Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A good injury -- man sues over flying jar lid

DelMonte and Kroger offer to settle a lawsuit by a Southfield man who was struck in the eye by a fruit jar lid that he was attempting to loosen by striking it with a screwdriver. Guy's lawyers say $150,000 is not enough because victim has eye damage.

In the litigation biz, this is called "a good injury." Meaning it is good for the injured party and his lawyers because it will likely elicit sympathy from a jury.

And, like all litigation, it meets the requirement that the targets of the suit have the money to pay.

This is what is wrong with this country -- we spend so much of our resources on the litigation lottery and justify it by saying that the people or companies being sued must be punished.

First of all, it is not punishment. Those who pay generally do it with insurance money. And that money comes from all of us. It is the reason our insurance costs so much.

Second, much of the money goes to the lawyers.

Third, we are teaching our entire society that whatever they do, they are not responsible.

Did you hit the jar with a screwdriver? Yes, but it is the fault of the grocer and the jar manufacturer that the lid went flying and hit me in the eye.

Whatever happened to learning from your mistakes? Note to self: Don't hit jar lids with screwdriver.

Reminds me of that Christmas movie -- which portrays another time and another mindset. Everyone warned Ralphy that a BB-gun would bring him harm. But when he did almost shoot his eye out, their first response was NOT to say, "Let's sue the gun manufacturer." Ralphy figured he was to blame.


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