How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.
It tells the stories of individuals who become negatively affected by so called tort reform laws. It begins with giving the viewer a very detailed study of the famous McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit. We see that McDonalds at that time had over 700 cases of folks being burned by the 180-190 degree coffee served at McDonalds. We see the horrific burns suffered by the woman in the famous case and we understand why this lawsuit was important.
We see the case of a family dealing with a brain damaged son where the Nebraska law capped their damages so much that they had to go on Medicaid to care for their son. The doctor involved had several previous malpractice cases brought on her. Who ended up paying? The tax payers of Nebraska through Medicaid.
And the most heinous case of the woman raped, beaten, and locked in a cargo box by Halliburton's KBR division in Iraq. Because her contract mandated arbitration, she was not allowed to sue Halliburton in court.
The film also shows us just how much $$$ is spent by corporate and US Chamber lobbyists to stack state courts with pro-business/tort reform judges. And yes, Karl Rove is a key player in focusing attention on the need for tort reform.
In one case, Texas, under then Gov George Bush, passes sweeping caps on tort damages claiming that this is significantly reduce health care costs....turns out health care costs continued to skyrocket especially since any savings from these caps were NOT mandated to be used in lowering any costs to providers or insurers.
Bottom line....it's easy to manipulate the masses when big money interests want to control the message. "Hot Coffee" does a very good job of showing how we are told that juries can't be trusted to hand out punishment to those business interests who wrong and hurt the little guy...and $$$ then buys our politicians or courts to enact tort reform to benefit those in power.
Watch Hot Coffee and learn.
- Jul 16, 2011