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revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 09:04 AM
I don't know if these are verifiable or not, and I'm too lazy to Snopes them, but they SOUND possible, don't they?

Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico , where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That' s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stellas for the past year:

*SEVENTH PLACE*

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Start scratching!


* SIXTH PLACE *

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

Scratch some more...


* FIFTH PLACE *

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more......

Double hand scratching after this one...


*FOURTH PLACE*

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Pick a new spot to scratch, you're getting a bald spot..


* THIRD PLACE *

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Only two more so ease up on the scratching....


*SECOND PLACE*

Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

Ok. Here we go!!


* FIRST PLACE *

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?
$1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Godfather
08-17-2009, 09:15 AM
Those are urban legends, but here are some real ones that are just as bad:

http://www.stellaawards.com/

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 09:18 AM
I don't see much difference.

Tort reform anyone? Review panels and/or judges instead of "Jury's of peers"?

Trial Lawyers have the Democratic Party in their pocket, so ain't never gonna happen...

HometownGal
08-17-2009, 09:22 AM
Those are some wild-azzed claims! :jawdrop: Those morons should have to pay Mother Nature for sucking up oxygen that they are clearly wasting. :shake02:

Over the years as a paralegal, I came across some doozie lawsuits. One that stands out in my mind is the woman who came crying into our office holding a candy bar that had maggots in it that she had purchased from a 5 & 10 store in downtown Pittsburgh. The maggots were dead but she claimed she just bought the candy bar though she had no receipt to verify it and had not eaten any of it. The lawyer I worked for at the time, being the unscrupulous vampire bat that he was, decided to take her case for all it was worth and won a judgment via jury trial against the manufacturer of the candy bar for a nice chunk of change, claiming that the woman suffered "months upon months" of mental anguish and nightmares. :rolleyes:

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 11:08 AM
The whole system is an embarrassment...I wonder how many billions are squandered each year, how much of the cost of our goods is actually insurance premiums protecting companies form these knuckleheads, and if there is really anything we can ever do to oust (or at least beat back) these silver tongued slimebag trial lawyers who basically exist as leaches and prey on stupid everyday idiots who end up on these civil suit jury's.

It's a bad and heavily flawed system...

Indo
08-17-2009, 11:21 AM
And don't forget that those that sit on the juries that are awarding these claims also need to be purged out of existence---somehow common sense just doesn't exist amonst jurists and they choose the "Sympathy Award".

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Bear in mind that, for the most part, our best and brightest never sit on jury duty. Everybody I know tries to get out of it, and the smart ones always seem to do just that...

The_WARDen
08-17-2009, 11:38 AM
Bear in mind that, for the most part, our best and brightest never sit on jury duty. Everybody I know tries to get out of it, and the smart ones always seem to do just that...

well, they do say that you are to be tried by a jury of your peers....

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 11:54 AM
well, they do say that you are to be tried by a jury of your peers....

Not MY peers. For the most part, the jury's seem to be made up by a bunch of people who look they are fresh off the Jerry Springer Show.

I don't believe there is any constitutional guarantee of "jury of peers" for CIVIL suits.

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 11:56 AM
Also, for anyone who wants to dispute the clear ties between the Democrats and trial lawyers, here are a couple pieces of information. One is a little dated, but that makes it no less germane...

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_16_53/ai_76915714/
(National Review...this is like 5 pages long so I only posted the first paragraphs)

The Democratic party has come full circle on tobacco. In 1988, Al Gore boasted that he had "raised tobacco": "I've hoed it. I've dug in it. I've chopped it, I've shredded it, spiked it" and so on. Then he waged a ferocious anti-tobacco campaign. Now, Democrats once again view tobacco as a lucrative cash crop as trial lawyers begin investing their fees from the 1998 tobacco settlement in political campaigns.

Those legal fees are estimated at between $3 and $5 billion per year for the next 25 years. While the fees the tobacco companies will have to pay are still in arbitration in over 40 states, three years ago lawyers representing just three states-Texas, Mississippi, and Florida- were awarded $8.2 billion. These lawyers can be counted on to invest their newfound wealth in the industry that made them rich: the out-of- control system of tort litigation that underwrites, and is protected by, the Democratic party.

An estimated 50 cents of every dollar awarded to tort plaintiffs gets eaten up by lawyers and courts-and a great deal of that money ends up benefiting Democratic candidates. Over the last decade, the legal profession has led all other groups in campaign contributions-giving a total of $357 million to federal candidates-and 70 percent of its cash goes to Democrats. The 56,000-member Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) was the top PAC contributor to Democratic federal candidates in the last election cycle; the organization spent $2.6 million, 86 percent of which went to Democrats.

