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litigious fallacy
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onehullcat
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Aug 30, 2011, 7:23 AM

Post #1 of 6 (23810 views)
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litigious fallacy Log-In to Post/Reply

Remember the guy who sued McDonalds because his coffee was too hot?

No doubt there is litigious foolishness but often the 'examples' belie factual fallacy. I imagine there are many who sued or tried to sue McDonalds foolishly but the movie "Hot Coffee" certainly underscores that in one famous case, the suit was hardly without merit:

http://hotcoffeethemovie.com/
just sayin'...


Mal
*****


Sep 26, 2011, 11:56 AM

Post #2 of 6 (23636 views)
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Where is the sailing in this post? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

This has not much, if anything to do with sailing. I'll look forward to the movie but folks are burned by hot liquids regularly. For many years all hot coffee was hot. Fresh out of a peculator it was very close to 212 degrees F period. Everybody knows that they will receive a horrible burn if they spill it on themselves so they are either careful or don't buy it. The dangers of hot liquid are pretty well known.

But wait, an 80 year old woman horribly burned is a tragedy. Someone has to pay. To a lawyer it is a question of who can not who should and a jury only sees a horribly burned 80 year old. If the coffee had been made in her home who would have paid for the tragedy?

My mother in law was similarly burned by hot coffee when she took it on a bus and a lurch spilled it. She never even considered a lawsuit. Lawyers would have gladly taken the case. A few pictures of the wound and the price of coffee and a bus ticket would have gone up for all of us, most of that increase going to the lawyers.

I live in New Jersey that has 6th most lawyers per capita and it's amazing how every decision includes a discussion of where the tort system will limit what should or can be done. Safety is always mentioned but behind, never in lieu of, the threat of a lawsuit.

Don't get me started, I waste enough time on sailing.....
Check Six .......Mal




GeneRankin
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Dec 12, 2011, 7:07 PM

Post #3 of 6 (18649 views)
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Re: [Mal] Where is the sailing in this post? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

"But wait, an 80 year old woman horribly burned is a tragedy. Someone has to pay. To a lawyer it is a question of who can not who should and a jury only sees a horribly burned 80 year old. If the coffee had been made in her home who would have paid for the tragedy?"

Free advice: learn the facts before you pop off with a false analogy. McDonalds lost because they violated their own procedures.


Mal
*****


Dec 13, 2011, 5:58 AM

Post #4 of 6 (18634 views)
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Re: [GeneRankin] Where is the sailing in this post? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

No pop off there nor a false analogy. People and companies make mistakes every day without paying millions. The reason millions were paid was just as I said. The reason no one would have paid if she were in her home is that the lawyers could not have made anything out of it. I totally understand both sides of the discussion. Without punishment , companies would run rampant with total disregard for public safety vs no one can do anything, take any chances, be the least bit efficient for fear of loosing millions the most of which will go to both side's lawyers.

I just believe this is an example of how far the pendulum has swung one way. We are likely the most litigious country in the world for two reasons. Most of the legislative branch are lawyers and loosing a lawsuit in the US doesn't cost the plaintiff as it does in many countries.

Thanks, though, for the advice, it was worth every penny I paid for it and I warned you not to get me started....
Check Six .......Mal


GeneRankin
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Dec 13, 2011, 8:16 AM

Post #5 of 6 (18631 views)
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Re: [Mal] Where is the sailing in this post? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

"We are likely the most litigious country in the world for two reasons. Most of the legislative branch are lawyers and loosing a lawsuit in the US doesn't cost the plaintiff as it does in many countries."

Actually, we have been highly litigious since the US was founded, and the chief reason is that it is law, rather than culture, that binds us together. Law is what enables very heterogeneous people to live together without killing one another.

And the English Rule (loser pays all) is far from ubiquitous.


Mal
*****


Dec 13, 2011, 9:39 AM

Post #6 of 6 (18628 views)
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Re: [GeneRankin] Where is the sailing in this post? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Correct but the law (criminal) and what passes for a tort system (civil) here are two different things. I just believe we've gone too far. At least when the looser pays all there is little chance of a ridiculous suit which is often the case here. The costs associated with our system have ballooned out of control. Civil law has replaced criminal law. Insurance costs and just the fact that insurance is needed well reflect this. Consider carefully if you will the OJ case.

The whole thing is quite incestuous. Lawyers on both sides are the real and often the only winners. Contracts are worthless, a lawyer is needed to uphold or defend one. I'm an old guy and remember the day when one's word was binding, when a handshake was inviolate, when an accident was just that. Where criminal law was sufficient to control bad behavior, where everybody was treated a good bit more equally under the law, rich or poor.

Many would say you're wrong in what binds us together and the history of litigation in this country. In my lifetime, I remember a time when lawsuits were practically unheard of. My mother in law example is a good one, she spilled hot coffee and burned herself ... that's all. She was 80 too and as horrible as it was, she didn't even think to hold someone else responsible. Why would she?

I know this sounds like a bit of a rant and I don't want you to think I'm totally against civil suits; they have their place but they have gone out of control with no end in sight. I understand that there are more studying to be lawyers now than there are practicing lawyers. Honesty, safety, even reason, have taken a back seat to legal wrangling by lawyers paid to argue both sides of what in the end has to be, by law, a right and a wrong side.
Check Six .......Mal




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