Release date: April 22, 2011 (USA)
Director: Susan Saladof
What Is It About?
• Hot Coffee discusses several cases and relates each to tort reform in the United States:
• Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants: and public relations campaigns (i.e., how the case was publicized to instigate tort reform) • Colin Gourley's malpractice lawsuit and caps on damages
• Prosecution of Mississippi Justice Oliver Diaz and judicial elections (i.e., how judges were elected for their positive stance on tort reform, reflecting election campaign contributions) • Jamie Leigh Jones v. Halliburton Co. :doing business as KBR and mandatory arbitration
Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants
• Stella Liebeck sued McDonalds for 2.9 million dollars.
• Liebeck spilled cofee while a passenger in a parked car, not as a driver in a moving vehicle; • Liebeck was actually injured; she sufered second- and third-degree burns;
• McDonald’s had been notified of 700 prior burnings; • McDonald’s only ofered Liebeck $800 to settle the litigation;
• McDonald’s policy was to serve cofee between 180-190 degrees;
• The jury initially awarded Leibeck $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 in punitive damages • The judge reduced the punitive damages award to $480,000.
• Leibeck and McDonalds eventually settled for a confidential amount
What Hot* Coffee Does When
* Cofee At extreme temperatures
Summary of the Main Ideas
• HOT COFFEE challenges viewers to reexamine long-held beliefs that the courts are flooded with frivolous lawsuits that lead to "jackpot justice,"
The Critics Said…
• You mean to tell me that this cofee is going to be hot? Are you kidding me?
• Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin- “done
in by its essential dishonesty… like any good lawyer — and unlike any good documentarian director Susan Saladof is intent on concealing the weakness in her case.”
• “How does this sort of thing get past the editors of the Washington Post?” -Hank
• Great Film, it really delves into the whole concept of these frivolous lawsuits but also shows that not all of them are like that-