The Price of Soda These Days
Sometimes, lawsuits make sense and are necessary to help enact change that creates a safer, fair world. Even fast food lawsuits that some people instantly call frivolous can be important. The whole McDonald’s “hot coffee” lawsuit from years ago is an example. The woman in that case suffered severe injuries that altered her life, and the coffee was far hotter than it should have been.
However, there are plenty of other examples of fast food lawsuits that aren’t quite as impactful and that probably shouldn’t have been filed in the first place. Of course, in the litigious society in which we live, even the weird cases get filed and head to court. Take the following example.
A Prime First World Problem
You’ve probably heard the term “first world problem”. It simply means that the problem is trivial or merely a frustration when compared to serious issues that are facing parts of the world. This lawsuit is a good illustration of that.
A woman in New York would sometimes enjoy having a nice, cold soda from the Burger King that was located a mere three blocks from her home. This restaurant sold the large Coke for 89 cents, which doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. However, the woman later found out that another Burger King location that was a whole six blocks from her home sold the same size drink for…wait for it… 69 cents. As you can imagine, the woman was angry. How long had she been wasting those two dimes?
After discovering this devastating information, what could she do? Well, she certainly wasn’t going to walk the few extra blocks to save the 20 cents. That would take a lot of effort and she probably didn’t think it was fair. She believed that she should be able to get the soda for 69 cents from her location. Of course, most people know that different locations will often have different prices for items on the menu. This often happens with franchises.
Is a difference of 20 cents that big of a deal? If she decided that she wanted to get one of the sodas twice a week, she would only be spending an extra $1.60 a month. It’s not exactly a life-altering amount of money for most people who live in New York.
Let’s say that this woman was extremely thirsty and didn’t want to drink anything in her house, such as water, for an entire month. Even then, she would only be paying an extra $6 a month if she bought the soda for 89 cents. If that $6 is life-changing and needed in her life, she might want to rethink drinking that much soda. After all, if she saved that 89 cents each day, she would save $26.70 a month.
Instead of walking further and getting the cheaper drink, just sucking it up and paying an additional 20 cents, or opting not to buy the drink at all, she sued. One of the interesting things about the case is that she did not try to gouge Burger King for a lot of money. Instead, she only sought $100 in damages.
Typically, representatives of a defendant would show up in court, even in these types of frivolous lawsuits. However, in this case, Burger King did not even bother showing up to court. You might imagine that this would somehow give favor to the plaintiff in the case, but it didn’t. despite not making the court appearance, Burger Kind still prevailed in the case. It goes to show that they thought it was that frivolous and it seems that others agreed with the sentiment.