HBO’s “Hot Coffee”: The Perils of Tort Reform


Part of HBO’s summer lineup includes “Hot Coffee,” a documentary that investigates the principles behind tort reform and how it “threatens to restrict the rights of everyday citizens and undermine the civil justice system.” The documentary, which aired on June 27, was directed and produced by Susan Saladoff, a former public interest lawyer and first time filmmaker.

The documentary highlights the importance of our country’s civil justice system and focuses on the ways that tort reform threatens the system. The series discussed four high profile lawsuits, beginning with the infamous McDonald’s “hot coffee” lawsuit in which a jury awarded Stella Liebeck $2.86 million when she sued McDonald’s after spilling hot coffee on herself in 1990 and suffering severe burns.

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