The must-watch TV show of the night: 'Hot Coffee' on HBO

Just a quick heads-up: If you can, watch Hot Coffee on HBO tonight at 9 p.m. EST. Remember the 1994 court case of the woman who was awarded $2.9 million for spilling a cup of McDonald’s coffee on herself? It even became a plot point in an episode of Seinfeld. Well, you don’t know the half of it.

Hot Coffee is a documentary that will leave you both stunned and enlightened about the misconceptions we have about civil lawsuits, in this case, and in general. Stella Liebeck, 79 years-old, suffered third-degree burns within seven seconds of opening a cup of McDonald’s coffee while sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car. All she asked for in bringing a lawsuit was the difference between what Medicare paid for and her medical bills. (Liebeck required skin grafts and other operations.) It was a jury that awarded her the large sum — which the jury noted represented a mere two days of McDonald’s coffee sales. The judge reduced that sum, and the case was settled out of court.

Liebeck’s story is eye-opening enough, but Hot Coffee goes on to present three more cases in which ordinary citizens were severely wronged by private companies, the medical profession, and political operatives. (There’s a rape case here with a corporate response to it that will chill your soul and make your blood boil.) Watch Hot Coffee and you’ll learn more about the pernicious effect of tort reform, damage caps, and how state supreme court judges campaigns are sometimes conducted. (Hint: Follow Karl Rove throughout this film.)

Watch Hot Coffee and you won’t be so quick to dismiss something as a “frivolous lawsuit” again.

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (152 total) Add your comment
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  • Emoney

    Most of the lawyers in America already know this, and that’s why we’re so opposed to tort reform. Too bad this documentary (which I will definitely watch) will be dismissed by the people who need the message most as liberal trash.

  • Dwight

    Hot Coffee is AMAZING. Caught it at a showing in DC last week, this is a serious must-see.

  • Gigi

    I saw this at a screening in DC last week and it was absolutely revelatory. I really recommend it.

  • Kate

    I am a lawyer and my boss walked into my office this morning and said, do you get HBO? And told me I should really watch this. We spend so much time trying to craft voir dire questions and justifying them to the judge because of this preconception (like also the one that would be surprised to learn I can’t afford a house, I live in a make shift apartment and don’t crack 60K a year).

    • Michael

      Obviously you did not watch it. Your knee-jerk reaction is very telling.

    • Aspen

      You put the lime in the cncoout and drink the article up.

  • David

    And personal responsibility, already on the critical list, has just died. Let’s punish all the big bad corporations, and let all the lawyers get rich in the process. Heaven forbid we allow some common sense standards into our legal system.

    • Gretchen

      Ok, so when something like this happens to YOU, your children, or someone you know, don’t go running to a lawyer to get you the justice you deserve. A*shole

      • Joe

        There should be a common sense law or something preventing people like that 79 year old woman from suing. Coffee is hot, if it’s not hot it’s not good coffee. It is beyond stupid to put a very flimsy cup of hot coffee between your legs to add in cream and sugar. The Mcdonalds drive through can do that for you. Why companies should pay for one’s stupidity is still a mystery, it’s amazing this country isn’t in a constant state of recession. McDonalds should have counter-sued her for wearing coffee absorbent clothing (cotton) or sued the grandmothers nephew in the car for not being responsible.

      • Gretchen

        Joe – they weren’t doing that back then…Only recently have fast food places implemented the policy of adding cream and sugar for their customers

      • Harrison_Bergeron

        What “justice”? When someone hurts themselves through their own stupidity, there is no “justice” in robbing someone else to give them money. Loot loot loot, steal steal steal; that’s all leftists know how to do. McDonald’s didn’t owe that idiot a damn thing, not one single penny.