Individual attorneys account for the largest portion of trial lawyers' donations-and through their unlimited soft-money contributions, they influence the Democrats to such an extent that even the liberal media are forced to take notice. In a recent discussion about Democratic support for permitting lawsuits against HMOs, NBC's Tim Russert pointed out that trial lawyers had contributed $14.5 million in soft money to Democrats last year. Trial lawyers are also the chief reason Senate Democrats-even when they were in the minority-outraised Republicans in soft money.

The tobacco deal-the largest civil settlement in history-has created overnight billionaires, with plenty of ready money to invest in politics. As the Manhattan Institute's Walter Olson says, "The tobacco settlements have created a class of lawyers richer than any lawyers have dreamed of being in the history of the world. They really have become an institutional ATM for the Democratic party." According to the American Tort Reform Foundation, tobacco-settlement lawyers alone gave over $4 million to federal candidates in 2000. (The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the auto manufacturers gave only $1.2 million.)

In 1998, five Texas lawyers were awarded $3.3 billion for negotiating the state's $17.3 billion tobacco settlement; every three months, each of the five receives a check for $25 million. In 1998, the "Tobacco Five" accounted for the lion's share of the plaintiffs' lawyers' contributions that, in turn, made up 78 percent of all donations to the Texas Democratic party. In the 2000 cycle, money from the Tobacco Five represented 40 percent of the $4.8 million raised by the state's Democrats. (By way of comparison, the Texas GOP raised only $2.7 million in the same cycle.) The Tobacco Five also donated $2.5 million in soft money to national Democrats.

When arbitration panels in state after state make their final awards of legal fees in the tobacco suit, other states can expect their own new billionaires to wield similar political clout. And the record shows that these trial lawyers are savvy investors. Tobacco Five member Walter Umphrey, a longtime Democratic donor, received unwelcome attention during investigations of President Clinton's fundraising operations. The call sheet for DNC chairman Don Fowler to solicit Umphrey in 1995 read, "Sorry you missed the vice president: I know [you] will give $100K when the President vetoes tort reform, but we really need it now. Please send ASAP if possible." Clinton vetoed tort reform in the spring of 1996. Following the veto, Sen. Joseph Lieberman-a supporter of tort reform-accurately characterized trial lawyers as "a small group of people who are deeply invested in the status quo, who have worked the system very effectively and have had a disproportionate effect."

The_WARDen
08-17-2009, 11:59 AM
Not MY peers. For the most part, the jury's seem to be made up by a bunch of people who look they are fresh off the Jerry Springer Show.

I don't believe there is any constitutional guarantee of "jury of peers" for CIVIL suits.

I didn't me YOUR peers perse....I meant the criminals are supposedly tried by a jury of their peers. Stupid criminals tried by stupid jurors.

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 12:02 PM
This is from Texas, but no reason not to extraplolate this out...87% of the Texas Democrats campaign contributions were from Trial Lawyers EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT!

http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/contentview.asp?c=216076

Texas trial lawyers spend millions in 2008 election cycle to support Democratic candidates

11/24/2008 4:00 PM
By Marilyn Tennissen

AUSTIN - Personal injury trial lawyers poured millions of dollars into Texas elections this cycle, including more than $6 million to front groups and the Texas Democratic Party, a grass roots organization reported Nov. 24.

Beginning January 1, campaign finance reports reveal hundreds of major campaign contributions from wealthy trial attorneys, including Beamont's Walter Umphrey and Wayne Reaud, determined to roll back lawsuit reform in Texas, according to Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

"The lawsuit industry has anted up millions this cycle to elect lawmakers who will work to reverse reforms and create more opportunities to file lawsuits," said TLR PAC Director Justin Unruh.

According to TLR, personal injury trial lawyers provided almost 90 percent of the campaign contributions to the Texas Democratic Party and an even larger percentage to Texans for Insurance Reform, a trial lawyer front group.

The Texas Democratic Trust reported raising $4,028,701 in contributions for state races in 2008 including $2,218,201 in contributions from Dallas personal injury trial attorney, the late Fred Baron, who acquired his wealth in mass asbestos lawsuits.

The Texas Democratic Party reported raising $3,950,470 almost all from personal injury trial lawyers.

Baron's Texas Democratic Trust reported $1,994,759 in contributions to the Democratic Party and dozens of other trial lawyers contributed $1,990,700.

Eighty-seven percent of all contributions to the Texas Democratic Party were from trial lawyers.

