The Truth About Stella Liebeck | Mother Jones

Let’s stop here for a second. Contrary to what you might have heard on the news or late night talk shows at the time, Stella Liebeck was not driving the car, and in fact the car wasn’t even moving at all; some news pundits and late night comedians either said or insinuated that Liebeck was driving the car on the interstate when the spill happened, thus making it even more “her fault”.

daughter of Stella Liebeck, who was critically injured after spilling McDonald’s coffee on her lap.

As you can see, there was nothing frivolous about Stella Liebeck’s legal claim. Some cases may sound trivial, but without knowing the facts, one cannot make an accurate assumption. That’s why these cases are in good hands with a judge and jury. They are able to weigh all the evidence and determine a fair and just conclusion.


I've long been pissed off over the case of Stella Liebeck

daughter of Stella Liebeck, who was critically injured after spilling McDonald’s coffee on her lap.

Victim: Stella Liebeck was 79-years-old when she suffered third-degree burns to her groin after spilling a cup of scalding coffee on herself while sitting in a parked car


The Stella Awards® were inspired by Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her own lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages, but that's . Ever since, the name "Stella Award" has been applied to any wild, outrageous, or ridiculous lawsuits -- including some infamous ! In 1992, Stella Liebeck spilled scalding McDonald’s coffee in her lap and later sued the company, attracting a flood of negative attention. It turns out, there’s more to the story. How about, for instance, Stella herself? Much of the coverage about Stella Liebeck hasbeen grossly unfair. When you have a more complete summary of the facts, you might changeyour mind about her. Or maybe not -- that's up to you. Did you know the following aspects ofthe Stella vs. McDonald's case? Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman ranked it in his top ten list. And more than fifteen years later, its infamy continues. Everyone knows the McDonald’s coffee case. It has been routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America’s legal system, but is that a fair rendition of the facts? Hot Coffee reveals what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s, while exploring how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded the effort and to what end. After seeing this film, you will decide who really profited from spilling hot coffee.