      • Scooterjay

        Being a McDonald’s manager for well over 35 years, one poster is correct: we didn’t put cream and sugar in the coffee until the past couple of years. And I must agree the show looks very good…perhaps revolutionary as some have said. I will be wathcing it. That being said, I agree with others who say common sense and personal reponsibility have gone out the window. At 78 years old, this grandma has lived a long, hopeflly fruitful life and, no ifs ands or buts, knew that coffee is hot–you get it thrown back at you if it isn’t. And regardless of what happened, it was her fault the coffee burned her legs. Period. This lawsuit was the beginning of what we know today as “frivolous.” It’s like a 30 or 40 year-old coming into your establishment on a rainy day and saying “Gee, the wet floor sign wasn’t up. I didn’t know the floor was slippery. I’ve only lived 30 or 40 years and need to be told that a floor is slippery when it rains. I fell down and hurt my pride so I’m suing.” This is the gist of what so many of today’s lawsuits are about–many of them aimed our way because we’re the top dog in the fast food industry. Someone looking for their 15 minutes and wanting to get rich quick. And someone else is right. It’s the customers who foot the bill for these lawsuits and the owner/operators who are liscensee’s of the corporation. It’s not the big company, who does get a bit of a black eye but oftentimes, doesn’t really share in the cost to litigate. So let’s keep on subject and know the facts before we write, eh?

      • Scott

        First let me say I do think we need to make sure something is done to stop the ridiculous civil suits. That being said, and I hate to use name calling but you people are uninformed idiots. If you knew what had happened you would have known that there were over 700 complaints about scalding from McDonalds’ coffee and the company did NOTHING. So it took this woman who mishandled a drink and got 3rd degree burns to affect a change. Due to this suit the coffee temp was lowered by 10 degrees. Wake up and realize that if not for certain civil suits people companies would never make products safer.

      • Khawza

        It’s woufrednl to have you on our side, haha!

    • znachki

      David, if you haven’t seen this documentary, you really need to do so before commenting. I’m all for taking personal responsibility, but corporations need to be held to account when necessary. Please watch this. If you still disagree, then fine.

    • Ken

      Ah, yes, the buzzwords of the victim-blamer: “personal responsibility” and “punish the corporations” and “common sense standards”. What “personal responsibility” should someone exercise over McDonald’s selling scalding hot coffee in flimsy cups? The “common sense standards” were applied, and justice was done.

      • Harrison_Bergeron

        There was no “victim”. The idiot mishandled her coffee, she “victimized” herself.

      • observer

        The coffee was knowingly served 60 degrees hotter than any other restaurant. The company was aware of 700+ other injuries (severe, not small burns) that were caused as a result of their policy to serve it at 180 degrees fahrenheit.
        I’m not saying she is completely free of blame, but having a policy that is knowlingly causing harm to your customers is also worthy of blame.
        Watch the documentary. Previously I was first in line to blame people for doing stupid things and get uspet at them for trying to blame a corporation. Just watch this documentary, you may question your previous way of thinking.

      • Norven

        I’m amazed at the xteent to which your law firm, years later, continues to cheer for a team that lost at the expense of public faith in a justice system that worked whether you agree that it worked, or whether it serves you in particular, or not. There are salient facts on both sides of this issue. Yes, the coffee was very hot. Yes, she sat in it for 90 seconds. Yes, people should know coffee is hot. And yet, McDonald’s knew its coffee was dangerously hot and callously treated the risk to Ms. Liebeck as a mere cost of business. All of this evidence was heard by the factfinders, the jury. What matters now is that the factfinders heard the evidence from both sides and made a decision based on the evidence and the law it was charged to apply. As a member of the bar who has taken the same oath that (I presume) the attorneys in your firm have also taken, I think your continued biased commentary is irresponsible. I’m not saying that you don’t have a constitutional right to say it (questions regarding attorney ethics rules notwithstanding); you probably do. But I think you’re doing more harm than good to our legal system by doing so, and it’s ethically and morally irresponsible to continue to cry about how this jury was wrong and our system is broken simply because they dared to conclude differently than you would have them conclude. I would expect your biased editorialism from a college newspaper, not accomplished members of the bar.

