Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why America is Worse Off: Part 2- Sue Happy Lawyers

I am sure that we have all seem them. The ads that seem to be in the middle of the night where James B. Sucakalove says that since you tired some diet pill or if you are reported as a 'contract worker' you deserve money. Yeah, those guys are killing America.

These are the same guys that made us have labels on all of our coffee cups that say that the contents may be hot. These are the guys that have scared schools into not allowing kids play tag during recess. These guys are the people that make car commercials say "closed course with professional driver, do not attempt" when it is just a car driving in a city. These guys are single handedly killing America.

I'm not saying that all suits are not important. There are cases when people do have a right to compensation because of the actions of others. But should you get money because you broke into a house and got hurt? Should you get money for not obeying rules? Should you get money for eating something that is clearly something not meant to be ate? No, no you shouldn't.

All of these suits are making people too scared to do anything. Schools used to have camping trips -not any more. Houses used to be able to have trampolines in their backyards -not any more. Cities used to freeze over ponds to skate on -not any more. Everyone has gotten too scared to do anything fun, and all this can be traced back to one group of people, the sue happy lawyers. (Well actually first to insurance companies, but then to the lawyers that made insurance costs so high, but that is another post.)

So what is the solution? First is to make it harder to file frivolous lawsuits. Second I think that there needs to be some limits placed on when someone can sue... if you are being a dork you can't sue someone else. Finally we need to set up some boundaries about what the suits mean to everybody else. If one kid gets hurt playing tag somewhere it really shouldn't hurt every school in America because of a spike in insurance costs if they allow tag.

Really though these sue happy lawyers are underscoring a problem that we have in society. They are enabling people who have some problem to place all blame on someone else, and not take responsibility themselves. Be stupid and get paid, the winning combination.


Think Frustrated said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the last paragraph. People just don't take responsibility anymore. They just want everything to be someone else's fault. Zipped your dick up in your fly? Sue Levi's. Lost your kite while flying it? Sue the string company for emotional damages. Choked on a severed toe that you put in your chili? Sue Wendy's. It's just ridiculous.

Oh, and my town still freezes a little lake over in the winter so we can skate on it.

Ookami Snow said...

That is cool that your city freezes over a lake.

In the city I used to live in they were constructing a pond to flood during the winter time to freeze, but construction stopped for fear of somebody getting hurt when they play on it.

Think Frustrated said...

Yeah, we don't have that concern. We hope some of our residents get hurt. At this same lake-area (the Monee Resevoir), we have a huge lake (actually a resevoir, man-made) stocked with the biggest fish you ever saw, and you can rent paddleboats and gambol around the lake. It's what's keeping me living in my town.

Ookami Snow said...

I would live there too, any town that encourages gamboling in a good town in my book.

Braveharte said...

I think that this also underscores a major problem in our justice system. Lack of empiricism. It's all based on authority of testimony, which is typically pretty crappy, rather than evidence! Arg! Silicone implants never caused any health problems! Science has told us this. This didn't stop all of the implant patients from getting boat loads of money from Silicone breast makers! Science damnit not emotion!

Ookami Snow said...

Yes this is true. It is sad that we think of ourselves as so much more civilized than what we were a couple hundred years ago, but in some cases we have not progressed much. (And regressed in other areas.)

Tuba Queen said...

:) for some odd reason I felt better after reading this post

Big Red Lance said...

One simple solution..."Loser Pays"

The loser of a lawsuit must pay the winner's legal fees.

Problem solved. (The US is the only developed country that doesn't have the "loser pays" system.)

Ookami Snow said...

Jayme: I'm sorry you felt bad before you read my post.

Lance: I don't know if having the loser pay for the loss is a good idea. A company could just hire so expensive of lawyers that no one could reasonably afford to attempt a suit because the loss could cost them too much, even if their suit is a valid one. There has to be a good solution though.

Irene said...

Here's more proof our system is set up for those trying to take advantage of it. We (where I work) were recently sued for alleged violations of privacy laws that we had PROOF we never committed. And when I say proof, I mean no way anyone in their right mind could argue it. BUT we wound up settling the case. Why you ask? COST! Attorney fees! We didnt even go to court, if we did, we would win, but it would most likely cost over $30k in legal fees. We could sue to have the other party pay them but that is NEVER what the jury decides since we are a collection agency and our industry is not 'liked' in the real world. And even with proof of no violation, they would still feel obligated to fine or accuse us of something because most believe (they may not be doing any thing wrong now but its a collection agency, you no they did at one time or another) So we settled the case that had no merrit for $1000. without admitting guilt. By the way, even if we won, they would have appealed and more costs would have been expended. So it doesnt matter that we take painstaking precautions to follow all the rules. Even with insurance to cover us, deductibles are in the thousands. Sad but true.