Though the trial lawyer tycoons also contributed to individual candidates, their biggest contributions were directed to the Texas Democratic Party and what TLR called two trial lawyer front groups which then funneled the dollars to legislative candidates.

In addition to Baron, Houston attorney John Eddie Williams, one of the Tobacco Five attorneys who shared a $3.3 billion tobacco fee, gave a total of $765,000 to the front groups and the Democratic Party.

San Antonio trial lawyer Mikal Watts, who has bragged that he could influence appellate court judges because of his campaign contributions, gave $480,000 total to the Texas Democratic Party and Texans for Insurance Reform.

Watts also contributed another $444,000 to his own political action committee. Although the PAC does not bear his name, Vote Texas is almost exclusively supported by Watts who uses the contributions to support opponents of lawsuit reform, the TLR claims.

Beaumont's Provost Umphrey and Reaud Morgan & Quinn also contributed to the trial lawyer groups and the Democratic Party. Provost Umphrey gave $375,000. Reaud Morgan Quinn gave $250,000.

Houston trial lawyer John O'Quinn also contributed $100,000 to the Texas Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Texans for Insurance Reform reported raising $1,722,150 of which $1,679,500 came from trial lawyers - 97 percent of their total contributions. Watts and the Tobacco Five trial lawyers all made six figure contributions.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC is the political arm of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the state's largest civil justice reform organization. TLR is a bipartisan, volunteer-led coalition with more than 16,000 supporters residing in 818 Texas communities and representing 1,266 different businesses, professions and trades.

7SteelGal43
08-17-2009, 12:16 PM
ya can't fix stupid.....but you can sure stick us with the bill for it. :banging:

steelreserve
08-17-2009, 02:45 PM
This should come as a surprise to no one. There exists a certain segment of people who treat the legal system like it's the lottery, and as long as there are lawyers who work on contingency, the'yll be free to continue to abuse the courts. On the flip side, since hiring a lawyer to defend yourself is so goddamn expensive, it creates some pretty asinine results in the form of settlements, as well as almost paranoid actions on the part of anyone who works in an official capacity or has a lot of money. Big Ben is living that experience right now.

Oh, also ... in fairness to the McDonald's coffee lady, I think that's a misunderstood case. I believe she only sued for a small amount to cover her hospital visit, but the jury decided to tack on a couple million dollars for no good reason other than they wanted to stick it to McDonald's. And she sued them because they were handing out their coffee at like 200 degrees, which I agree is pretty stupid. The lady really did end up with third-degree burns, which is like ... why are you handing out coffee that hot in the first place? I mean, you can't even drink it.

revefsreleets
08-17-2009, 03:23 PM
I've gone over this with a lawyer friend a few times, and, the coffee WAS too hot.

One of the big problems, though, is the pussification of America. When our grandparents were growing up, had coffee been spilt and a burn ensued, MAYBE they'd have asked the owner of the store to pay for the medical bills (say, if they had no insurance) and the store owner most likely would have...they'd have shaken hands and that would be the end of it.

Not now!

When I was a kid, I climbed trees, and stuck my finger in light sockets, ate chemicals, put stuff in my ears, ate toys, etc, etc, etc...and i turned out just fine, as did every other kid I knew who did all the same stuff. Now parents are scared into all kinds of safety devices (part of our culture of fear) and if ANY slight little thing goes wrong, it's sue, sue, sue...

But there is a not-so-hidden cost to all this in the form of inflated prices as companies HAVE to pass all these added insurance premiums and stuff onto their customers.

stlrtruck
08-17-2009, 03:45 PM
When I was a kid, I climbed trees, and stuck my finger in light sockets, ate chemicals, put stuff in my ears, ate toys, etc, etc, etc...and i turned out just fine, as did every other kid I knew who did all the same stuff. Now parents are scared into all kinds of safety devices (part of our culture of fear) and if ANY slight little thing goes wrong, it's sue, sue, sue...


Well you still may be able to get a settlement on those chemicals you ate. I'm just sayhing.

And I always knew it was someone else's fault and as soon as I find this sue person I'm going to take her to court. Carrying this damage for this long has got to have a pretty good price with it.

steelreserve
08-17-2009, 05:48 PM
This is all part of the lawyer-enabled mindset that started taking over the country in the 1990s: If you can place the blame on someone else, it's just as good as actually solving the problem.

And since the way we assign blame (legal system) is so expensive, not only are you screwed if you do something wrong, you're screwed if anyone even accuses you of doing anything wrong. So you have to go to asinine lengths to protect yourself, and that effect trickles to every corner of society. The only ones benefiting from it are the lawyers, and as for the effect on everyone else ... well, "pussification" is probably putting it politely.

