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McDonald's Scalding Hot Case Lives on in Infamy

Hot Coffee Movie Explores What Fueled the Controversy

June 29, 2011 -- Everyone seems to have heard about the McDonald's coffee case. An elderly woman spills coffee on herself that she purchased from a McDonald's drive-up window, right? Seventeen years later, its infamy continues. It is routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America's legal system, but is that the real story?

A new movie, Hot Coffee, reveals the facts of the case and what really happened to the elderly Albuquerque woman, Stella Liebeck, who spilled the coffee and sued McDonald's. It looks at the legal case and explores how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded that effort, and to what end.

I encourage everyone to watch the documentary and learn the truth about the McDonald's case. The reviews have been fantastic. The film just won the top Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle Film Festival. Many have noted how little they really understood about the McDonald's case and its impact on people who seek justice through our court system.

The film looks at the groups behind the efforts to undermine our civil justice system, and should make you proud to be a part of the team fighting to keep the doors to the courthouse open.

If you missed it on HBO, you can view it online for free at

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