Friday, April 29, 2005

Dumb litigants lose out.

Okay, one of the things that drives me most nuts about society right now, particularly in the US, but not exclusively so, is the tendency towards litigation. I know I have written about this previously, but there have been two cases recently that seem to be ending right, and I thought I'd share them with all of you.

  1. The finger in the Wendy's Chili: I know I mentioned this a few days ago, but I wanted to reiterate it here: This woman has been arrested for fraud. After what appears to be a pretty exhuastive investigation by Wendy's that concluded that no one anywhere in the supply chain from Slaugherhouse to Server had lost a digit, not had anyone working anywhere the chili had been. I still really want to know where the digit came from, though. This woman had made practically a career of trying to sue companies to not have to work. And she scammed a woman by selling her a trailer she didn't have the right to sell. But she does have balls. She sat there with the woman, who didn't speak english, and a Sales Agent, who only spoke english and translated what was being said into what she wanted the other to hear. Whatever, though, I only wish there was a way that Wendy's could get back the drop in sales that have been attributed to this "discovery."
  2. Finding Nemo: There was a guy in France who wrote a story called Pierrot, the Smiling Clownfish. It was about a little clownfish who had lost his family. He claims he registered the story long before Finding Nemo was around. He didn't publish it until after the movie was out in France, but he says that Disney still stole his idea. The court looked in to it. The story was not registered in advance. There is no evidence supporting any conclusion other than Pierrot being inspired by Nemo. So, the court nailed him for fraud, in thist stupid lawsuit.
And here is the thing. We need to not encourage people to think that "if I want to live well for the rest of my life, all I have to do is to sue Large Company X." That is not cool. Work hard and try to earn the living you want. Don't be part of the problem.

On the other hand, we don't want companies coming down on the little guy and abusing him. Reasonable lawsuits are necessary. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the problem is punitive damages. Yes, such a lawsuit has to cost the company enough to be a deterrent. But, don't give the person who is suing the money for punitive datamges, instead give it to a charity or something, in some semblance of "let the punishment fit the crime." That way, slipping a finger into your chili will be less attractive to people. And really, that can only be a good thing. After all, do you know where that finger has been?


  • Ugh.
    I can't believe there are people that do that.

    Someone should cut off her finger.

    put it in chili?


    By Anonymous gente-boa@rogers.com, at 12:12 PM  

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