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Hot Coffee (2011)

7.6
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Reviews: 36 user | 19 critic

How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.

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Storyline

The McDonald's coffee case has been routinely cited by the media as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of the legal system. We will show how this case became so popular in the media, who funded the effort and to what end. We will tell the truth and let the audience decide if spilling hot coffee is really as profitable as they might otherwise believe. Written by Anonymous

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Is justice being served?

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17 June 2011 (USA)  »

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Forró kávé  »

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Features 60 Minutes (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Alone (theme song to 'Hot Coffee')
Written by Michael R. Mollura, Samantha Stollenwerck, and Susan Saladoff
Performed by Samantha Stollenwerck
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User Reviews

 
A documentary aiming to bring awareness that succeeds
27 June 2011 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Yes this film covers one side of the tort reform and mandatory arbitration argument. Yes the cases presented have been chosen to ignite a certain emotional response. But is this a bad thing? In a nation where it seems that the people have grown jaded to government actions, it takes a certain amount of emotional stirring to get them off their seat. This film does just that.

Hot Coffee shows us what damage can be done when we listen to PR or shoddy journalism without investigating their claims further. Before watching this film if asked about the leading story, enter McDonald's infamous coffee spill, I would have been right in line with those ready to condemn the clumsy patron. But after being presented with more of the facts from the case I am now appalled at how quickly I jumped on a bandwagon led by ignorance and corporate damage control. Susan Saladoff succeeds in bringing these issues down to a level we can all understand. From what started the drive for tort reform and how it can hurt the victims of these cases, to what measures have been taken by big business to protect their interests, each story presented guides us through the evolution of this process with poignant relevance.

In reference to a previous review I also wanted to clear up that in no way does this film try to pass the buck. No one, including the victims, denies there were things they could have done differently to help prevent these accidents from occurring. What is being found in each of these cases is a consistent amount of gross negligence on the part of the companies involved. None of these examples were the first of their type submitted to the businesses. So how do you get these types of corporations to changed flawed policy? You hit them where it hurts. This is why the jury, not the victim (in this case), sought such high dollar damages, to prevent this sort of accident from occurring again. If you missed that the first time, you might wanna give this documentary another go.

With that said, Hot Coffee is an effective and engaging documentary with a clear message. This viewer came away feeling more empowered, and will think twice next time he signs the dotted line.


53 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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