Did the Media Unjustly Paint the Stella Liebeck v. McDonald's Case As a Frivolous Lawsuit?
The Stella Liebeck v. McDonald's Case Is Likely the Most Misunderstood Legal Case In History and the Misunderstanding Was Intentionally Encouraged By the Corporately Controlled Media.
Understanding Why the Stella Liebeck v. McDonald's Case Became Unjust Mocked By the Corporately Controlled Media
In 1992, Stella Liebeck ordered a coffee at a McDonald's. After being served, while the coffee was in the hands of Stella, Stella then spilled the coffee upon herself resulting in serious, third-degree, burns. After partial recovery, and after seeking, and being denied, contribution to medical bills, Stella subsequently sued McDonald's.
The case became one of the most notorious lawsuits of all time and one of the most misunderstood lawsuits of all time; whereas the media, controlled or heavily influenced by corporate advertising spending, engaged in a campaign of mocking Stella. Stella was mocked for the purpose of, misleadingly and unjustly, creating public empathy towards corporations via the suggestion that Stella, among many others, frivilously abuse the legal system for profiteering, thereby driving up the consumer cost of goods and services, and thereby encouraging consumer support for statutory reforms on tort law litigation. Ironically, while corporations and the media were accusing Stella of profiteering, it was corporations who were doing so in an attempt to instigate changes to the tort law system which would help to increase profits.
Hot Coffee Movie (Trailer)
During the 1980's, corporations saw an increase in tort law litigation, especially arising from product liability cases, perhaps spurred on by the Ford Pinto fiasco of the 1970's. By the early 1990's, corporations were seeing bottom line profits affected by the increased cost of tort liability payouts as well as risk management and loss control expenses. With a desire to secure tort law reform, meaning statutory restrictions such as limits on court awards, known as liability caps, corporations engaged in campaigns to influence the voting public to pressure governments to implement tort reform laws.
Subsequently, Stella Liebeck, after spilling a hot coffee purchased from McDonald's, a hot coffee that was knowingly and intentionally brewed and served above guideline temperatures, and done so after McDonald's was already aware that the above proper temperature coffee was causing injury to customers, became the poster child for the tort law reform campaign of the corporations.
Hot Coffee Movie (Full)
As shown and explained within the Hot Coffee movie, tort law is a very important area of law that helps to motivate corporations and small business, governments, and even private citizens, to engage in careful conduct that keeps other persons who may be injured in mind. The concern for tort law liability is what encourages awareness of risk as well as the taking of reasonably risk management action that helps to create a safer world for all to enjoy.