Stick with me here: there’s good news towards the end of this.
Every year there are thousands upon thousands of lawsuits filed in the United States, with many of them being patently ridiculous. According to facesoflawsuitabuse.org, here are some of the most outrageous ones from 2011 alone:
•A kidnapped couple is sued by a convict who kidnapped them because they did not aid him in evading police.
•A mother is sued by her adult children because she sent cards that did not include gifts and because she allegedly plays favorites.
•A woman files a lawsuit asking for $5 million after she disagrees with a store over an 80 cent refund she was supposed to receive.
•A mother files a lawsuit against an exclusive preschool because of her child’s college prospects.
•A man sued Procter & Gamble over toothpaste left in the tube.
The entire funny-yet-depressing list can be found here.
Now the truly troubling aspect of all this is that these companies had to defend themselves in court, usually racking up significant costs. Those costs get put right back into the price of their products, and we all end up paying more. Isn’t that great?
Why is nothing being done about this by our elected leaders? What about some ideas from the folks who always seem to be “fixing” everything, other than things which actually need fixing?
No more calls; we have a winner! An individual state did take a significant step towards curbing this insanity.
Lawmakers last week approved legislation that would penalize people who file lawsuits that are later dismissed as baseless. They would have to pay up to $10,000 to cover court costs and their opponent’s attorney fees.
“It is a very limited loser-pays bill,” said Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah, the bill’s House sponsor. “It goes to purely frivolous lawsuits, lawsuits that don’t have any merit.”
I read that and got a little verklempt. It is possible to look at a problem and pass legislation that might help fix the problem! God bless those crazy, knuckle-dragging, bible-clinging GOP Tennesseans for bringing some common-sense to the courtrooms of America, or at least Tennessee. For the moment, that makes one significant problem addressed….
………and at least a million to go.
Hey, it’s a start.