Thirteen-year-old Megan Meier was thrilled. She’d just logged onto MySpace, and found a message from a hot 16-year-old boy named Josh. Megan wasn’t allowed to spend much time online, but she and Josh quickly became friends. The pair bonded, but one day, Josh’s messages went from sweet to sour.

Then, Kristin tells us a story that everyone has heard before. Back in the early 90’s, a woman went through the drive thru at McDonald’s. She ordered a coffee. She put the coffee between her legs and drove off down the road. As she sped off, the coffee spilled. It hurt. So what did she do? She sued McDonald’s for millions of dollars. This story has been hailed as an example of America’s many frivolous lawsuits. But reality isn’t quite so outrageous.

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“Scalded by coffee, then news media,” New York Times Retro Report
“A matter of degree: How a jury decided that a coffee spill is worth $2.9 million,” Wall Street Journal by Andrea Gerlin
“Hot Coffee” documentary
“Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants” Wikipedia entry

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
‘”My Space’ hoax ends with suicide of Dardenne Prairie teen” by Steve Pokin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Pokin Around: The story of Megan Meier’s suicide” by Steve Pokin, Springfield News-Leader
Judge Acquits Lori Drew in Cyberbullying Case, Overrules Jury” by Kim Zetter, wired.com
“United States v. Drew” wikipedia.org

 

 

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