• Personal Injury at Sundance

hot coffee car accident

Everyone has heard about the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case, where Stella Liebeck was scalded with third degree burns. And almost everyone has an opinion. Every so often, someone knows the actual details. Most though, just know that some careless woman spilled hot coffee on herself and sued McDonalds for millions. A Google search for “Stella Liebeck, hot coffee” pulls up thousands of pages and “hot coffee lawsuit” turns up over thirty MILLION!

Now a movie has been made called (drum roll please…) “Hot Coffee.” This movie, set to hit Sundance, explains why you know about this suit, why it’s part of the discussion over the civil justice system, and how it was used (and misused) for propaganda purposes. This is the blurb from the Hot Coffee Movie website (which also has a trailer for the film):

“Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman ranked it in his top ten list. And more than fifteen years later, its infamy continues. Everyone knows the McDonald’s coffee case. It has been routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America’s legal system, but is that a fair rendition of the facts? Hot Coffee reveals what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s, while exploring how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded the effort and to what end. After seeing this documentary film, you will decide who really profited from spilling hot coffee.”

The documentary was selected today to play at the famed Sundance Film Festival. The festival picked just 16 films out of 861 submissions.

The Sundance site had this blurb on the film:

(Director: Susan Saladoff) Following subjects whose lives have been devastated by an inability to access the courts, this film shows that many long-held beliefs about our civil justice system have been paid for by corporate America.

The incident occurred in 1992, 18 years ago, and this one case still fuels debate. Why?  Is corporate America exploiting legitimate cases in order to protect themselves against negligence suits?  Are careless people taking advantage of the Justice system in order to get compensation when they do not deserve it?  As Maryland’s best Personal Injury law firm we would like to hear your opinion on this hot topic.  Whether you see the movie or not your opinion counts.  THE DEBATE RAGES ON!