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Monday, July 20, 2009

I'll see you in court

Way back when most of the people on this earth weren't born yet... like 60 years ago, a guy sued the manufacturer of his lawn mower because he fell while holding the damn thing above his head while trying to trim his hedges with it. His stupid effort cost him a leg. He contended it wasn't his fault... the mower maker was at fault because the operating instructions didn't say he couldn't.

We all laughed, but he got the final laugh when a jury of his peers (i.e. people just like him) upheld his claim and he was awarded lots and lots of money. This was the start of the era of the lawsuits that say, 'you may be stupid but we've got you covered.'

That is why the lady who burned herself with McDonald's hot coffee that sloshed from the cup held between her legs while driving in shorts, is a millionaire. And that is why there are almost no diving boards or skating rinks in America today... lawsuits that reward the stupid.

In New York, a teen, paying no attention while walking, fell into an open manhole as she was texting a friend on her cell phone. It was a five-foot fall and she did come away with a few scrapes and bruises. But, says her mother, the city must compensate her for the trauma of landing in a sewer. "Oh my God, it was putrid," said mom. "One of her sneakers is still down there."

And, going global, a Polish woman vacationing with her family, is suing an Egyptian hotel because, she says, her 13-year-old daughter got pregnant from what must have been a stray sperm in the pool. The mother is adamant that her daughter didn't meet any boys on the vacation so it had to be the pool... or, mom, the toilet seat.

Where is the logic that says we have to insure the stupid for their own stupid actions? Doesn't anyone take responsibility for what they do anymore?

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