Hot Coffee Movie
January 1st, 2012
The Bill of Rights is sacred, and so is your family’s safety. If someone causes harm to you or your loved one, the Seventh Amendment guarantee your right to hold them accountable before a jury of your peers in a court of justice.
Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old mother and grandmother from Albuquerque, N.M., was badly injured by a company’s deliberate decision to put profitsahead of people’s safety. She was the unfortunate victim in the infamous McDonald’s coffee case.
Incredibly, large corporations chose to add insult to Stella’s injuries by deliberately distorting the truth. In fact, for decades Wall Street corporationsand the insurance industry have been trying to undermine our jury system and limit your constitutional rights through various proposals known collectively as “tort reform.” That is why they spent so much time, money and effort to mislead you about the injuries to Stella and more than 700 of McDonald’s unsuspecting patrons.
Now, a new HBO documentary, “Hot Coffee,” blows the lid off the McDonald’s coffee case by exposing what really happened and exploring the many ways that Wall Street is trying to take away your rights. If you care about your family’s safety or our precious Constitutional rights, I urge you tosee this movie with your friends and families.
What the Critics Are Saying About “Hot Coffee”
“Eye-opening indictment of the way big business spins the media.” — Variety
- “Entertaining, informative … vividly illuminating.” • Hollywood Reporter
Where Can I Find “Hot Coffee”?
You can find out more about “Hot Coffee” at www.hotcoffeethemovie.com.
The official movie trailer/preview can be found online http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBKRjxeQnT4.
The real story about the McDonald’s hot coffee case can be found online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2ktM-lIfeQ.
You can rent “Hot Coffee” through Netflix and other move-rental companies, or you can purchase it at online retailers such as www.amazon.com.
The Real Facts of the McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case
Here are some of the facts about the lawsuit filed by Stella Liebeck, the 79-year-old Albuquerque, N.M., woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s:
- Stella worked full-time, was active and did not suffer from clumsy or failing coordination before the accident.
- She was not an invalid and she was in good health.
- Stella was not driving the car. Her adult nephew was driving.
- Stella was a passenger in the front seat.
- After picking up food and coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through, her nephew pulled into a parking space and stopped the car so they could fix their coffees.
- Stella did not hold the coffee in her crotch area. Like many of us would have done, she positioned the coffee between her knees and held the cup with her left hand while she tried to remove the lid with her right hand.
- Contrary to in misinformation disseminated by paid PR agencies, late-night talk show hosts and others who tried to downplay Stella’s injuries, she suffered third-degree burns – the worst kind – to her groin, buttocks and legs, and had to undergo multiple painful skin-graft surgeries. The film “Hot Coffee” shows numerous shocking and gruesome pictures of her injuries.
“Hot liquid in the range of 180 degrees or hotter, if it is in contact with your skin for more than a few seconds, will produce very serious burns. If you’re lucky, it will produce second-degree burns. If you’re not so lucky, it will produce third-degree full thickness burns requiring skin grafts and surgery.” – Dr. David Arredondo, Stella Liebeck’s Surgeon¨
According to the McDonald’s franchise operations manual (at the time of the incident) coffee must be brewed at a “holding temperature” of 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- According to surgeon David Arredondo, who performed Stella’s surgery, any liquid 180 degrees or hotter that makes contact with your skin will produce second-degree or third-degree burns.
- Stella had no intention of suing McDonald’s. She sent a letter asking McDonald to pay her medical bills, which totaled $10,000.
- McDonald’s offered her $800.
- Between February 1983 and March 1992, McDonald’s admitted receiving more than 700 complaints about burns from hot beverages, but refused to change its manual.
- McDonald’s Quality Assurance Group Manager Chris Appleton, when asked about the history of burn complaints, replied, “I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m glad the number’s not higher … I’m really pleased it’s not more than that.”
- The jury awarded Stella $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages to punish the fast-food corporation for its willful negligence. The punitive damage figure was based on two days’ worth of McDonald’s coffee sales.
- Judge Robert H. Scott, the trial judge in the case, subsequently reduced the award of punitive damages from $2.7 million to $480,000, but characterized McDonald’s conduct as “willful, wanton, and reckless behavior.”