SteelersinCA
08-17-2009, 07:12 PM
I hate civil lawyers.

Godfather
08-17-2009, 07:34 PM
This should come as a surprise to no one. There exists a certain segment of people who treat the legal system like it's the lottery, and as long as there are lawyers who work on contingency, the'yll be free to continue to abuse the courts.

While that's true, contingency has to be at least somewhat of a deterrent for the lawyers. If you bring the case to court and lose you worked for free.

Indo
08-18-2009, 06:17 PM
I hate civil lawyers.


Even Shakespeare said, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

MasterOfPuppets
08-18-2009, 06:31 PM
here's one of my favorites...


Couple sues McDonald's over hot pickle

Monday, October 9, 2000

SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A Knoxville couple has filed a $125,000 lawsuit against a local McDonald's restaurant, claiming the woman was burned on the chin by a hot pickle.

The two-page document contends that Veronica Martin was injured by an allegedly dangerous and defective product -- in this case, a small McDonald's hamburger -- causing her to suffer both physical and mental injuries.

Those injuries include a second-degree burn on Martin's chin that left a permanent scar.

The suit filed by Veronica and Darrin Martin claims "the hamburger sold by the (McDonald's) was in a defective condition or unreasonably dangerous to the general consumer and in particular to (Veronica Martin.)"

According to the suit, the events leading up to Veronica Martin's injury began on Oct. 6, 1999, when she and her husband bought several small hamburgers at the restaurant.

Veronica Martin seeks $110,000 in damages. Darren Martin, who the lawsuit states "has been deprived of the services and consortium of his wife," seeks $15,000. the husband was suing because his wife was "unable" to perform her wifely duties...:toofunny: .....

steelreserve
08-18-2009, 06:58 PM
here's one of my favorites...


the husband was suing because his wife was "unable" to perform her wifely duties...:toofunny: .....

Hey, good for him, if he can get some money out of what usually happens anyway as soon as you move in together.

sixstringlass
08-19-2009, 04:27 AM
I was actually intrigued by the ad on the actual Stella Awards site:

http://www.mypetlawyer.com/

revefsreleets
08-19-2009, 08:37 AM
Why does McD's always get sued? Easy they are a mega-conglomerate with gobs and gobs of cash...they'll actually probably have to settle this POS lawsuit because it will cost more to defend against it.

Here's super easy tort reform in action. Have the judge be able to throw these cases out WITHOUT A LAWYER HAVING TO ASK FOR THE CASE TO BE DISMISSED. The judge can just look at the case and say "This is bullshit, I'm throwing it out, and fining the plaintiff $5000 for filing a frivolous suit".

Enact THAT kind of simple solution and watch the amount of silly suits drop to next to none...

SteelersinCA
08-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Yeah but the problem is you don't know on the face. Take Ben's case for example. On the face of the suit, she has as good of a shot at winning as he does. Now as discovery comes out, she looks more and more crazy. The expensive part of litigation is discovery. The trial is the easy part. It's hard to get a good look at the case until discovery is done. About the only thing you can do is cap jury awards, otherwise people don't get their day in court.

revefsreleets
08-19-2009, 11:57 AM
Yeah but the problem is you don't know on the face. Take Ben's case for example. On the face of the suit, she has as good of a shot at winning as he does. Now as discovery comes out, she looks more and more crazy. The expensive part of litigation is discovery. The trial is the easy part. It's hard to get a good look at the case until discovery is done. About the only thing you can do is cap jury awards, otherwise people don't get their day in court.

A hot pickle, though?

Godfather
08-19-2009, 01:07 PM
Why does McD's always get sued? Easy they are a mega-conglomerate with gobs and gobs of cash...they'll actually probably have to settle this POS lawsuit because it will cost more to defend against it.

Here's super easy tort reform in action. Have the judge be able to throw these cases out WITHOUT A LAWYER HAVING TO ASK FOR THE CASE TO BE DISMISSED. The judge can just look at the case and say "This is bullshit, I'm throwing it out, and fining the plaintiff $5000 for filing a frivolous suit".

Enact THAT kind of simple solution and watch the amount of silly suits drop to next to none...

That would be a good solution.

Of course we already have Rule 11 and don't enforce it.

revefsreleets
08-19-2009, 01:14 PM
Yeah, I mean, I think when you file the original complaint or whatever, it needs to include some basic info.

