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It is a fact that multi-billion dollar corporations take advantage of average individuals every single day for the sake of profits. It is also a fact that in America, the only place that average individuals can seek justice for being taken advantage of my multi-billion dollar corporations is our civil court system.

Maddeningly, multi-billion dollar corporations have been systematically chipping away at our right to access the civil court system for several decades now. Through the use of an ongoing and ubiquitous PR campaign, tobacco, insurance and pharmaceutical conglomerates have been spreading the message that the United States is being ruined by frivolous lawsuits, out-of-control juries who award too much to plaintiffs, and a broken civil justice system. And the public is biting.

If America’s mega-businesses have their way, the little guy will lose the right and the access to seek justice for wrongdoing through our civil court system. If a company cheats him out of money, too bad. If a company’s faulty products harm his family, too bad.

Next week, HBO will air a new documentary from director Susan Saladoff, exploring the decades-long effort by corporations to take away the American people’s civil rights and protections, by slyly convincing us to give them away willingly. It’s called Hot Coffee, a title that references the now classic case of the woman who received third degree burns from a cup of scalding McDonalds coffee, and subsequently won a lawsuit to have McDonalds pay for her medical expenses. It’s a must-see for every American, not just those interested in legal stuff. Watch it Monday, June 27 at 9 pm EST on HBO.

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