Friday, March 28, 2008

Legal Con Man Tactics Used in Flood of Frivolous Law Suits

--Awash in Law Suits, American Court System Struggling to get out from Under

Magalia, California--A sue-happy America has unleashed a tidal wave of law suits on its court system. Once called, "frivolous," many of these are now being won by plaintiffs, some with eye-popping jury awards. At risk are not only deep-pockets defendants, but struggling small business persons of every ilk. people who can ill-afford such legal attacks.

A random sampling:

A West Virginia convenience store worker receives a jury award of $3,000,000 when she injures her back while opening a jar of pickles.

Suit brought against a Las Vegas casino by a California man claiming the casino was negligent in permitting him to gamble away $1,000,000 while he was drunk.

Passengers sue American Airlines for the "emotional impact" of 28 seconds of turbulent weather on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. A jury awards them $2,000,000.

The manufacturer of Louisville slugger baseball bats is sued for $1,000,000 as the result of a ball hit with one of its bats bouncing off the head of a player.

A mother, rushed to a hospital emergency room, caused her 2 daughters so much trauma that they sue the hospital--not for their mother's treatment--for the emotional stress this caused them.

A 420-pound man sues McDonald's for employment discrimination. for not hiring him. Federal judge lets trial stand.

A Missouri woman wins $6,000 from a beauty salon for emotional stress and early retirement caused by a bad hair treatment.

Four women sue a California seafood restaurant for emotional stress, and subsequent psychiatrist visits, when one of them bites into a condom in a cup of clam chowder.

A volunteer, unpaid little league baseball coach,a street-maintenance worker, is sued for $2,000 by the father of the team's catcher. The complaint? Poor coaching.

With shades of con man tactics, such law suits are proliferating as America's law schools let loose a flood of new lawyers on its citizenry, many of them relishing in praying on the economic system in general. Canada, too has suffered from this con-man type plague which seemingly grows on its populace like a colony of E Coli bacteria attacking a slab of choice Canadian beef, critics say.

Jack Payne, author of 55 business books, wraps up the subject this way, "The only hope for all the unfortunate defendants seems to be to subscribe to, and believe in, the Law of Bureaucracy: The second myth of management efficiency is that skill equals success," he says. "Often it does not.. This seems about the last hope in erecting a con-man-resistant shield against these abuses of the system.""


Terry said...

Walk out on the street...take a couple breaths of fresh air...get sued. What's it all coming to?

Ione Hesber said...

I read news like this and all I want to do is throw my arms in the air and run screaming away from it. Where do I go to hide?

Ariel J said...

The first one grabbed me. Meaning three million dollars for coming up with a bad back, from opening a jar of pickles? It made me think of getting a job with a convenience store to see if I could wrench my back opening a jar of something too.

SSB said...

I live in WV. That's kind of funny. I never heard that one but I don't watch the news either.

Mr. Shife said...

I know I am only getting a small snippet of the story but when are people going to start taking some personal responsibility for their actions. I'm short - should I sue the NBA because they won't give me a shot?

Jack Payne said...

Yes, Ariel, the pickle jar example jumped out at me too. You'd think this would be more of a (strictly) Workmen's Compensation case.

Mr. Shife, I only weight 185 lbs., and am 82 years old. Yet, I wish to play linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. I wonder if I should sue somebody for age discrimination.

Terry said...

Go for it Jack...the way you tackle the con men you would make a marvelous linebacker. I bet you would be great as a pass rusher and quarterback sacker.

McAlee said...

How could commercial airliner passengers collect up into the millions for a few seconds of turbulent weather? I can't even begin to understand this one.

The Aphasia Decoder.... said...

It's unbelievable the things that people sue for and win. We had a neighbor sue 50 people who all lived on the same street because he wanted the street straightened out. It had had been in the same place for over 60 years. Nine years later he lost but it cost a heck of a lot of time, money and stress.

Dee said...

Damn Jack I fly American all the time. I swore I caught the flu on a flight to New York. All the coughing and sneezing, I could be sitting int he sun in Hawaii now "praying that the economy" gets strong so that I sue for the cold I'd catch on the way home.

MMC said...

Interesting post.

It's funny, though, how quick people can be to jump and blame the lawyers. These lawyers wouldn't be bringing frivolous lawsuits without some wacky/greedy clients knocking down their doors, right?

In my first year of practice, I got stuck answering the calls which came from the personal injury ad in the phone book offereing a 'free phone consultation". I will never forget the man who slipped on ice (in Canada, in the winter ... go figure!) and cut his finger. Did it require stitches? No. Did he seek any medical treatment? No. But he was sure he could proceed against somebody.

One of the hardest things I ever had to do that year at work was keep a professional sounding voice while convincing him that it likely wasn't worth his while to proceed with a claim. I was young and niave at the time ... I blamed it on people watching too much American TV.

Gene Kranik said...

I really wonder about that gambling casino drunk who blew one million bucks as a result of his addiction. What kind of precedent would that set if he got a favorable verdict?

Tamera Daun said...

Hm. Yes, I have always found this interesting. Upon relocating my business overseas to the US, I was for the first time faced with having to have; insurance, waiver releases, and a little extra insurance like a cherry on top. Just in case, and you never know. We don't have to worry about those things over there.

Warmer said...

Tamera has something that we usually overlook about these suits. I know a man who has a big interest in some kind of orthodontist lab. He says he has to carry so much insurance now to protect himself against frivolous law suits that the premiums are killing him.

Jack Payne said...

McAlee: I can't begin to understand it either.

Decoder: Suit for street realignment? Still another "I can't believe..." And, it took 9 years to adjudicate?

Dee: I wonder if an infection leading to the flu leading to something more serious would be grounds for suit against an airline. Why not? If air turbulence can be, well...???

MMC: Yeah, it takes 2to Tango. It takes both a whacko lawyer, and a nut-job plainiff. Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Gene: The gambling thing will make for an interesting test case, indeed.

Tamera and Warmer. The big hike in insurance rates is the hidden cost to all of this frivolous suit nonsense. No question about it.

Heidi said...

I can't believe that people can get away with these things! Very informative!Enjoyed!

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