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Scott Adams seeking job for man fired for hanging up Dilbert cartoon

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is asking for help to find a new job for the Illinois man who was fired last fall for hanging up a Dilbert cartoon that compared management to drunken lemurs. The story received nationwide attention and Scott used it as fodder for a story-line still running as of today.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Cope
February/26/2008
@ 10:48 am

Remember the person who sued McDonald’s for making their coffee too hot? I’m surprised this fellow hasn’t tried suing Scott for creating a funny cartoon.

Of course, then we’d have lawyers arguing whether or not Dilbert is really funny.

#2 Rich Diesslin
February/26/2008
@ 11:38 am

Or perhaps he should sue the casino … how hard could it be to win against a bunch of drunken lemurs? He could hire he dinosaur.

Also … characters dying alert … Mother Goose and Grim and Pearls Before Swine both have dead characters today. They don’t say what terrible disease they died from, but at least they didn’t draw it out for months. ;)

#3 Ted Rall
February/26/2008
@ 2:19 pm

Mike, I know you weren’t trying to start a debate over tort reform, but…

The McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit is a meme that the right uses to misrepresent an extremely fair judgment awarded to a woman who was terribly wronged.

When the incident first occurred, the plaintiff asked McDonald’s to cover the deductible for surgery. (The coffee was so scalding hot that it caused third-degree burns to her labia, requiring eight days in the hospital, skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and two years of outpatient treatment.) As I recall, the amount involved was a few hundred dollars. McDonald’s told the 79-year-old grandmother to go to hell.

Their attitude so angered her that she filed a suit. In the course of the discovery process, internal memos surfaced that proved (a) McDonald’s coffee was much hotter than other food service vendors, (b) the company received 700 similar complaints over the course of ten years, which it ignored or settled out of court, and (c) the reason they kept the coffee so hot (180-190 degrees, compared to the industry standard of 140) was to save money on cleaning the urns.

When the jury heard these facts, they decided to send McDonald’s a message they would understand: a financial punishment for long-term misbehavior that endangered, and injured, thousands of its customers.

Furthermore, on appeal, the original $2.9 million award–equal to two days of revenues from coffee sales alone–was significantly reduced, to $640,000.

There may be a lot of frivolous lawsuits. But they hardly ever result in frivolous damage awards. This woman deserved every cent.

#4 Rick Ellis
February/26/2008
@ 2:48 pm

“Or perhaps he should sue the casino â?¦ how hard could it be to win against a bunch of drunken lemurs? He could hire he dinosaur.”

I Don’t know Rich. Drunken Lemurs are dangerous when cornered.

#5 Charles Brubaker
February/26/2008
@ 3:12 pm

Ted, I remember a “This Modern World” comic about it that basically outlined what you wrote. I’m too lazy to look it up, though.

And just to get back on topic, let me just say “Good for you, Scott” and that I hope the guy finds a new job.

#6 Garey Mckee
February/26/2008
@ 8:21 pm

Hey maybe Scott could give him a job running his highly lucrative blog site! Oh wait….sorry.

#7 Rich Diesslin
February/27/2008
@ 12:21 am

Ted, I’m not that familiar with this case, except that it’s often cited. Did McD’s maliciously dump the coffee in her lap, or did she drop the coffee as it was handed to her, or place it where it shouldn’t be or any other potential action that might have made it partly her own responsibility for handling a hot liquid unsafely? I don’t doubt that they kept it too hot, which makes McD’s partly responsible for the extent of the damage, I just don’t see where they are totally at fault.

Rick, true, and they may be mean drunks too!

#8 Ted Rall
February/27/2008
@ 7:09 am

Rich, you’re right: McD’s didn’t dump the java into her lap–she did. The jury apportioned 20% of the blame for the incident to her, for fumbling the joe, and 80% to McDonald’s for brewing their coffee so hot.

#9 Mike Witmer
February/27/2008
@ 1:12 pm

At the very least, Scott could funnel some profit from this current storyline into the fired-guy’s pocket.

I find it hard to believe that anyone gets fired JUST for hanging comic strips at work. Maybe he hung them while he was in his underpants or something.

#10 Rich Diesslin
February/28/2008
@ 12:02 am

Ted, interesting outcome. Thanks for the follow-up. So did she have to give 20% of the settlement to charity (other than lawyers)? ;0

#11 Rich Diesslin
February/28/2008
@ 12:04 am

When you think about it, didn’t Scott eventually get fired for doing cartoons about his boss? If so, then in a way their stories are the same.

#12 Eric Burke
February/28/2008
@ 7:21 am

Scott should just get this guy a syndication deal with United to draw another Unfit. It couldn’t be any worse than the original…

Seriously…it’s cool that Scott is trying to help this guy. Hope his next job is an upgrade in $.

And if memory serves me, the McDonald’s lady put that cup of coffee between her legs as she was driving away. Hard to agree with the final verdict when the lady used her crotch as a cup holder. Sorry she suffered, but cripes, get a cupholder in your car lady!

Seinfeld pretty funny episode about this with Kramer spilling his coffee while trying to hide it in his coat as he snuck it into a movie…

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