famous cases

Liebeck v. McDonald’s

Stella Liebeck, the 79-year-old woman who was severely burned by McDonald’s coffee that she spilled in her lap in 1992, was unfairly held up as an example of frivolous litigation in the public eye. But the facts of the case tell a very different story.

Leaders in Law

John Barylick, Esq. - "Killer Show"

Lead Attorney in wrongful death and personal injury cases arising from the Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island in 2003, Attorney Barylick tells the story of the fire, its causes, and its legal and human aftermath - a story of a horrific fire and the many petty economic decisions by a band, club owners, promoters, building inspectors, and product manufacturers, any one of which, made differently, might have averted the tragedy.

In less than five minutes, 96 people were burned alive and 200 more were injured, many catastrophically. The final death toll topped out, three months later, at the eerily unlikely round number of 100.


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“Fun, creative, visually stunning and provocative. By emphasizing cases where the civil justice system led not only to compensation for injured parties, but also to changes in corporate practice that made everyone safer, the museum reveals the truth about tort law—and likely leaves visitors with more sympathy towards it.”


“The museum aims to describe the evolution of the law regarding negligence and liability, and it features some of the most groundbreaking cases of the late 20th century.”

The New York Times

“The American Museum of Tort Law reminds visitors how unhealthy American lives were not so long ago.”

The Washington Post

“The museum’s mission is to restore the idea that personal-injury law is not a way to line the pockets of a few lucky lawyers but rather a way to hold the powerful to account. As presented by the museum, personal-injury law may be the only way to hold a corporation accountable to the people it has harmed.”

The New Yorker

“This nonprofit, educational institution aims to make people aware of tort law’s pivotal role in the protection of personal freedom and safety, and celebrates the historical and contemporary achievements of the civil justice system.”


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Connecticut League of History Organizations
New England Museum Association
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Blue Star Museums
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