Hot Coffee Debunks Many Tort Reform Myths

For many years, large corporations have spread baseless myths about our country’s jury system – to avoid accountability for injuries caused by corporate greed. Nowhere is this more visible than in the famous McDonald’s hot coffee case. Most people think that as a result of “jackpot justice” somebody ripped off the system by getting millions for spilling coffee while driving. This was actually a well executed false spin on the truth.

On June 27, 2011, HBO premieres Hot Coffee, a documentary that exposes the truth of corporate manipulation of the real facts:

The injured consumer, Stella Liebeck, was 79 years old. She was a passenger, not a driver…and the car was stopped. The coffee was served at 180 degrees – well above a temperature that would be fit for human consumption. In fact, the coffee was so hot that when it spilled in her lap, she suffered severe burns and needed skin graft surgery. Contrary to what most folks think, this nice old lady didn’t receive millions of dollars and originally had only asked for her medical bills to be paid – but McDonalds said no. 700 consumers before Stella had been injured by this same over-heated coffee, but until the verdict, McDonalds refused to serve their coffee at a safe temperature.

Here is a link to the movie site and here is a link to an interesting article about it.