You're absolutely correct! It is like this case, but what you think you know about the McDonald's' coffee case is completely different than the reality of what REALLY happened. Here is the breakdown:
The truth behind that incident may surprise you, as will CLIPPED. The woman who spilled the coffee on herself was in her eighties. She almost died as a result of third degree burns, after which she had to receive skin grafts to save her life.
There is a documentary about this called "Hot Coffee." (http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com) The reason she won the settlement was because her family looked into why the coffee hurt her so badly. What they found out was that McDonald's had been ordered by court to use devices to monitor the temperature of their coffee machines as there was an issue with them malfunctioning and elevating temps to dangerous levels. McDonald's failed to protect their customers from such incidents by refusing to implement a policy of calibrating their machines. This is another case of businesses ignoring customer safety, not a customer taking advantage of our tort culture. The tort reformers put a spin on this case and launched million dollar t.v. ads and billboards to make us believe in falsities!
Like this film, her case wasn't about robbing big business, but rather about protecting consumers and ensuring ethical and moral decisions are being made to do just that. In Diana's case, she argued that if the health care providers and patients were properly warned of the risk of loss of limb from the particular method by which she received the drug, she never would have chosen to curb her nausea 5 minutes quicker by accepting this method. These incidents share commonality with the Pinto case when the facts are allowed to pervade the spin.
It is what is expressed above that has motivated us to make this film.