Hot coffee is a term that refers to a legal case in the United States, known as Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants. The case arose after Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman, was severely burned when she spilled hot coffee on herself at a McDonald's drive-thru in New Mexico.
In 1992, Liebeck sued McDonald's for damages, claiming that the coffee served at the restaurant was too hot and that the company had not adequately warned customers about the risk of injury. Liebeck argued that the coffee was so hot that it caused third-degree burns on her thighs, buttocks, and genital area, and required multiple skin grafts.
The case went to trial in 1994, and a jury ultimately awarded Liebeck $2.9 million in damages. However, the amount was later reduced to $640,000 on appeal.
The case received widespread media attention and became a cultural phenomenon, with many people viewing it as an example of frivolous litigation. However, the details of the case have often been mischaracterized and misunderstood.
For example, it is often claimed that Liebeck was seeking millions of dollars for spilling coffee on herself, when in fact, she was seeking compensation for her medical expenses and the pain and suffering she endured as a result of the burns. It is also often claimed that the jury awarded her millions of dollars for spilling coffee on herself, when in fact, the award was for damages resulting from the severity of the burns and the consequences of those burns, such as lost wages and future medical expenses.
The hot coffee case has also been used to argue for tort reform, which is the idea that the legal system should be changed to make it more difficult for individuals to sue companies and organizations. However, proponents of tort reform often oversimplify the case and ignore the fact that the award was ultimately reduced on appeal.
In conclusion, the hot coffee case, also known as Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, was a legal dispute in which a woman named Stella Liebeck sued McDonald's after she was severely burned by hot coffee at one of the company's restaurants. The case received widespread media attention and has been used to argue for tort reform, but the details of the case have often been mischaracterized and misunderstood.
What Really Happened Behind the Hot Coffee Lawsuit
Whether suing on behalf of our members to ensure the honest functioning of government, or representing individual consumers seeking redress in court, our litigation draws on our expertise in administrative law, constitutional law, and government transparency. It also encourages citizens to protect their rights. Yale Journal of Medicine and Law, 8 1 , 1-4. Event occurs at 6:45—11:35. She tries to bunker somewhere else and the company does not allow her to move at all. We encourage everyone to watch Hot Coffee to finally hear the other side of the story and how our tort system protects us all. There are three types of damages that can result from a tort lawsuit: 1 compensatory damages, 2 general damages and 3 punitive damages.
Even though he was acquitted of all charged, and allowed to return to his bench, Oliver Diaz lost the re-election to judge Randy Pierce, in 2008. These big companies have manipulated so many people that tort reform is a good thing, they have Big politicians always saying that it is necessary that people just started believing whatever came out of there mouths. Get help now 124 experts online After seeing the documentary Hot Coffee, it makes me realize how messed up our political system is. Liebeck died on August 5, 2004, at age 91. Second story was about caps on damages case.
The fact of the matter is that personal injury lawsuits take years to conclude. These corporations will fund and sponsor every evidence or testimony in the courtroom. The viewer also understands how the company profited. What Tort Reform really does is it makes so much more money for big companies and it puts a limit to your compensation within a lawsuit against any company. Hot Coffee reviews many cases, all being based around torts and the tort reform. Although the race was overwhelmed with resistance from big business, Diaz won his re-election.
Thus, in this movie, four different law cases are presented. While there may be no reliable data about the number of frivolous lawsuits filed each year, the civil justice system is largely self-regulating and the vast majority of frivolous lawsuits are weeded out early. She is stuck in there for 5 days and she finally gets to call her father who eventually makes a couple of calls to get her home. Learn More The film explains why we should support the traditional Civil Jury System in order to safeguard the needs and rights of American citizens. It is for informational purposes only. Amendment XIV of the Constitution states in simplified language : No state can make or enforce any law which will take away the privileges and immunities of citizens; nor deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; not deny any person within its borders the equal protection of its laws Hodge Jr.
This prevents the same types of bad things from happening to other everyday people, like you! Hot Coffee lends a strong voice to those who favor fundamental fairness in redressing well-founded personal injury legal claims. Archived from PDF on 23 September 2015. Even though he won in the first election he had to face several lawsuits against him that keep him away from the chair that he would lose the second campaign. While arbitration settles a dispute between the company and the employee without a court hearing by an arbitrator, most arbitrators will side with the company so they can continue to do business with them. This measures a cost fluctuating from liable corporations to the average taxpayer. Home coffee makers usually keep coffee at 135° to 150°. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
"Hot Coffee" documentary tells true story of the McDonald's coffee lawsuit
District Court for the District of New Mexico. McDonald's Restaurants Full case name Stella Liebeck v. New York: Independent Institute. Oliver Diaz even had to take out a loan for his campaign. Pro-business chambers were behind the Chamber of Commerce. General damages, however, are meat to compensate the victim for the pain, suffering and emotional distress that accompanies a serious injury. After a 3 week trial, the jury found that Dr.
We encourage everyone to watch Hot Coffee to finally hear the other side of the story and how our tort system protects us all. Retrieved 18 June 2015. Read Democracy in America? There were 4 different cases on each exhibition. Hot Coffee Summary This movie is about how civil justice is corrupt by wealthy business groups. We can fix it with solutions that will make us healthier and more economically secure. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case: The Real Story & Why It Matters
In her defense, while there is a base knowledge of a cup of coffee being hot, there is not an assumption of her coffee being at temperatures of 180 to 190 degrees. Litigation can remedy or deter wrongdoing, impact policy and meaningfully slow abuses of power. Every day, big banks, big polluters and big tech companies are threatening our economy, our environment and our democracy — sacrificing Main Street Americans and our families on the altar of corporate profits. Now that you know the facts, what do you think? Retrieved 14 May 2008. The information above includes excerpts from ATLA fact sheet. Most of these giant corporations have succeeded because they have money. In our 24 hour cable news, social media, info-explosive culture — corporations know the power of words and they regularly use them to turn advocacy groups against ourselves, to create political divisions among ordinary Americans where none exist, to play off fears and to spread misinformation.
This included news clips, comments from celebrities and politicians about the case, as well as myths and misconceptions, including how many people thought she was driving when the incident occurred and thought that she suffered only minor superficial burns, while in truth she suffered severe burns and needed extensive surgeries. One of the guards gave her a phone to call her father, who then contacted Senator Al Franken for help. The New York Times. After seven days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, the jurors sided with Liebeck. Frivolous Lawsuits and How We Perceive Them. An October 25 follow-up article noted that the video had more than one million views and had sparked vigorous debate in the online comments.