Monday, May 26, 2008

Con Man-Inspired?--Nutty Law Suits Proliferate

--The Seeking Out of Deep Pockets Defendants Goes Ever-On

If a midget named, Tatoo, runs up to you, excitedly, pointing to the sky and shouting, "De plane, boss, de plane," wouldn't you throw your arms in the air and run off in the opposite direction?

That's what most people would do.

Where, then, do all the folks come from who would, instead, get out the golf cart and go driving off with Tatoo, through thickets , in search of the plane?

What kind of thinking is it that propels a seemingly endless array of zany law suits? Pie in the sky hopes? It must be something like this. How else can you possibly explain so many of the weird court actions that fefall us today. Following are just a few examples:

> $50,000,000 class action lawsuit filed againt snack food, Pirate's Booty, for weight gain--due to too many calories and too much fat in their product--and for the mental anquish, emotional distress, outrage, and indignation" this caused.
These suits are like giving a boozer a key to the liquor cabinet. How often have these been tried before? Many seem con man-inspired.

> An Illinois man places a $200,000 suit against a nightclub, claiming that stripper, Busty Heart, slammed her 88-inch breasts (claimed to be the world's largest, weighing 40 pounds each) against his neck as he was sitting too close in attendance of her performance. This purportedly caused his neck to become, "bruised, contused, lacerated, and made sore." Additionally, the incident led to the causation of "emotional stress, mental anguish, and indignity." (Is humility this man's only virtue?)

> New York businessman sues Air France for crew members smashing open the door of the rest room on a non-smoking flight, accusing him of smoking. It is claimed he was then dragged from the bathroom of the Air France plane with his pants around his ankles and toilet paper in hand--all this because a flight atendant thought he was sneaking a smoke. He alleges in his $12,000,000 lawsuit that he was "abused,insulted, and humiliatred." (Who could argue with that?)

> Lawyer files class ation suit against Southwestern Bell phone company. Lawyer admits to not uncovering much evidence. Settles suit to avoid litigation. The result? Customers get $15 cash credit each. Lawyer collects $4,000,000 fee--all cash.
If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there. Is that the thinking?

> A quadriplegic sues a Florida strip club for not being able to get his wheel chair ino the lap-dancing room.

> A class action lawsuit against Texas' 2 leading auto insurance carriers ends in settlement (to avoid litigation), despite a ruling by the state insurance regulators that the practices in question were legal. Result? Customers receive $5.50 each. The lawyer pockets $8,000,000. With no credible evidence with which to refute settled law, this was like winning the lottery. Sound like a con man-style legal scam?

> From a $5 fingernail repair job to $500,000 lawsuit. That's what results when a Michigan woman claims a beauty salon beautician nicked a finger with a cuticle scissors. (Suppose, if she'd lost a whole thumb nail, the suit would have been for $100,000,000.)

> Woman sues Universal Studios because its theme parks's haunted house attraction is too scarey, causing her mental distress, extreme fear, emotional distress, and mental anguish. (How about fear of class action lawyers?)

> Tennessee woman sues a McDonald's restaurant for $110,000--for disfigurement from a second degree burn which she claims came from a pickle which fell from a hamburger. (Not coffee this time, a pickle.)
Her husband, not to be left out, also sues for $15,000, claiming that he was deprived of the services and companionship of his wife. Case is settled by McDonalds's. (Glad the husband's companionship with his pickle-injured wife was restored.)

> A German man sues his butcher for selling him bratworst that prohibited him from kissing.

> Bank robber, making getaway from an Oakland, California bank he'd just robbed, stuffs a bunch of marked money into his pants, unaware that the bundle also contains a security device. The tear gas device goes off leaving him racked with pain. He files a $2,000,000 law suit against the bank for his suffering.

Maybe it's a case of Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery: The more ridiculous a belief system, the higher the proability of its success. Perhaps the thinking is, generally, something along this line.

What else would explain such nuttiness?

Simple aspiation to sloth, gluttony, and greed?

Suppose that could be a logical answer, too.

102 comments:

Sayz Lim said...

Enjoying reading it....
Because it is very ridiculous,
I mean how can someone sue for something seems so not logical?
I guess the court will be very busy with these big? cases...