    • Mikie

      Don’t waste your time on this moron. When his wife or daughter is raped and artbitration decides the case in secret, or his newborn was deformed because of the irresponsibility of a doctor,or is in any other way and is wronged and simply wants accountability to find that the justices have been bought and contracts are binding even in determining criminal acts then he’ll have the aha moment where he’ll think, “I’m not one of those frivolous lawsuiters, I just want accountability”–and realize that in supporting Tort law that he’s thrown his rights away.

      • Snarky’s Machine

        That guy was the best part of the documentary.

      • Attapin

        Please tell me whats wrong, with Starbucks Via. As I understand it, its cfoefe beans ground to the point that they dissolve in hot water. Almost like Turkish ground cfoefe. Remember everyone who leaves a comment, comments are supposed to be constructive. Anything else is just an insult.

    • Jude

      David don’t be a sheep. Insurance companies and big business having been serving up a meal of bunk over the past 20 years. Your comment shows that you enjoyed the taste.

    • ac

      You obviously haven’t watched it.

    • Alyssa

      You need to watch the documentary. Clearly, you’re in the spot I was in before I watched it–ready to assume that people are trying to hit the jackpot with “frivolous” lawsuits. If you don’t at least alter your opinion after watching the film, I’d be shocked.

  • Redeyecat

    Ahh, let’s see here. We’ve got a trial attorney arguing that trial attorneys and their clients don’t need to be regulated. The fact that these often frivolous lawsuits make both attorney and client rich probably isn’t a factor. Should be a real balanced take. I bet they won’t mention how these frivolous suits actually end up costing all of us.

    Just because a show endorses your obviously liberal world view doesn’t make it quality tv, Mr. Tucker. At least you finally wrote an article that doesn’t tell us Jon Stewart’s take on the topic, I guess.

    • The Man

      You are an idiot.

    • Em

      What is your definition of “frivolous”? If someone makes an inferior product that causes harm to people so badly that they need skin grafts – that is hardly frivolous.

      • Redeyecat

        Any coffee expert will tell you the best brewing temperature is between 190-200 degrees F. What’s “inferior” about “hot” coffee being hot?

      • Harrison_Bergeron

        If you’re so stupid that you don’t understand hot liquids can hurt you, than you should be locked up in some sort of institution. It’s not McDonald’s responsibility to protect idiots from their own idiocy.

      • Scott

        I challenge you and any of the other ignorant morons to drink boiling water. You realize 212 is boiling. You are talking about water that is 200 degrees, basically boiling. You are all idiots.

    • Lois

      You’re saying that being against regulating an industry is a liberal view? hahahahahahahahahaha
      *
      Maybe if there were more regulations companies wouldn’t make such inferior products and therefore there wouldn’t be as many lawsuits.

      • Redeyecat

        Nope, I’m saying being for regulating everything except trial attorneys is a liberal view or at least one bought and paid for. Anyone wonder why trial attorneys almost exclusively to Dems?

    • mck

      You’re right @Redeyecat. They do cost us. When the government issues caps on the damages and a family can’t handle the medical expenses, the taxpayer pays, not big business.

      • Redeyecat

        Big Business? Guess what? Small business pays as well. You think Pop’s Diner could handle losing a suit like that? At a minimum, the insurance costs put many small businesses to death. Those owners have families and employees too.

  • tomm

    Frivolous lawsuits are not ‘liberal’ or ‘conserv..’

    Lawyers are considered ‘Gods’ by the upper classes, and kids from rich families are told to be a ‘doctor or lawyer and nothing else’.

    So, these lawyers from ‘successful families’ use ‘sympathy for the working man’ to get $$$$ to buy things to compete for social status, and on and on…..

    • Redeyecat

      Do some research on the relationship between trial attorneys and the Democratic party. Here’s a hint: Follow the money!

