Movie About McDonald’s Coffee Case Being Produced

One of the most maligned jury verdicts in United States history is the McDonald’s coffee case. You can approach 100 people on the street and ask if they’ve heard of it, and 95 will have heard of it, and a majority of those will have a negative opinion. The case has been used as an example of how our jury system fails us, and how lawsuits are nothing more than lotteries, with frivolous claimants hoping to hit it big.

But what most people don’t know is that the true case of Stella Liebeck, the plaintiff in the McDonald’s coffee case has a very compelling story. Now filmmaker Susan Saladoff is trying to complete a documentary about the case, and to get the true facts out there.

For example, most people are not aware that:

• Ms. Liebeck was not driving at the time of spill, but was a passenger.

• After the spill, a vascular surgeon determined that Ms. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns over 6 percent of her body, on the area of her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She required skin grafting surgery.

• She offered to settle her case for $20,000, but McDonald’s rejected it.

• During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing it had received more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992.

According to the website, Hot Coffee the movie will reveal what really happened to Stella Liebeck, and explore “how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded the effort and to what end. After seeing this documentary film, you will decide who really profited from spilling hot coffee.”

Here’s a trailer for the movie, which is currently raising funds to complete.


The San Diego accident and injury attorneys at Walton Law Firm represent individuals who have been injured in all types of accidents, including auto accidents, worksite injuries, nursing home neglect, food poisoning, pedestrian injuries, construction accidents, property injuries, and malpractice matters. Call (760 571-5500 for a free and confidential.

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