Terry said...

Can't stop laughing...I'll get back to you.

Anonymous said...

If I was dragged from an airliner bath room with my pants down I would sue for closer to one hundred million.

Earl T. Clydson said...

I don't understand it, every time I turn around McDonald's is getting sued again. They seem to be a prime target for the trial lawyers, and they always settle. Why do they do this? Do they enjoy being a target? By always settling these fool suits they are only inviting more suits. Can't they see this?

Bern said...

How to rob a bank and sue for 2 million dollars because impediments were put in your way. This is the one that left my jaw agape.

The Small Biz. Guru said...

It's sad how pathetic people have become in this world.

Everyone wants "quick" cash by the means of an, in my opinion, unethical way.

I remember a few years ago, McDonald's was sued because their coffe was too hot. TOO HOT. It's coffee. Truly sad.

We live in a "sue me" society.

~the GURU

Heather said...

I like the old Fantasy Island analogy...it really fits.

Da Old Man said...

Not all of these lawsuits are frivolous, sir. Pickle burns are the number one cause of emergency room visits. You could look it up. It's about time MickeyD's stopped serving burgers with those flaming hot pickles.

How many more innocent victims can that stupid clown Ronald hurt before something is done?

Oh, the humanity!

wendy said...

I want to go get my nails done LOL

Intiguing cases to say the least

wendysreel.com

Jeunelle Foster said...

Just like I thought. The only ones who are really cashin in big are the lawyers.
What a gross abuse of the judicial system
and it seems the judicial system is powerless to stop it.

Swubird said...

Con Man:

These are the greatest case stories I've ever read. They remind me of the time my wife and I were having lunch in a Las Vegas coffee shop. Evidently the old lady sitting next to us had ordered a pastrami sandwich. But when the waiter brought it to her, it was chipped beef. Her entire family argued with the hotel management that their mother was so upset over getting the wrong order that she had to leave the restaurant and lay down in her room. It seems that the only thing that would make her feel better was if the hotel would comp lunch for the whole family!

I love this stuff.

Terry said...

What's Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery, Jack? I think you have wandered way out into left field with this.

Gene Kranik said...

Yes, there are some gut-rumbling funny reports on what's going on, but, the end result is disgust with our legal system. What is it worth, when all of these insane suits are permitted? I just shake my head in disbelief.

Jack Payne said...

I agree with you 100%, Earl. That's exactly the way it hits me--McDonald's willingness to settle, time and time again, only encourages more suits.
I dont't know the answer to that one. And, not having access to their legal department, can only guess, like everybody else.

Yeah, the bank job is a "jaw agaper" all right, Bern. Agreed.

Sue happy! That's the phrase, Guru. Over the top.

Jack Payne said...

Hey, Old Man, I was not aware that pickle burns were that serious. Enlightening info. Thanks.

Depending upon your beautician, you might get lucky, Wendy. Good luck.

Yes, Jeunelle, it does seem impossible to stop. And, in reality it is. Until we get loser pays, there is nothing on the horizon that would indicate these nonsense law suits are going to stop.

Swu, the old lady should have sued for $1,000,000 for mental trauma. I'm sure this was a shattering experience--too much for her psyche to handle.

Haven't you ever heard of Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery, Terry? It not quite as well known as the various Murphy's Laws, but it's a force to be reckoned with.

Isperia said...

Listening time come up dandy now.

Dee said...

Jack pie in the sky, unwillingness to take responsibility for decisions, courts entertaining outright wackiness, crazy lawyers who take advantage of a world gone mad and of course Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery.

MacD and the airlines seem to have a monopoly on this madness. Did you hear the one about the passenger who sued for bad airline food? Claims he blew a multimillion account due the fact he had to be running to the bathroom repeatedly. Good thing they didn't drag him out of the restroom too. It is no wonder you can't get food there anymore.

Wilma D said...

If Dee is a lawyer and has respect for Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery I guess I can accept it too.

Warren M said...