  • Redeyecat

    For liberal suckers like Tucker who don’t know propaganda when they see it, even the notably liberal NYT published the following:

    A longtime leader of the tort reform movement, Victor E. Schwartz, appears in the film and pronounced himself unhappy with the result. “I’ve seen lots of plaintiffs’ lawyers’ propaganda — nothing like this,” he said. “It’s very well produced, but it may lead people to believe something that’s not true.”

    He counters the film’s arguments nimbly, pointing out that overall economic caps like those that affected the Gourleys are relatively rare, compared with restrictions on punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering. As for the coffee case, he said, other juries have not awarded damages in similar cases, and while Ms. Liebeck’s defenders cite hundreds of hot-coffee complaints to McDonalds, he noted that billions of cups were sold over the same span.

    He also complained that his comments in the film were selectively edited to make him look more supportive of the film’s argument. Ms. Saladoff used part of a quotation, for example, in which Mr. Schwartz acknowledged that money flooding into judicial elections may not be a good thing; but he said she should have also used his argument that the business lobby increased contributions in response to earlier contributions from plaintiffs’ lawyers. “Both points I make are valid,” he said, but “the money really began with the plaintiffs’ lawyers, big time.”

    • Mr Universe

      Do you have Karl Rove’s hand up your butt working your typing fingers?

      • karissajoelle

        I was about to ask if he IS Karl Rove.

    • Jim

      I wish this comment was attached to the Tucker article so everyone could read it. HBO, by design, as an agenda and this kind of show furthers it.

      • Lois

        Everyone can read the comment. And it’s just a bunch of BS by someone with an agenda.

    • BJG

      “…he noted that billions of cups were sold over the same span.”

      Yeah, and as person who bought much McD’s coffee at the time, I can honestly say that not everyone made a complaint. Yet, every person who I know who got it, couldn’t drink it because of how hot it was! You had to let it cool for, like, five or ten minutes. They did this to save on coffee costs.

      Fact is, if coffee causes THIRD DEGREE BURNS, it’s too *ing hot.

      • Redeyecat

        Yeah, that’s called fresh brewed coffee and it’s supposed to be hot. In fact 190-200 degrees is the proper brewing temperature for drip coffee at a minimum. (Actually some say 195-205 is proper, btw.)

    • Em

      So they got lucky that no one got hurt. It’s too bad that lawsuits have to tell them what to do. You’d think THEIR OWN COMMON SENSE would have told them it was too hot. So they hurt someone and had to pay for it. I’d hope lesson learned, and yet…

      • jenjen

        Actually at the time they made their coffee 1 degree hotter than FDA regulations required them too. (Which I’m sure the documentary doesn’t discuss) Within one year of this lawsuit the FDA lower the requirements for heating in restaurants. (They are still within acceptable limits for killing germs.) Hell, right now, if you go to a coffee house, the coffee is STILL to hot too drink and I’ve spilled some on me and had the pain of it. But, didn’t go running to a lawyer for compensation.

      • @jenjen

        This woman didn’t have just some pain from the coffee. She got 3rd degree burns and needed several operations. She was just looking for the difference between what he insurance paid and what her medical bills were. She didn’t ask for the huge sum the jury gave her. Are you saying that if the coffee caused you medical bills that you wouldn’t look to have them paid?

      • kgb

        Not if I were an idiot that poured coffee on myself. Live and learn not to be so stupid. You would think at 79, this lady would have learned some common sense over the years, but I guess not. She should probably never try to cross the road on her own. Is she dead now?

    • POV

      FACTUAL EVIDENCE…not one word was disputed by McDonald Corp.
      Odd that you would dispute the heavy habded manipulation by Corporate America.

      • Honeysuckle

        Good points all around. Truly appcreaited.

      • Yamary

        No complaints on this end, silmpy a good piece.

    • mwan

      @Redeyecat
      Does the documentary push a liberal agenda? Yes
      Does that mean the points are invalid? NO.

      After watching the documentary I was moved. It’s about as fair and balanced as the other side pushing the idea of “frivolous lawsuits” propaganda. However, taking the movie in that context, the movie brings to light issues that should be talked about and not dismissed lightly.

