What is the truth behind the lady that spilled hot coffee in her lap after going through a McDonald’s drive-thru? I can almost guarantee you that you have the story wrong.

We are going to skip talking about real estate today because this story and the rest of the stories that are related to it are important to be informed. I just watched the documentary “Hot Coffee” last night on a recommendation from a friend, and WOW, what an eye opener.

Hot Coffee
It starts out explaining how the coffee scenario happened. Mrs. Liebeck, a sharp 79 year old woman, was in the passenger’s seat while her nephew drove through the McDonald’s drive-thru. After receiving their coffee and food, her nephew pulled over in the McDonald’s parking lot to put in some cream and sugar.

Mrs. Liebeck placed the coffee between her legs since the car didn’t have any cup holders. As she removed the lid, the cup somewhat exploded, getting hot coffee all over her legs and thighs, causing 3rd and 4th degree burns that required skin grafts.

It should be obvious that it’s a bad idea to put hot coffee between your legs and remove the lid, but this story doesn’t end here. Mrs. Liebeck’s family contacted McDonald’s to tell them their coffee is being served at too hot of a temperature and asked them to pay for her medical costs. McDonald’s agreed only to pay $800, so Mrs. Liebeck decided to sue to recover the additional medical expenses.

What is mind blowing is that in the trial, McDonald’s admitted to having 700 other burn victims from their coffee. Yet, never once did they mention doing anything to serve the coffee at a lower temperature.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for this documentary which leads into tort reform, frivolous lawsuits, questions over our rights as US citizens to have a jury decide the outcome of a verdict, the US Chamber of Commerce controlling and influencing which judges get elected, and ending with what mandatory arbitration means for you and me.

It was really eye opening. It is always jarring when what you think you know about something turns out to be wrong. This was 86 minutes of an incredible documentary, with even a slightly liberal sense to it. (So if you know me, it says a lot to give it that much credit.) Take the time to watch and tell me what you think. You won’t be sorry.