Hot Coffee Offers New Outlook on McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit

Everyone knows about the McDonald’s coffee case in which a woman sued them for the burns she suffered after hot coffee spilled on her lap. It is regularly cited as being an example of how people can take advantage of our country’s legal system, but that may not be a fair version of the case’s facts. Hot Coffee, a new documentary by Susan Saladoff offers a new outlook on the situation. The film explores what really happened to the woman, and also addresses how and why the case received so much attention from the media, as well as who funded the effort and why. Viewers will decide for themselves who really profited from the McDonald’s coffee incident.

The movie seeks to help viewers realize how the media and the corporate world have shaped our opinions and views of our country’s legal justice system. According to the documentary, the McDonald’s hot coffee case and others were used to enable tort law reform, as well as to place caps on medical malpractice lawsuits and help companies demand closed-door arbitration, where they select the arbiter. The film attempts to give the case a fair depiction and its overall impact on society. According to the film’s website, those involved with the documentary believe the movie has the potential to change the way people think about the country’s civil justice system and access to the courts.

The movie is produced and directed by Susan Saladoff, who spent 25 years practicing law in the civil justice system representing people who had been injured due to individual and corporate negligence. In 2009, she stopped practicing law to make Hot Coffee, her first feature-length film.

Hot Coffee premieres on HBO on Monday, June 27, at 9 p.m. (E/P), 8 p.m. (C).

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View the trailer below:



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