You've said it before, Jack, if loser pays were in practice in the U.S., as it is in most English-speaking countries, these frivolous suits would be nowhere near as common as now. This makes people think twice before they file, and it most often stops them completely from filing these ridiculous suits. But, the trial lawyer lobby is so powerful and so well established in the Democratic Party, that this is always tossed out when it's introduced as part of tort reform legislation in Congress. It this ever going to change, do you think? I don't think so, sadly.

Tim Rooney said...

I've heard that this loser pays arrangement would make everything better, but I don't know how it works.

RainforestRobin said...

I was laughing all the way through this. I wanted to believe that these were made up and that humanity had not stooped so low, but alas I know that's not the case. Great Post Jack! People are waaaaay beyond me! :)

MMC said...

I don't get it. Any idiot can bring a lawsuit (obviously) but I don't get why or how they are successful with such ludicrous claims, like flaming pickles and [gasp] hot coffee.

And warren's comment about the US not having a 'loser pay' practice? Are you saying that costs do not follow the event? Well, that might explain a little. Although here costs come nowhere near paying full legal fees, they are theoretically, at least, a 'substantial indemnity'.

dani said...

AH..nice read, very interesting.

Kathleen said...

Jack,

My patient died following a cut she received after receiving diabetic foot care from a specialist. Her toe got nicked and would would not heal. It got so bad her foot was amputated, then her leg below the knee, then above the knee. She could no longer do anything for herself.

She was so weak from the surgeries, any chance of walking with a prosthesis was a joke. Once she become wheelchair bound her sister had to place her in an extremely expensive facility that couldn't care for her properly.

She developed repeated urinary tract infections which is common, but she couldn't recover because of her diabetes. Her sister was well aware of the potential for a law suit, but would not consider it.

Where's the justice? Lawyers need to get real. Perhaps if they provided public education services about the law instead of frivolous ideas, things would change.

I laughed, then I got angry.

Jack Payne said...

I am a strong believer in Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery, Wilma. And, I'm glad to see that Dee agrees with me.

Warren, Loser pays is just plain too political. The Trial Lawyer lobby in Washingtion is just too powerfull for the Democrates in Congress to resist. They are major contributors to the Democratic Party and have repeatedly made it clear that they will not sit still for any kind of reform legislation that would include a "loser pays" provision.

Jack Payne said...

It is hard to believe how low people will stoop, isn't it, Robin? When you have to constantly shake your head in disbelief at what goes on among humans, I can only envy you and your preference for communing with nature. And, MMC's comment fits right into that vein too.

Jack Payne said...

Yes, diabetes can be a real complicating factor in anything so little, even, as a nick, Kathleen. That's the one thing that was not clear in my report on the beauty salon incident in my post--was there such a complicating factor as diabetes?

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I like aspiration to sloth, gluttony, and greed this week.

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Professional Employer said...

Excellent post Jack.
We live in a riduculously sue-happy world. I wrote a corresponding post about these realities for small businesses at...

http://professional-employer.com/2008/03/small-businesses-at-an-economic-disadvantage-in-the-courtroom/.

K_Yew said...

Look up the California Code's Legal Maxims: "For every wrong, there is a [legal] remedy." It's right there in the law. Sigh.

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Allen Pearson said...

I can't believe the crazy law suits these days. The attorneys are getting richer and richer. 99% of all law suits should be thrown out and the attorneys should be fined big money and thrown in jail for even thinking of taking it to court! Our judicial system sucks to say the least, did I say judicial system, what judicial system, there is none. Crooks, killers, criminals go free and someone that's just trying to make an honest living and pay his taxes doesn't stand a chance. The so called Government officials we have in office should all be put on a ship and shipped out to sea, never to be able to set foot back on dry land again. At least not on USA soil, they've got it made and they are the biggest crooks of all, and I mean from the Top down. Might as well just go ahead and throw the Constiution out the window. Did I say Constitution? It's already been thrown out. We as honest, law abiding "citizens" don't stand a chance.

Allen

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video said...

Enjoying reading it....
Because it is very ridiculous,
I mean how can someone sue for something seems so not logical?
I guess the court will be very busy with these big? cases...

medyum said...

What's Barty's Law of Hokey Horsepuckery, Jack? I think you have wandered way out into left field with this.

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