Every year, thousands of individuals exercise their constitutional right to file a civil claim in court. Most often, the purpose of these lawsuits is to seek compensation for some sort of wrongdoing or injury. It’s often a difficult, time-consuming and expensive process. But a small percentage of these cases are absolutely ridiculous. These cases have been coined “frivolous lawsuits.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) complied a list called The Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011. The list ranks the year’s most frivolous lawsuits as voted on by the readers of FacesofLawsuitAbuse.org. The ranking includes some legitimately wacky entries, such as one case wherein a convict sued the couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police. But on closer inspection, some of the other claims don’t seem so baseless at all.
“Sometimes these stories aren’t as frivolous as they appear,” says David Arkush, director of the Congress watch division at Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy group. “Just look at the movie Hot Coffee [a documentary about the infamous McDonald's coffee case wherein a woman suffered severe, life-threatening burns largely because McDonald's kept its java at an extremely hazardous temperature]. That movie does a good job of highlighting the spin.”
The spin that Arkush mentions is a decades-old game played out by organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that were founded to further the interests of big business, often by sacrificing the rights of consumers. Arkush believes the ILR’s latest list is just another way to tarnish the reputation of the civil justice system while distracting the public from this year’s court cases that significantly rolled back the rights of consumers.
Please see full article below for more information.
Firefox recommends the PDF Plugin for Mac OS X for viewing PDF documents in your browser.
We can also show you Legal Updates using the Google Viewer; however, you will need to be logged into Google Docs to view them.
Please choose one of the above to proceed!
LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.