“Hot Coffee is a 2011 documentary film that analyzes and discusses the impact of tort reform on the United States judicial system. It is directed by Susan Saladoff, who has practiced as a medical malpractice attorney for at least 26 years. The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2011 and later aired on HBO on June 27, 2011 as a part of HBO films documentary summer series. The title is derived from the Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants lawsuit in which the plaintiff Liebeck was severely burned after spilling hot coffee purchased from a McDonald’s into her lap.
Hot Coffee discusses several cases and relates each to tort reform in the United States:
- Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants and public relations campaigns (i.e. how the case was publicized to instigate tort reform)
Colin Gourley’s malpractice lawsuit and caps on damages
Prosecution of Mississippi Justice Oliver Diaz and judicial elections (i.e. how judges were elected for their positive stance on tort reform, reflecting election campaign contributions)
- Jamie Leigh Jones v. Halliburton Co. doing business as KBR and mandatory arbitration.”