Thu Jun 14th, 2007 at 06:58:52 PM EST
I'm sure many of you have heard of the lawsuit crisis in America that is costing taxpayers billions and seems to have no end in sight. Now I agree with some of them. Exxon still hasn't fully paid for the Valdez spill. Gender pay discrimination is alive and well. Tobacco companies have been lying to the public for years. But while in these cases, the companies' lawyers can take care of justice, it seems the most ridiculous cases are not as entertaining as they are unfair. Failed supreme court nominee Robert Bork, who fought for a cap on how much plaintiffs can get paid, recently tripped on his way to the podium for a speech and is suing the host for $1 million for not providing proper care for people getting up to speak (I don't think the host did anything wrong). One lady spilled hot McDonalds coffee over her lap: $2 million. A waiter spilled water and someone tripped over it. A mother who sued Disneyland over the emotional harm caused when her children saw people coming out of costumes, thus ending the magic (fortunately the judge had half the sense of turning her case down). The guy who sued the city who sponsored a baseball contest where he slipped in. The millions NYC pay each year to people who trip on the streets and in buildings. The list goes on. And on. And on. As stockholders and pension holders lose out from company payments to those doucebags. As prices go up. As lawyers buy their third vacation home. As those doucebags get rich off the decent people's backs. There have been few efforts to correct this wrong. The Republicans response is to blame the Dems for this mess and enact their own measures, which end up restricting people's access to courts and preventing good lawsuits.
Which leads me to this next ridiculous case. Many Korean immigrants who came here set up laundry shops. I had a suit cleaned in one once and it came back nice and only cost me $1. These are good, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who always greet you when you come in and out the door. So one shop owned by an elderly Korean couple got a taste of the nasty part of America when they happened to lose the pants of a judge, yes, judge. So this judge, who has a history of suing for ridiculous reasons comes back some time later to sue the poor couple $64 million, pointing to the "misleading" satisfaction guaranteed sign out their shop. After some public outrage, he thought it would be more probable to take the money by asking for $54 million. Lots of evil people go after companies like Starbucks (over terminated coupons) and cities (for malevolently setting up streets so people will trip). But this guy's going after these poor people. Among the costs, $540,000 for legal fees- and he's representing himself! Look, this guy was offered $12,000 (which, believe me, for this couple is a lot of hard-earned money) but refused! To continue his lawsuit! Over lost pants! And in court a few days ago he had real tears and broke down over the emotional sorrow he felt because of the incident(Um, what about the people whose lives you're destroying and the tens of thousands of me and my fellow Americans' money your burning for your stupid trial.) I don't know about you, but I would be angry but shrug it off if the laundromat lost my pants. And that isn't even the most ridiculous part. The couple found his pants and offered to give it back. He refused. The only incident I can cite that is more ridiculous is when the person didn't get something back. A worker at a fast food joint severed the tip of a finger that ended up in a guy's ice cream. The doctor wanted the tip back so they could sew it back on before the cells around his finger died. The guy refused, citing the need for evidence when he sues the company; so the workers' cells did indeed die off. Anyways, back to the trial. If I had it my way, the couple would get $1 million for emotional damages and this judge would be locked up for life to ensure he won't be presiding over anymore cases. And tort reform is not on the way. I am not saying that Americans are, by nature, more evil, we absolutely aren't. Most of us wouldn't do these greedy things. The Democrats need to stand up against these type of lawsuits without hurting the good and necessary ones. Conservatives like to equate these stupid trials with the Dems' actions, even though they've taken more reasonable steps to fight them then the GOP. Most, if not all, liberals I've heard from oppose these frivolous lawsuits. I'd like to end by talking about those warning labels that pop up after a lawsuit. Among them: don't catch a falling knife and don't iron you lottery ticket. My favorite: in a cell phone instruction sheet: do not place phone in microwave when wet. I would like to know if Europe is facing a similar crisis and how countries have dealt with this crisis.