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Stupid Laws and Lawsuits Get Their Comeuppance?

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A nutty woman in California tried unsuccessfully to sue Nutella this year for false advertising. The suit alleges that the victim was misled that the gooey chocolate spread is the cornerstone of a nutritious breakfast.

It’s unclear whether the woman was looking for financial compensation for pain and suffering. This lawsuit is nearly as ridiculous as the idea of fat people suing ice cream companies for their current weight problems. And although the case was dismissed, it’s indicative of a larger problem.

Lawsuits and laws are out of control in America, and have been for many years. We’ve all heard of weird, frivolous lawsuits like the Nutella case, or the woman who sued McDonald’s after spilling coffee that was “too hot.”

The possibility of personal responsibility seems unable to co-exist in an environment where people are allowed to sue for millions of dollars.

In California, which should be known as the “sue me” state, lawsuits are filed daily for people doing normal stupid things such as slipping on the sidewalk or experiencing “pain and suffering” inflicted from auto accidents.

Highly trained and well meaning physicians live in constant fear of getting sued. Lawyers have become more shameless than the latest reality TV stars in chasing after their prize: the potential of a big payout from a lawsuit.

But there is finally a glimmer of hope. A new organization called Common Good is actually working on fixing the fundamental causes of our litigious society. Which they say is this: too many laws. The organization actually offers a sober and practical solution to a variety of problems, ranging from rampant lawsuits to government bureaucracy.

The idea is simple. People turn to government to solve problems, and government solves problems by enacting laws. But making something illegal or allowing people to sue doesn’t actually solve anything, teach anyone to improve their behavior, or help society. It just slows things down or makes it profitable to punish people for violating the law.

The fact that you know you can be sued for getting into a car accident doesn’t make the roads safer, it just makes lawyers richer. And it ends up costing society money, by boosting California car insurance rates and physician malpractice insurance.

Recognizing this and rooting out the excessive legislation is a much more direct and effective way to deal with the underlying problems. With so many lobbyists trying to buy new laws, it’s refreshing to see a group of former lawyers trying to make our country work better by cleaning things up, and standing for personal responsibility… something most people seem to have forgotten about.

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About sethjared

  • Jim

    Bad old example with the McDonald’s coffee thing… read up on it and you’ll see.

  • Igor

    Flamboyant hyperbole about lawsuits is out of control in this article. To say nothing about rampant delusions and lies.

    How did this article, so loaded with lies and fantasies, ever get published? Does Blogcritics simply do NO fact checking whatsoever? Did Blogcritics not even do a simple Sanity Check on this rant?

    Casual exploration with google will reveal the truth about California malpractice caps: CA malpractice and the way that Stella Liebeck was brutally mistreated by McD and activist judges after suffering 3rd degree burns Hot Coffee.

  • Seth

    Hey Guys,

    The article is opinion. The Nutella example is the prime example. I was unaware of the recent developments in the McDonald’s case, so I thank you for bringing that to my attention. I should replace it with the guy who sued Budweiser for false advertising after he didn’t get laid from drinking their beer.

    The point is that the legal profession is built upon the notion of “if you can get money for it, then do it.” And a system in which trying to legislate behavior via the threat of high cost lawsuits just isn’t working to help us grow as people.

    You should check out Common Good. Their work is grounded and practical.

    I don’t think the article constitutes “delusion” or “fantasies”. It’s a simple opinion. To the contrary, those comments seem a bit overreactive. But I thank you for the reponse and with you the best.

    Seth

  • Igor

    Here´s what Google says about Common Good:

    ¨commongood.org/ – CachedAdvocating restriction of legal recourse through the court system, to improve the legal environment for business, industry, and medical providers.¨

    Pretty one-sided. No mention of helping plaintiffs. Sounds very partisan, very pro-business, pro-industry and pro-providers. That can only mean they are anti-plaintiff.

    We can see what they have in mind for plaintiffs: ¨Our proposal for specialized health courts has been endorsed by every legitimate healthcare constituency…¨, the kind of kangaroo arbitration panels that are in disrepute all over the country for the simple reason that they get their fees from the companies so they bias judgement to get the most cases. Clear conflict of interest.

    Any outfit that advocates this kind of arbitration is partisan and telegraphs it´s intention very clearly.

    It´s hard enough for the people who´ve been grievously damaged by an errant corporation or doctor to secure some meager recompense in our existing civilian courts which are already heavily biased in favor of institutions and wealth. This kind of thing will make it hopeless.

    Judges already radically interfere in jury judgements such as Stella Liebecks without reason or regard.

    And medical malpractice caps do NOT reduce malpractice premiums, as the CA case shows, where premiums went up when caps were installed.

    There are two reasons for high premiums:

    1-medical insurance companies are de-facto oligopolies so they can charge whatever they like,

    2-most malpractice suits are against a minority of (repeat offender) doctors but the AMA won´t bar them.