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Subject:  Hot Coffee Date:  2/23/2013  9:48 PM
Author:  1poorguy Number:  418435 of 508554

The title is in reference to the famous McDonald's hot coffee law suit. The film was on HBO today. I had no idea the depths of the conspiracy of Big Business to sabotage the right of the people to seek redress in the courts.

I fell for the propaganda at the time, also. "Frivolous" law suits, millions of "spilled coffee", "lawsuit jackpot"...but it was all a lie. A massive propaganda campaign to convince the people that the right to sue was rife with abuse, rampant corrupting of the purpose of law suits, etc. But it was all BS. All of it.

Not that it didn't occur on occasion, but like voter fraud, it was extremely rare that a plaintiff would receive a massive award without justification.

The McDonald's coffee lady? The coffee was approximately 190F. That was McD's corporate standard. In their handbook. The lady spilled it on herself (as a passenger, NOT a driver). She ended up with 3rd degree burns that required extensive grafts. It wasn't "ow, I spilled coffee, I'm gonna sue!". They had pictures. The burns were very severe. Even after those healed, she wasn't as strong as before. All she wanted was McD's to cover the costs of her care. They offered something silly like $800. That's where the suit came from.

The had a few other examples.

And then they showed the campaign to disinform the public. To make us think there was a problem when there wasn't. Award limits (caps). And ultimately mandatory binding arbitration (no right to sue at all). Then to top it off, they figured out that rather than fight for legislation (which they already had a lot of), it was even better to fund sympathetic judges for election to courts. They provided several examples, and even alluded to the SCOTUS being influenced by it.

This was quite an eye-opener. I am pretty sure someone here mentioned this a while back, so I will simply second their recommendation that everyone see this film. I am now completely against "tort reform", and think all award limits should be removed (and banned, at the federal level). I also believe that mandatory binding arbitration (which I can guarantee nearly everyone reading this has signed up for at some point, most likely a credit card and cell phone) should be illegal (i.e. can't require it in any contract of any kind). If the parties wish to use it, fine. But a system where the corporation insists on arbitration and then gets to choose the arbiter is totally rigged.

It's all been connected...tort reform, Citizen's United, such that now it's really difficult to achieve justice against a corporation. The whole system is rigged and/or owned. Or nearly so.

It's a disgrace.

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