‘Hot Coffee

Nicole Belle wrote about “Hot Coffee” back in October over at C&L, and I wrote about it here a year ago.

In case you didn’t already know, the movie uses the famous McDonald’s hot coffee jury award as a starting point — you know, the one that was pushed by the media as an example of reckless juries and people not taking responsibility for themselves?

What they didn’t tell you was how severely the victim was burned — and that several other court rulings instructed McDonald’s to lower their coffee temperature, which the company ignored.

But that’s not all. The documentary illustrates how the tort reform movement has used distortions and lies to convince the public that corporations are inundated with groundless lawsuits. Like this one:

Lisa and Mike Gourley are the parents of twin sons Colin and Connor. Colin was born with cerebral palsy because of medical malpractice during childbirth. A Nebraska jury awarded Colin $5.6 million to cover his medical expenses. But a state-mandated cap reduced his award by 80 percent, to $1.2 million. We speak with the family about how taxpayers are now responsible for paying for Colin’s expensive healthcare costs and how mandated caps in malpractice lawsuits relieve the wrongdoer of responsibility for the damage they cause.

There’s even more to the story than that. Corporations are just buying their own justice system through forced arbitration and by pouring huge amounts of money into judicial elections.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that litigators are the last line of defense between us and and complete corporate control, so the more you learn about how this is happening, the better prepared you are to vote for your own interests.

4 thoughts on “‘Hot Coffee

  1. This documentary is an absolute must-see. There is a particularly damning segment showing Ronald Reagan lying about the basis of a jury award for a man injured in an AT&T public phone booth. I hope that dimwit is burning in hell right now.

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