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Hot Coffee Documentary Review By Josh Floth Nevada State College 2018 05.09.17

Josh Floth started at Anthony Paglia Injury Lawyer LTD as an intern through Nevada State College. Josh earned college credit while learning law firm day-to-day tasks.  As part of his semester, Josh watched and wrote a synopsis with his opinions regarding a major American case. That case opened the door for corporations to create false tort reform propaganda. As a result of the case, Mcdonalds changed their policy that reduced coffee temperature from potentially fatal to a reasonable Fahrenheit degree that is safe for consumers. You cannot imagine the damage false tort reform propaganda did to Americans across the country. Josh has since been hired on the firm as a filing clerk while he finishes his senior year at Nevada State College. Anthony Paglia Injury Lawyer is busy creating jobs in our community! We are dedicated to consumer rights! If you have not seen this documentary, you must watch it now!

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Hot Coffee Documentary Review
By Josh Floth – Nevada State College 2018

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Hot Coffee was a fascinating look into how corporations manipulated society’s views on civil lawsuits in America.

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It highlights the corrupt practices that take place in America’s business world and covers multiple cases that suffered unjust decisions due to the work done by massive corporations that made the process of civil trials more complicated and untrusted. Looking at this documentary, one can see how much influence that these entities had within the country that eventually helped change laws to protect them from having to compensate those who who have been wronged by these companies.

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The documentary starts out with one of the most influential cases to pass through the tort system. The McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit is often quoted as an example of a frivolous lawsuits and is often mocked by many Americans. This view on this case came about as a result of corporate lawyers putting out false information to depict the case as something it was not. The common idea as to what took place with this law suit is that a careless woman accidentally spilt coffee on herself while driving and sued because the coffee was hot. This makes it seem like the victim in the case is McDonalds rather than the injured party.

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Here’s what actually took place:

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A 79-year-old lady named Stella Liebeck was taken to McDonalds by her grandson to get coffee. After acquiring the coffee the grandson parked his car so Stella could put cream and sugar in her coffee without fear of spilling it in a moving car. Stella placed her coffee between her legs and the coffee was accidentally spilled onto her groin and gave 3rd degree burns to much of her crotch area. The coffee was served at almost boiling temperatures, which was company standard at the time. This injury almost costed Stella her life and she had countless bills that piled up. Originally, all Stella wanted was for McDonalds to pay for her medical bills but saw her request denied by the company. That was when she was forced to file suit against the fast food conglomerate to receive the proper compensation that she deserved. The jury decided that McDonalds would have to pay $2.86 million to Stella, which was 2 days of coffee sales. This was used to pay for all of Mrs. Liebeck’s hospital bills and helped her recover through therapy.

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Following the lawsuit, McDonald’s corporate lawyers decided to run a smear campaign against Stella’s case. They painted Stella as someone who just wanted to scam the system and make off with some quick cash. Many people started to believe this false account put out by McDonalds and began to criticize the tort system in America. The corporate lawyers were able to convince people that almost every lawsuit is frivolous and should not be taken seriously. This made it difficult to file suits as many people were skeptical of anyone seeking litigation. This inaccurate story began to be picked up by major media outlets which caused for this movement of seeing all law suits as frivolous to spread. America soon became weary of civil suits and criticized the trial lawyers who took on these cases. This caused a rift in the legal world that can still be seen to this day.

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Overall, this was a great documentary that took an in-depth look at how society’s mistrust in the civil legal system. The manipulation of facts were used by these corporate to misguide the general public into thinking that frivolous law suits are an epidemic when in reality most law suits are victimized parties that are looking for compensation for the wrong-doings done unto to them. The documentary does a fantastic job at uncovering the unethical and corrupt conduct that takes place in this corporate world.

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And if you questions about this blog or have a similar claim, call me at 702-830-7070 or click here to contact us via email.