarded the Tecoma roller coaster knowing FULL WELL what they were getting into. They were told, in writing, in the media, on social networks, to their faces, by hundreds in person, and by thousands around the world: DO NOT BUILD IN TECOMA. You WILL be resisted.

But, they proceeded. They assumed the risk.

And now they want to recover damages due to construction delays and additional “unforseen” costs such as the security force they’ve employed? Who are they trying to kid, here? Oh, and they want attorney fees on top of that?

What HUBRIS!! What GALL!! What. A. Joke.

McDonalds KNEW there was a risk. They absolutely knew it. Their disregard, their arrogance, and their failure to live up to their own corporate propaganda — striving to earn the “trust” of communities — are all too evident. It is painfully clear that they knew what they were getting into. They assumed we weren’t serious. They assumed we’d grow weaker and give up. They assumed the risk.

They assumed too much.

McDonalds in Hot Water … Again

One of those so-called frivolous court cases people seem to recount often is the one in which McDonalds was sued by a woman who was scalded by coffee, purchased at McDonalds. The pop media made a joke of this, lampooning the woman as the archetypical “litigious American” who’ll sue anyone with deep pockets at the drop of a hat. In fact, it was an al-too-good example of just how proficient McDonalds PR department are at spin. The nearly 80-year-old suffered third degree burns (this is the kind where burn fully penetrates the skin) on her groin, buttocks, and thighs when the too-hot coffee spilled on her. She was hospitalised for over a week and required skin grafts and follow on treatment for the next two years. A jury awarded her over $2 million, but, in fact she received far less than this because McDonalds appealed the decision, tied her up in court for years, after which she finally settled for an undisclosed amount somewhere below $600,000. I’ll let you think about that for a moment whilst I set up for the next paragraph.

You see, McDonalds KNEW it’s coffee was too hot, but it’s management decided that they’d rather pay claims — over 700 of them, as it turns out — than lower the temperature of the coffee. They KNEW it, but because they have more money than decency, they chose to apply money, rather than decency, to the problem.

We have the same situation here in Tecoma, now. McDonalds KNEW it was not wanted up here. They claim the economics and zoning were favorable to building a store here. What they didn’t give any consideration to was that there is no DEMAND for one, here. I suppose they just reckon than if there’s no law against it, and it’s an area where disposable income per square kilometer is over some threshhold, they’ll put a store there, the community’s wishes be damned.

And now they’re suing us — specifically, eight of my neighbours and friends — essentially for putting up a huge resistance to their efforts to build here. They knew they weren’t wanted, and rather than do what a GOOD business does and simply look elsewhere to build, they bullied their way into our area, unwelcome, unwanted, and now unashamed of their rapacious tactics. They are claiming “injury” from not being able to build here. I say any such injury is SELF-INFLICTED. This is like the guy who jumps in front of an oncoming truck, gets run over, and then tries to sue the driver for the injuries he sustains.

There is no “law” that dictates limits on how hot coffee should or should not be. McDonalds could, in that case, claim that they did everything according to the law. And yet, through their negligence, as a result of their careless disregard for peoples’ well-being, they injured nearly 1000 people that we know of this way, at least one of them quite severely. They now find themselves in “hot water” with our community. WE didn’t put them there; they hopped in — no DOVE in — ignoring the very clear wishes of the community, and using legal thuggery to have its way in spite of our wishes.

They are feeling the “burn” and want to hold us liable for their injuries? Sorry, McDonalds. You got yourself into this soup, your own avarice drove you into a boiling hot caldron of your own making.

Acquainted with the Night

A poem by Robert Frost, with Dave and Angela in mind:

Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


So, originally, this blog was to be about my dabbling and forays into sustainable gardening and energy generation and storage.   However, I’ve decided to turn it into a more general compendium, largely due to my impending secession from a certain extremely popular social media site that shall remain nameless.  Once this election cycle is over, I’m done with that, however, I won’t be done commenting on politics or opera or sustainable living or whatever.