      Which is more important? Customer satisfaction vs Customer safety

      Who would you rather decide your case if you’re harmed?
      12 citizens vs One professional of the companies choosing

      Who would you want deciding the amount of damages you receive if injured? 12 members of a jury knowing the facts of your case vs a legislature long before you were ever injured.

      Should companies be allowed to influence the elections of our judiciary using unlimited funds or should they be held to the same spending limits as the trial lawyers?

      Should companies be allowed to take away our rights in the constitution by forcing us to sign a blanket general arbitration agreement?

      The last one is what I find scary. I’m all for specific arbitration agreements for activities like skydiving. Contracts that state “this activity is a known hazard where injury might happen and you must go through arbitration if an injury occurs” I’m ok with. If Jamie Leigh Jones contract was arbitration for injuries related to combat operations or acts of war. That would make sense. But to say the arbitration covers injury from it’s own workers raping her is just wrong.

  • tomm

    Oh, the dogma of Cons is ‘successful people shouldn’t be punished’, so are not these lawyers ‘successful’ in thier careers???

    Something to think about.

    • Redeyecat

      Right, just like drug dealers, thieves and con artists. The fact is many of these trial attorneys are no better – they thrive by hoping to get paid to go away and prey upon naive juries to fall for their con.

      • Mr Universe

        Such a gullible puppet of the rich and powerful.

      • Ron

        OH – so everyone who serves on juries are naive and stupid people who can’t be trusted to hear evidence and decide on that evidence? Interesting…

      • @Redeyecat

        Juries are stupid, lawyers are thieves, plantiffs are greedy. They all prey on those innocent corporations, just because they may happen to let slip a few dangerous products out to the public. Hey, corporations aren’t perfect. Why should they be punished just because they may have severely injured, or even killed, someone? Isn’t the American motto “Let the buyer beware?” Whoops, it’s just the Republican motto.

      • mck

        The point of the movie is that everyone should have their day in court and juries should do the job the were created to do. Both sides have the opportunity to prove their case. This seems like common sense, so what is the big deal?

      • Jamie Bostian

        @Redyeycat

        Innocent Corporations my @ss. Are we talking about the same innocent corporations that at one time didn’t regulate themselves and set up monopolies for excessive profits, Colluded and price fixed to keep prices high and make excessive profits. Or perhaps we are talking about the innocent corporations that made employees work 18-20 hr. days, didn’t pay for hazardous workplace conditions that maimed employees, or the ones that sold housing and essential supplies for higher than the wages paid. Then again perhaps you are talking about those innocent corporations that made children work the same 18-20 hr. days. Greed corrupts and corporations left unchecked is bad for the people. That is not a liberal notion it is a historic notion proven by 19th Century Capitalism or would you like a history lesson?

      • Bubba

        Ah, i see. Well that’s not too ticrky at all!”

  • muniav

    The “personal responsibility” that tort reform has obliterated is the taking of responsibility for one’s own wrongs that hurt others. So many of the “frivolous” lawsuits that make the rounds of the internet are either only partially true or outright falsehoods. Injuries are injuries; the burden must be borne by someone. If there is no liability, liability rates will go down, but health care rates will go up as health insurers will no longer be able to subrogate against a wrongdoer’s liability policy. If the wrongdoer is not liable, the burden will fall on the rest of us in the form of increased health insurance premiums or tax burden related to the care of the uninsured injured. So someone is paying. Better that it be the person or company that actually was a wrongdoer.

    • Redeyecat

      Sure, let’s get all these wrongdoers who serve hot coffee. Better yet let’s ban it! From now on, it’s iced coffee or nothing – just don’t make it too cold – frostbite and all…

      Do we hold pop’s diner to the same standard as you want to hold McDonald’s?

      • Mr Universe

        Silly little corporate shill. Hilarious!

