Patient Safety - Hot Coffee
Hot Coffee (2011) is a documentary that analyzes and discusses the impact of these reforms on the judicial system of the United States. Hot Coffee discusses certain cases and relates them to civil liability reforms in the United States. As a first example, the film presents the case Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants and its public relations, including how the media reported the case. In this case, an older woman asks for a McDonald's coffee through the window of the servitor, which is turned over, burning her severely to the point of needing extensive surgery (Jameson, 2006).
This story serves not only to discuss the concept of legal responsibility but also to reflect on civil liability reforms that help in this case the person against the company. Another interesting case that is presented is the medical negligence of Colin Gourley. Colin Gourley, due to the negligence of his doctor , suffered terrible complications at birth and ended up with cerebral palsy. In this case, the limits placed on civil damages within medical practice are discussed, such as, for example, physical disfigurement, the loss of an arm or leg, paralysis and any other physical, emotional or psychological damage (Debry, 1994).
Colin was born with serious physical and mental deficiencies that, at age 17, have already required twenty operations, in addition to needing 24-hour care throughout his life. The astronomical expenses that represent all these attentions were calculated in about 5 million dollars by the jury. However, the Nebraska cap law prevailed over his decision, so the great concern of Colin's parents is that he will spend the day they are missing. Since there were several supreme state courts that ruled that compensation caps were unconstitutional , through the Chamber of Commerce, the big companies set a new objective beyond the lobby to the legislators: finance the campaigns of the judges they occupy the supreme courts.
Is there justice? Around this question revolves this HBO documentary that seeks to show how large companies prevent US citizens from claiming their rights. How do they do that? By controlling the main media of the country through 'lobbies'. The documentary uses as an example four striking cases to illustrate how these companies exercise and how society is manipulated to believe that these people who claim 'take advantage' of the companies.
Debry, G. (1994). Coffee and health. John Libbey Eurotext.
Jameson, W. C. (Ed.). (2006). Hot Coffee and Cold Truth: Living and Writing the West. UNM Press.
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