There’s a new principle of jurisprudence now. Call it the “If you sue, they pay” principle. If something bad happens to you, just sue, and get a lot of money.
I hope this doesn’t become the law of the land. But we sure seem to be headed that way. If smokers can sue and win against tobacco companies, even though they knew all along that cigarette smoking could be hazardous to their health, why not sue McDonald’s because you’re fat, as someone is doing now?
He’ll never win that suit, you say? Well, maybe not. But in Manhattan, a woman who fell over a broken parking sign was awarded $21 million.
And how about this? In West Virginia, a guy named Dustin Bailey spent a night in a bar and somehow ended up under a parked truck that was delivering supplies to a restaurant. When the unwitting driver returned to his vehicle and pulled forward, the man was killed. Now Bailey’s mother is suing the driver, the owner of the truck, the owner of the restaurant, and the owner of the bar because they failed to keep her son alive. She wants a measly $350,000. Nothing in her legal filings, though, about whether her son had anything to do with drinking himself into a stupor.
We’ve got an explosion of ludicrous litigation. And all too often, if you sue, you win, whether the defendant is truly responsible or not. Great for the folks who collect the judgments, I guess. But it’s you and me who end up paying. And who do we sue for that?