      • Jim

        Mr Universe, you must need a job. You seem to have a lot of time to repeat yourself over and over.

      • BJG

        Yes. If Pop’s Diner served coffee that caused THIRD DEGREE BURNS, than yes, I think there is something wrong with the coffee being served by Pop’s Diner.

        Now, if Pop’s Diner is serving coffee that doesn’t cause third degree burns, than no, it should not be held to the same standard.

      • LiLi

        @Mr Universe – I agree with Jim. You haven’t offered a reasonable rebuttal, only a stream of moronic insults. Useless.

      • ANW

        I have to agree with this one…if you don’t know hot coffee is hot, maybe you shouldn’t be drinking it.

      • @ANW

        There’s a difference between coffee being hot but drinkable, and coffee being hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns that require skin grafts.
        You expect the former, not the later.

      • Khalipa

        here, and for how brilliantly you read that book. If you’re ever in Durham, North Carolina, let’s meet for cffeoe; I have a beautiful pool stick you’re welcome to. Haven Kimmel

  • The Spell-Checker

    Hey Ken -

    Karl Rove spells his name with a “K”, not a “C”.

  • Squishmar

    Redeyecat asked a very valid question there that everybody chose to ignore: “Do we hold pop’s diner to the same standard as you want to hold McDonald’s?”

    • Squishmar

      Well, great… BJG was answering it as I was typing.

      • Bia

        Once I found French Press coffee, I\’ve not gone back. Really is no other way to enjoy fresh rseatod coffee. Also, you can\’t go wrong with good eats and Alton.

    • Lois

      BJG’s answer was correct. If it is causing 3rd degree burns then there’s something wrong, and are responsible for any injuries that result.

      • Redeyecat

        Wrong with what? The seller who ideally brewed the coffee at the preferred temp between 190-205 (give or take)? Or the buyer who doesn’t carefully handle hot coffee that is actually hot? Good thing she didn’t order tea and receive hot water and a tea bag – tea should be brewed with boiling water which is around 212 degrees btw.

      • KenioZebi

        Very clever distortion of facts by the way. “Brewing Temperature” is totally different from “Serving Temperature”. The preferred Serving Temperature of coffee is actually 155 degrees. McDonalds SERVED the coffee at 190 degrees.

    • KenioZebi

      Yes, Pop’s Diner is held to the same standard. Remember, the vast majority of the McDonald’s verdict was 2 days hot coffee sales. Pop’s Diner probably doesn’t net $2 million for 2 days of hot coffee sales, so the verdict would be much less. However, the standard is the same, especially if Pops Diner knows that its product is hurting people. I really wish people would watch the movie, then comment.

    • Christina

      kikicat5 on August 30, 2011 I luv my baetuiful shiny long flowy black hair n_n its my most baetuiful asset n_n (bit egotistic?? <3)

  • Mary Ann

    She wanted hot coffee. She got hot coffee. She put it between her legs and then spilled it. How was that McDonald’s fault? Frivolous? You’re damned right it was! There is no justification for awarding people millions of dollars over their own stupidity and carelessness. We need torte reform desperately. Shows like this are strictly propaganda.

    • Dominique

      THIRD DEGREE BURNS.

      And she sued only for the cost of medical bills. The jury wanted to award her 2.9 million. How is any of this frivolous?

      • Harrison_Bergeron

        It’s frivolous because she did it to herself. You don’t have any right whatsoever to steal money from someone else every time you do something stupid and hurt yourself.

    • YES

      You need to actually read the case. There was an issue that the coffee was WAY too hot and the top was not placed on correctly when it was handed to her through the drive thru window. If you actually read about the case instead of the little blurbs you hear people say, you’d see it differently. Unless you see everything through – people hurt are whiny and corporations do no wrong – glasses.

      • CandaceTX

        plus, this location had been cited previously for serving too hot coffee. I used to work handling consumer claim for a fast food franchise, and I can tell you how many times people would call wanting $ compensation for the slightest things–because they think they will hit a big payday. But what happened to this woman was not slight. It was very dangerous and painful.

