Copyright 1995 The Atlanta Constitution
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
May 2, 1995, Tuesday, CONSTITUTION EDITION
SECTION: NATIONAL NEWS, Pg. 4A
LENGTH: 896 words
HEADLINE: NATION IN BRIEF; McDonald's again sued over coffee
BYLINE: From our news services
BODY: McDonald's is facing another lawsuit over its hot coffee.
Bryce R. MacNaughton of Kensington, Md., is suing in federal court for $ 2 million, claiming he suffered first-, second-and third-degree burns when coffee spilled in his lap. No hearing date has been set. MacNaughton says the lid was not secure on the coffee he bought at a drive-through window at a McDonald's in Lewes, Del.
McDonald's spokeswoman Malesia Webb-Dunn said Monday the company could not comment on the suit.
A New Mexico woman sued McDonald's in 1992 over similar burns from spilled coffee. She initially won nearly $ 3 million, but a judge reduced the award and the case was settled in December for an undisclosed sum under $ 600,000.
That case became the centerpiece of a Republican push for product liability and tort reform. The House has passed its version and the bill is pending in the Senate. The legislation would cap punitive damage awards at $ 250,000. CRIME
PLEA TO UNABOMBER: Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione says the Unabomber's manifesto will be printed in one of his magazines if that will save lives. In a letter last week to The New York Times, the person claiming to be the bomber promised to stop his 17-year reign of terror if a major media outlet published his lengthy manifesto. Guccione, whose company publishes Penthouse and Omni, urged the mail-bomb terrorist in an open letter to "contact me at your earliest convenience. I am making one or several of my magazines available to publicize your message." Officials say the Unabomber has killed three people and wounded 23 in attacks dating to 1978. He last struck on April 20, killing a timber industry lobbyist in Sacramento, Calif.
-FUGITIVES CAUGHT: Deputies in Southern California tracked down two more of 14 inmates who broke out of a jail over the weekend, leaving just two on the run. One of the men captured had hitched a ride into the city, wearing only undershorts, by telling an unsuspecting motorist a story about being robbed and beaten, a sheriff's spokesman, Capt. Jeff Springs, said. The other was found hiding in brush in the mountains north of Los Angeles. Still at large were suspects charged with carjacking and murder. The inmates broke out of a maximum-security section of the Peter J. Pitchess Honor Rancho on Sunday. The jail on the outskirts of suburban Santa Clarita has 4,152 inmates.
-TERROR AT SCHOOL: A man abducted a woman and her child and took them to a Miami high school classroom, where he threatened to shoot the hostages unless the female students took off their clothes, police said. One girl was sexually assaulted. A janitor and a band director who walked into the room wrestled the man to the ground and held him for police, officials at Miami Springs Senior High said. "He threatened to kill the woman and child, pointing the gun at the child unless the girls disrobed," said police spokesman Juan Del Castillo. Some of the 12 girls, piano students, started to comply. "The gun was actually a BB gun, and they didn't know that," Del Castillo said. He said charges were pending. COURTS
JAIL AWAITS TEENS: Two teenage Indians still face prison time for robbery, despite a judge's suggestion that their banishment to remote Alaskan islands could lead to reduced sentences, an appeals court ruled in Seattle. "A standard-range prison sentence inescapably awaits" Adrian Guthrie and Simon Roberts, who are spending 12 to 18 months in the wilderness to atone for robbing and beating a pizza delivery man with a bat, the state Court of Appeals said. The court said its order did not mean the boys had to cut short their island stints. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge James Allendoerfer delayed sentencing during the banishment, characterized by tribal judge Rudy James as an exercise of self-discovery, atonement and possible restitution.
-LAB PLEADS INNOCENT: A Milwaukee judge entered an innocent plea on behalf of a laboratory charged with homicide in the cancer deaths of two women whose Pap smears were misread. Chem-Bio Corp. of suburban Oak Creek, Wis., was charged April 12 with homicide by reckless conduct in the death of Dolores Geary, 40, and second-degree reckless homicide in the death of Karin Smith, 29. District Attorney E. Michael McCann said the women were victims of blatant error. Experts testified at the inquest that the Pap smears - tests for cervical cancer - showed unmistakable signs of the disease years before Smith and Geary were diagnosed. The technician who checked the Pap smears and the doctor who oversaw the lab made a deal with McCann that frees them from charges as long as they abide by conditions he put on their professional conduct. AVIATION
GROUNDED: Air traffic controllers at the airport in Toledo, Ohio, have a new vantage point - the ground. A high amount of asbestos was found last week in the airport's 57-foot tower, so the Federal Aviation Administration moved the controllers out and put them in a truck parked by the only runway. Controllers are monitoring air traffic from inside a Chevrolet Suburban equipped with radios. They are in touch with three radar experts monitoring Toledo's air traffic from a tower in Oberlin, about 100 miles to the east. The setup will be used until asbestos monitors show it is safe to return to the tower, FAA spokesman Donald Zochert said.