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Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Cheeseburger Bill

Anyone else think the litigiousness of this great nation has finally hit critical mass when Texas has to pass a law preventing citizens from suing fast food companies for causing their obesity? What's next? A law preventing citizens from suing because watching stunts on the television show "Fear Factor" caused them to vomit? Don't forget about the woman who sued McDonalds because the coffee they served her was too hot.
Read this list of the top ten most frivolous lawsuits in history. And weep.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate, *hate*, HATE, when I see lists like that. Not because I don't agree that there are some frivilous lawsuits, but because lay people think they know enough to pass judgement based on headlines. I'd say at least half of those cases, you'd walk away from the courtroom nodding your head and agreeing with the judgements passed down.

The McDonald's coffee one is the prime example. It wasn't a one-off incident. They ignored repeated issues and warnings. They intentionally made the coffee far hotter than necessary. They refused to help her with her medical bills...the list goes on and on. I hate that it gets used as a poster for frivilous lawsuits.

(Sorry if this seems so angry, it's not aimed at you, honestly!)

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just started browsing a few blogs and noticed this one. some pretty funny posts and common issues i can certainly relate to, but here i just wanted to echo diffanon's comments (not that you'll see this since it's from a may post).

the mcdonald's lawsuit that you cite is one of the classic examples used by economic and law experts that, at first glance might appear absurd, but actually is well grounded in rational and economically efficient reasoning.

many of the cases the jury awards way too much and an appeals court lowers the amount, though you'd be surprised how often the jury that awards millions to someone who, say, gets burned by a hot cup of coffee, actually should have charged more.

the salient point of charging punitive damages isn't compensation for the injured. it's preventing future improprieties on the part of any given company or corporation.

all that and i'm sure you couldnt care less.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Haha, I'm also going to chime in late about the McD's case, just because it's truly appalling:

After the woman's injury and hospitalization, she contacted McDs just asking them to help with her hosital bills, b/c the cost would unquestioanble bankrupt her. They not only refused, but their team of lawyers actually WENT TO HER HOME and threatened the woman! They said if she sued them (which she had not, at that time, done!), that the naked photos of her injured torso, lap, and legs would be made courtroom evidence and distributed to the jury and news sources. They were counting on bullying and shame to keep her quiet, even when all she was asking was for a few tens of thousands of dollars for the medical costs -- from a company that would never miss it in a million years.

Frankly even if they weren't already responsible for her injury they should STILL owe her compentation for trying to pull that.

4:20 PM  
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2:46 AM  

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