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Phoenix, Arizona

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Melissa Hague
Melissa Hague
Attorney • (215) 790-4563

Hot Coffee – What you thought you knew and what you didn’t know

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It’s like the game of whisper down the lane. Over time and after so many different people retell the same story, somehow it completely morphs into something entirely different. How many of us have heard about the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case where the women who spilled hot coffee on herself was awarded 2 million dollars after a jury trial. And we all know what happened, right? She was sipping hot coffee while driving and spilled it on herself and got burned. What if I told you that was completely wrong and that wasn’t what happened at all.

This movie reveals the truth about what we thought we knew and how we were all wrong. I was shocked to find out that not only was she not driving when the coffee spilled she was in the passenger seat and the car was parked in the McDonald’s parking lot. What I was even more surprised to learn was the extent of her injuries. The burns that this woman suffered were unsightly and required numerous surgeries and skin grafts over a period of two years.

This was far from a frivolous lawsuit like it was made out to be. At the time, McDonald’s required franchisees to serve coffee at 180–190 °F. At that temperature, coffee would cause a third-degree burn in two to seven seconds. Even more outrageous was the fact that there had been more than 700 reports of people burned by McDonald’s coffee at varying degrees of severity before this incident. When asked about these other reports, McDonald’s quality control manager testified that this number of injuries was insufficient to cause the company to evaluate its practices. Meanwhile, many of McDonald’s competitors were serving coffee at much lower temperatures.

This is just one misconception about our justice system that this documentary reveals. No matter what side of the aisle you may be on, you should see this movie. One thing we all have in common is we like to know the truth. This documentary reveals many truths about the justice system that have been misunderstood.

For more information, please visit http://hotcoffeethemovie.com/