“Hot Coffee” comes to Samford

Leslyn Bantley
Features Writer


“Hot Coffee,” a documentary feature film by Susan Saladoff, comes to Samford this Tuesday, April 16.

This film illustrates the changes and reactions made after the precedent-setting McDonald’s Hot Coffee case. The case is known as the poster child of excessive lawsuits and began efforts for tort reform of our justice system to prevent frivolous lawsuits. The film shows how our 7th Amendment rights have been targeted for erosion in Alabama and other states.

Even though this is Saladoff’s first feature-length film, it received an official selection by Sundance Film Festival and Silverdocs Film Festival. Also, the film premiered on HBO this past June.

Screenings for the film have covered the United States because the director and people behind the movie believe that this film can really change the way people think about our civil justice system and access to the courts.

Many people, myself included, do not have all the facts in order to make a sound opinion about this infamous case that changed the legal system in 1994.

For those of you who may not remember or do not know of the Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case, also known as the hot coffee lawsuit, Ms. Liebeck won her case, which included $160,000 to cover medical expenses and compensatory damages (in addition to $2.7 million in punitive damages.) Leibeck accidentally spilt the entire cup of coffee on herself while the coffee was between her legs. She sued McDonald’s for her injuries and expenses.

This screening will enlighten those of you who do not know the case or want to know more about the case, its proceedings and effects on the justice system.

So, what really happened in the McDonald’s Hot Coffee case? What is tort reform? If you have any questions, bring them to the screening. The director and former Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice, Ralph Cook will be on a panel for anyone to ask them questions after the film.

The first 80 students who arrive will receive a free box lunch courtesy of the sponsors. And if lunch is not a good enough initiative, the film will also provide undergraduate students 2 convocation credits.

Even if you are not a law, film or journalism major, you should still come see this free screening of the HBO documentary and participate or listen to the Q&A. The film will show in the Cumberland School of Law’s Great Room Tuesday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you would like to know more about the film, join the mailing list or donate, visit www.hotcoffeethemovie.com.


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