One Lump Or Two?

The infamous coffee-burn case is about to get a tenth-anniversary rerun. The first verdict inspired both crude caricature and qu

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hen S. Reed Morgan won a $2.9 million jury award for a grandmother who accidentally spilled McDonald's coffee on herself, he prompted a tort reform storm that has barely abated. Morgan's 1994 case was immediately seized as a symbol of an out-of-control society overeager to sue. Morgan's client, Stella Liebeck, turned into the namesake for "Stella Awards," a mocking honor that tort-case skeptics continue to slap on lawsuits they want to ridicule.

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