Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Everybody Knows Trial Lawyers are Out of Control, Right?

We are a litigious society.

We all know that. It barely gets noticed when someone says it anymore because, y’know … sky blue, water wet. Some lady got $3 million for spilling coffee for crisakes.

Yeah, we get it. So much of our national productivity is sucked away by lawyers trying to score a big judgment and a hefty one-third lawyer’s share that if we only could rein this in we’d all have briefcase helicopters.

Or something.

The poster case mentioned above, as dubbed by ABC News several years ago, is the McDonald’s coffee case. A woman who ordered hot coffee from a McDonald’s drive-through and instead got REALLY HOT coffee that, when spilled, resulted in third degree burns.

As Bugs would say: What a maroon.

It’s coffee after all. It’s HOT. A jury awarded the victim plaintiff almost $3 millon.

Let me say that again: THREE MILLION DOLLARS!

How long would you sit in hot coffee for that kind of money?

But think before you answer. Few remember that the judgment subsequently was reduced to less than a quarter of that amount based on proportional liability, comparable cases … lawyer stuff. They also tend to omit phrases like “skin graft” and “labial separation.” Few reports mention that anymore.

But $$THREEMILLIONDOLLARS!!! is a great headline and that’s where the narrative went.

That narrative is what remains. It’s what we call a … wait for it …

Dominant Narrative

The litigious society remains a problem for the American economy. That’s why you’ve probably already agreed to give up your right to sue your credit card companies, insurers, parking lot attendants, maybe even your employer. You did sign a lot of stuff on that first day, didn’t you?

Before you sleep too well,you should listen to this.

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