Question

Answer the following discussion questions:

1. How do you view the McDonald's scalding coffee case—as an example of what's wrong with the US legal system, or instead as an example of what's right? What lessons about management can you take from this case?

2. What was Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling convicted of in connection with the fall of Enron, and what are the lessons to be learned from their wrongdoing in terms of drawing the line between aggressive pursuit of profit and fraud?

3. Can a U.S. company doing business in China expect that it will be afforded the same legal rights it enjoys in the US by the Chinese legal system, and if not, where do the greatest risks lie? Post at least one original thought on two of the three additional cases and at least one comment on the postings of others.

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Discussion Question
How do you view the McDonald's scalding coffee case—as an example of what's wrong with the US legal system, or instead as an example of what's right? What lessons about management can you take from this case?

Discussion Answer
According to the facts in the case as presented, management was aware that the coffee was dangerously hot, much hotter than the coffee served by other establishments and despite being sued for similar instances in the past, they did not institute any change. The burns were sustained by a customer that did nothing extraordinarily different than any other customer might and the burns were extremely damaging. They were major, third degree burns that covered 6% of the woman’s body, required hospitalization, and were in sensitive areas of the body. Given these facts, the lessons learned are to not ignore obvious signs that change is needed, particularly when they risk the welfare of customers. Given these facts, it would be a travesty if McDonalds were allowed to continue business as normal after one of its customers was harmed so terribly. This is a case where the legal system worked. Change was subsequently instituted and the temperature of coffee reduced. It no longer served so hot that it is unfit for immediate consumption as it was before....

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