      • observer

        @YES While I agree that this wasn’t a frivolous lawsuit, I think you need to re-visit the case as well. Yes the coffee was hot but she was the passenger and had removed the lid before it spilled. It had nothing to do with it being passed to her through the window or an improperly placed lid.

    • Gigi

      If you saw photos of this woman’s burns, which they show in the movie, you might change your mind on whether or not this lawsuit was frivolous. After I saw the photos—well, I’m surprised the woman survived, frankly. My theater, as one, gasped in shock when they showed the photos of her terrible burns.

      • Harrison_Bergeron

        I’m sure the burns were horrible. Third degree burns are horrible, for sure. Thing is, SHE DID IT TO HERSELF. SHE mishandled her coffee. To hear all you looters going on, one would think the CEO of McDonalds personally poured the coffee on her, rather than her being careless and injuring herself.

      • Elizabeth

        I have a pretty gross burn on my arm right now. It’s going to take a while to heal. How did I do it, you ask? I burned it while trying to take a potato out of the oven. Am I going to sue Kenmore? Nope…because I’m the dumbass who knows that ovens are hot and the racks should be pulled out so I don’t reach into the oven and burn myself.

      • observer

        Elizabeth, now what if Kenmore knew that the temperature on their dials misrepresented the temp inside.. and you thought it was less hot than it actually was, so instead of getting a mild burn, you had sever burns that could only be caused by temps higher than they represented? Or what if there was a known problem with the oven racks that caused them to fall and while reaching in to the oven, a rack fell on your arm and burned you?
        It’s tough with examples because nothing will compare 100% but my point is, what if Kenmore knew that something about their product has caused injuries in the past but had taken no steps to correct it – and had actually re-inforced their current policies. So yes, you take a risk sticking your arm in the oven, but at the same time there was some neglect from the company that ALSO is to blame… not ONLY, but ALSO.

    • KT8711

      The temperature of the coffee would cause third degree burns within a matter of seconds. And guess what, had this coffee been served at a temperature comparable to other restaurants, she would not have received third degree burns. How is this different from another product liability case where someone gets horribly maimed?

      I read the case. McDonald’s served the coffee that hot because most of their coffee customers were morning commuters. Customers were complaining that since they didn’t drink the coffee until they got to work, it was cold by the time they got there. So someone had the genius idea to crank up the temperature to scalding hot, not thinking that someone would ever try to drink the coffee immediately.

      • Edrin

        coffee beans that are ground start going stale itmadiemely. It literally takes only 15 minutes for coffee beans to lose a large part of their taste after they’ve been ground. When you buy instant or preground coffee, you are getting a product that has already been ground for months, and will taste extremely stale and gross. People who buy things like foldgers or starbucks via only do so because they haven’t yet tasted good fresh coffee beans.

    • Lois

      Mary Ann,
      you don’t know what happened in this case or you wouldn’t have written such an uninformed comment. The woman got 3rd degree burns from the coffee and needed skin grafts.

    • Keith

      Il sblmee que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.- Daniel

  • CandaceTX

    “Loser pays” would end all of this.

    • JOB

      Exactly right, loser pays. Think the trial lawyers are in favor that? Hell no!! They sue to settle knowing it costs less for corporations to settle than defend. The trial lawyers went too far and now everyone’s pissed that business is fighting back. You brought it on yourselves libs.

      • KenioZebi

        Actually I am a trial lawyer and would LOVE a loser pays system. Unfortunately I live in Texas and the state just passed a law where the Plaintiff pays attorney fees if they lose, but the Defendant doesn’t have to if the Plaintiff wins. You will notice that the McDonald’s verdict did not include any attorney fees.

  • M

    Just watched this. A very good documentary. I will never look at the hot coffee incident the same way again. The other stories are just as fascinating. Made me very mad to hear about what people went through and are still going through, trying to obtain justice.

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