Do we all remember Stella Liebeck? The elderly Albuquerque woman that spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee in her lap, was burned and then sued McDonald's for her injuries. I along with Seinfeld, Leno and Letterman joined the nation and world in mocking this woman and making light of her law suit. The case has been routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America’s legal system. Kiddos I'm here to say that I was wrong! And so was the rest of America that didn't get all the facts. Hot Coffee, a 2011 documentary I found OnDemand with HBO reveals what really happened to Stella Liebeck and sheds light on the civil justice rights and process in America.


If you did not know, the civil justice system has been under heavy attack for over 25 years.

Despite the fact that federal legislation has never been successful, big business interests have won in the hearts and minds of average people. They launched a public relations campaign starting in the mid-80’s and continuing over the last two decades to convince the public that we have out of control juries, too many frivolous lawsuits and a civil justice system that needs reforming. They have used anecdotes, half-truths and sometimes out and out lies in their efforts, for one purpose – to put limits on people’s access to the court system, the one and only place where an average citizen can go toe to toe with those with money and power and still have a shot at justice.

Hot Coffee is a documentary film that analyzes and discuses the impact of tort reform on the United States judicial system.


Directed by Susan Saladoff who was a medical malpractice attorney of 26 years. This one is a must see. I think this movie has the potential, with the right funding and effort, to really change the way people think about our civil justice system and access to the courts.



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