7.5/10
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Hot Coffee (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 17 June 2011 (USA)
How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.

Director:

Susan Saladoff
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chuck Allen Chuck Allen ... Himself
Judy Allen Judy Allen ... Herself
Jay Angoff Jay Angoff ... Himself
David Arredondo David Arredondo ... Himself
Tom Baker Tom Baker ... Himself
Paul Bland Paul Bland ... Himself
Kenneth Canfield Kenneth Canfield ... Himself
Joan Claybrook Joan Claybrook ... Herself
Ralph Cook Ralph Cook ... Himself
Jennifer Diaz Jennifer Diaz ... Herself
Oliver Diaz Oliver Diaz ... Himself
Joanne Doroshow Joanne Doroshow ... Herself
Betty Farnham Betty Farnham ... Herself
Al Franken ... Himself
Marjorie Getman Marjorie Getman ... Herself
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is justice being served?

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Café Quente See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Seinfeld (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Government Jungle
Music by Michael Mollura (as Michael R. Mollura) /BMI
Lyrics by Michael Mollura (as Michael R. Mollura), Cindy Lee and Susan Saladoff
Produced by Keith Kohn/ASCAP
Performed by Tara Hunnewell and Michael Mollura (as Michael R. Mollura)
See more »

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User Reviews

Tort Reform: All hat and no cattle
16 July 2011 | by ejcristSee all my reviews

I admit I'm a devotee of documentaries. "Hot Coffee" delivers on both substance and emotion.

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.


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