A new HBO documentary takes an eye opening look at efforts to stop consumers from being able to find justice in court. Many Americans have bought into the notion that lawsuits are out of control and the judicial system needs to be reformed. The film “Hot Coffee” contends terms like “lawsuit lottery” and “greedy trial lawyers” were actually planted in the public psyche and repeated over and over after being word-smithed and focus-grouped in a public relations campaign by corporate America. “Hot Coffee” reveals how this well planned, well funded crusade has been very successful in stopping consumers from gaining access to the courts when they’ve been harmed, physically or financially.
The documentary promotes the sobering revelation that as a result of 25 years of brainwashing, Americans have increasingly voted away their consumer rights and signed them away in contracts with big business. Saladoff also reveals that major corporate lobbyists, like the Chamber of Commerce, have spent millions on political campaigns to get more conservative, business friendly judges elected to help corporations.
Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman put it on one of his Top Ten lists. More than 15 years later, the McDonald’s coffee case continues to be cited as a prime example of how citizens use “frivolous” lawsuits to take unfair advantage of America’s legal system. But is that an accurate portrayal of the facts? First-time filmmaker and former public interest lawyer Susan Saladoff uses the infamous legal battle that began with a spilled cup of coffee to investigate what’s behind America’s zeal for tort reform – which threatens to restrict the legal rights of everyday citizens and undermine the entire civil justice system.
Hot Coffee Official Trailer
HBO Documentary Films: Summer Series – Hot Coffee (HBO)
Hot Coffee Director Says PR Campaigns Undermine US Civil Justice System