The Vine

Saturday, July 10, 2004

So Sue Me, Okay

I have to stand up for trial lawyers.

This has little to do with John Edwards. It has more to do with all this whining about "lawsuit abuse," and the agenda underlying it.

"Frivolous lawsuit" "litigious society" "sue-happy" and "lawsuit abuse," terms like this get repeated by the dittohead talk radio hosts, and sent around in the right-wing email circles where all they send each other is forwards near as I can tell, until after enough repetitions everyone accepts it as true, even if you personally do not know anyone who has gotten rich off a million-dollar lawsuit settlement. Even if you do know people who have gotten burned by landlords, police, insurance companies, unscrupulous ex-employers, etc., and had to turn to the courts to get their money or stuff back.

One of these forwarded emails from a conservative Gulf Coast relative was the "Sally Somethingorother" prizes for assinine lawsuit settlements, and each instance some numskull hurts him or herself with their own stupidity and then sues and comes out rich. The award was named for the lady who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonalds. But I wondered, how often does this really happen. And some of thes cases seemed so ridiculous....hmm, time to ask snopes. And as it turned out, none of these cases actually happened! 100% hoax! So I hit the "Reply to All" button and set the record straight with Cuz'n and everyone he sent the forward to. (Heh, heh, after I did this for a few of these rightwing rah-rah hoax emails, and the ones that just promote fear to women, he quit sending me that stuff. Hopefully, he got in the habit of checking snopes himself.)

Frivolous lawsuits do happen. But not nearly as much as the dittoheads would like you to think. Most of this stuff gets thown out of court because the judge can see the scam. What these right-wing think tanks are trying to do, and have been working on for nearly two decades, is to set our opinions against lawsuit abuse so that when they get their corporate puppet congressmen to pass anti-lawsuit legislation, or a Constitutional amendment even, we will not complain about the loss of our right to reddress grievances in the courts. That is what the agenda is: to make it impossible for ordinary people to sue corporations when they screw us over.

I'd rather protect that Constitudional right, and if it means throwing an unjust settlement or two to bottomfeeders, well, that is not too big a price to pay for it.


At 6:09 PM, Blogger dragonfly jenny said...

Just to play the devil's advocate ... what is it about the Snopes website that renders the info there a 100% (or even mostly) trustworthy source? Can't really tell who is running it.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger princess poysen ivieee said...

Their FAQ section includes:
"Q: Who creates the material for this site?

A: With a few exceptions, all of the material on this site is prepared by the same people who operate this site, Barbara and David Mikkelson.

Q: Who pays you to maintain this site?

A: We have no sponsors, and no one pays us to operate this site. The Urban Legends Reference Pages are our hobby, and we pay all the costs of maintaining the ULRP web site out of our own pockets. We do accept a limited amount of advertising to defray our operating expenses, but we have no direct contact with the advertisers, and their interests do not influence the content of this site in any way."

The main practice they employ that assures me of their reliability, is that they list their sources for every single claim they make on the truth or hoax-ness of any material they dissect.


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