Maybe we do like a grand jury inquiry, but instead of "peers" it's just a judicial review board, and they review cases and bind over the few with merit and dump out the shit (which I'm guessing is 90% of what gets processed).

The trial lawyers would HATE this, because it would essentially force most of them to move on to the only other thing they are qualified to do, which is shill used cars at the local JD Byryder writing buy here/pay here loans at 24%, but, eff em! They should have studied to be engineers instead...

Godfather
08-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Florida has a good rule. If you turn down a reasonable settlement offer and then lose, you pay the other side's legal fees. That discourages lottery verdicts without having a chilling effect on legitimate cases.

steelreserve
08-19-2009, 01:23 PM
Why does McD's always get sued? Easy they are a mega-conglomerate with gobs and gobs of cash...they'll actually probably have to settle this POS lawsuit because it will cost more to defend against it.

Here's super easy tort reform in action. Have the judge be able to throw these cases out WITHOUT A LAWYER HAVING TO ASK FOR THE CASE TO BE DISMISSED. The judge can just look at the case and say "This is bullshit, I'm throwing it out, and fining the plaintiff $5000 for filing a frivolous suit".

Enact THAT kind of simple solution and watch the amount of silly suits drop to next to none...

That, or a cap on what lawyers can make working on contingency. If they could only charge a flat rate instead of 30-40% of the total haul, a lot of the bullshit would dry up too.

revefsreleets
08-19-2009, 01:30 PM
Forget ANY kind of tort reform under the current regime. The Democratic Party has literally been completely sold to the Trial lawyers...

MasterOfPuppets
08-19-2009, 01:44 PM
Why does McD's always get sued? Easy they are a mega-conglomerate with gobs and gobs of cash...they'll actually probably have to settle this POS lawsuit because it will cost more to defend against it.

Here's super easy tort reform in action. Have the judge be able to throw these cases out WITHOUT A LAWYER HAVING TO ASK FOR THE CASE TO BE DISMISSED. The judge can just look at the case and say "This is bullshit, I'm throwing it out, and fining the plaintiff $5000 for filing a frivolous suit".

Enact THAT kind of simple solution and watch the amount of silly suits drop to next to none... actually i'd like to see the fine go TO THE LAWYERS, then you'd definetly see this crap stop !!!

SteelersinCA
08-19-2009, 03:29 PM
Yeah, I mean, I think when you file the original complaint or whatever, it needs to include some basic info.

Maybe we do like a grand jury inquiry, but instead of "peers" it's just a judicial review board, and they review cases and bind over the few with merit and dump out the shit (which I'm guessing is 90% of what gets processed).

The trial lawyers would HATE this, because it would essentially force most of them to move on to the only other thing they are qualified to do, which is shill used cars at the local JD Byryder writing buy here/pay here loans at 24%, but, eff em! They should have studied to be engineers instead...

I think they have that mechanism in place with summary judgments. If they just tweaked it a little bit, things would be OK. The problem with that is that judges decide law, juries decide fact. All you need to have to do is have 1 single fact in dispute and you survive a MSJ. No matter what rules you make they will always find a way around it.

I think a cap on awards would stop lots of attorneys from filing shit. If you know you aren't going to get paid, you don't have much desire to put in work. however, I also think for every person getting burned by coffee and becoming a millionaire there are 200 people who deserve more who simply aren't getting it.

steelreserve
08-19-2009, 07:24 PM
I think a cap on awards would stop lots of attorneys from filing shit. If you know you aren't going to get paid, you don't have much desire to put in work. however, I also think for every person getting burned by coffee and becoming a millionaire there are 200 people who deserve more who simply aren't getting it.

There's probably a lot of truth to that. The flip side is that for every spilled-coffee millionaire, 5,000 other people have to protect themselves by putting an asinine rule in place or modifying their behavior in an almost-paranoid way to guard against a copycat lawsuit by the worst possible idiot. Basically every company, city government, wealthy individual or other "sueable entity" in the country has to take evasive action, and it gradually strangles a lot of day-to-day affairs into gridlock.

I think the problem there has to do with the judicial system paying so much attention to precedent. If one case somewhere is decided a certain way, for some reason every judge everywhere is automatically compelled to rule the same way if the situation comes up again. I'm not sure how that benefits the best interest of justice, and it makes it seem like in a lot of cases, the judge is essentially reduced to the role of a referee.

SteelersinCA
08-20-2009, 10:45 AM
There are reasons why products come with ridiculous warnings, like don't iron clothes while on and cruise control is not autopilot in RVs. Those reasons are called lawsuits by stupid people.