“Eye-opening indictment of the way big business spins the media.” –Variety
“Stunning debut … Sends audiences out of the theater thinking in a brand new way.” –Washington Post
“Entertaining, informative … vividly illuminating.” –Hollywood Reporter
HOT COFFEE is a feature-length documentary film by Susan Saladoff, revealing what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s. The film explores how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded the effort and to what end. After seeing this film, you will decide who really profited from spilling hot coffee.
From the HOT COFFEE Website:
The civil justice system has been under heavy attack for over 25 years. Despite the fact that federal legislation has never been successful, big business interests have won in the hearts and minds of average people. They launched a public relations campaign starting in the mid-80’s and continuing over the last two decades to convince the public that we have out of control juries, too many frivolous lawsuits and a civil justice system that needs reforming. They have used anecdotes, half-truths and sometimes out and out lies in their efforts, for one purpose – to put limits on people’s access to the court system, the one and only place where an average citizen can go toe to toe with those with money and power and still have a shot at justice.
Voters believe that we have a court system out of control that needs reforming. Although there are consumer advocacy groups who have attempted to set the story straight, there has yet to be enough money to launch the kind of public relations campaign for consumers that can even begin to combat and challenge the public relations campaigns of pro-business and tort reform groups.
We think this movie has the potential, with the right funding and effort, to really change the way people think about our civil justice system and access to the courts.