Hot Coffee (2011)

13 Jan

Hot Coffee review

Most of you have probably heard of the case in which an elderly lady spilled hot coffee on her lap, ended up suing McDonald’s and was awarded 2.1 million dollars. There was a lot of controversy around the case and the case has been used numerous times as an example of frivolous lawsuits. This documentary looks at this case and gets the facts straight, but also others and tries to show that most people don’t know the facts and that this has resulted in changes to the justice system that in the end only benefit the big corporations.

Hot Coffee review

The other cases which are shown in this documentary are shocking as well. One is about parents who were about to have twins and where checkups were not properly done. In the end it resulted in one of their sons not having had enough oxygen which resulted in brain damage. They went to court and won, but because of legislation they could not get the amount the jury had awarded them. Another case is of a Jamie Leigh Jones, who was drugged and raped by her coworkers at Halliburton and who, because of her contract wasn’t allowed to go to court to get justice.

One thing this documentary makes clear is that the justice system seems to have been slowly changing because of the amount of money corporations have been spending in campaigns to change public opinion, but also by backing specific judges up for election. It’s a worrying trend which makes you wonder how far this will go into the future. One example that is given is of forced arbitration, which basically takes away your right to go to a court and is becoming a standard in a lot of contracts for things people take for granted like a credit card of a phone. Of course there are valid examples of people suing just to make a quick buck, but in general it seems that changes in legislation are hurting people more than those lawsuits can and this documentary manages to make that clear.

Score: 8



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