The well-known law firm of Motley Rice (not to be confused with Motley Crew) has been ordered to pay $400,000 in a frivolous lawsuit. The lawsuit was aimed at ITT Educational Services in a whistleblower case.
According to the plaintiff, Debra Leveski, however, she did not have any complaints against ITT Educational Services while she was associated with them. It was only after she was gone that she was approached by representatives for Motley Rice that she had gotten the idea that she may be able to win a lucrative whistleblower case.
One of the flaws with the case, however, according to the judge is that she did not blow the whistle until after the fact. Another flaw is that she was pursued by her attorneys in going forward with this case. U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt created a 31-page order which laid some responsibility on both parties for continuing this frivolous case that wasted the court’s time and the defendant’s money.
A Michigan man has filed a class-action lawsuit against a movie theatre in what he’s calling a price gouging case. The man has stated that he doesn’t like the price of popcorn, candy and soda at the local theatre so he’s willing to bring a lawsuit to test the boundaries of the consumer protection laws in that state.
According to the Vancouver Sun, “Thompson, an avid moviegoer from Livonia, Mich., used to bypass the high prices charged for theatre popcorn, soda and candy by bringing in his own treats, said his attorney, Kerry Morgan. But Thompson arrived at his local theater outside Detroit recently to find a new sign telling customers they were no longer allowed to bring in their own goodies.”
Some people are calling this a frivolous lawsuit, taking up the court’s time, man-power and man hours along with that of the attorneys and company involved. We’ll let you form your own opinion on this one.
If it wasn’t for the fact that a frivolous lawsuit takes up the time of the plaintiff, defendants, the courts and many times lawyers and staff, some could be called entertaining. Such is not the case, however, in Northern California at a San Rafael restaurant where two men sued the restaurant for “exploding escargot”.
Supposedly garlic butter from the Seafood Peddler snails escaped from the shells and got splattered upon the shirts of the two men. The $7,500 lawsuit alleged negligence, pain and suffering along with staff indifference.
It’s these kinds of frivolous lawsuits that clog up the courts and push back dates for actual personal injury lawsuits that have merit. This case would have been better suited for Judge Judy than Judge Chernus who had to hear and rule on this ridiculous case. Mark another one up for the Darwin Awards.
In 2003, Walter Rich died in the infamous Station Nightclub fire in Boston, which took 100 other lives. But, this hasn’t stopped an old friend, Brian Sullivan from suing him. While at Rich’s home, Sullivan tripped over a 55-gallon drum buried in the garage floor. The fall caused Sullivan to tear his right rotator cuff, which required medical attention.
The judge in the case ordered that Walter Rich’s duty of care towards Sullivan and all other individuals ended upon his death. This case has set a precedent in the state, oddly enough, limiting the liability a person may incur only to the time in which they are living.
Judge Roy Pearson had brought forth a $54 million lawsuit against South Korean immigrants who own a dry cleaning company saying they had lost a pair of his pants. Pearson who was an administrative law judge in Washington D. C. has now lost his job over the incident.
Pearson was suing Customs Cleaners for the loss of his trousers, mental anguish and attorneys fees, which he calculated to be $67 million, but later reduced to $54 million. Pearson claimed the cleaners did not live up to their “satisfaction guaranteed” motto.
Pearson was deselected for another term as judge as apparently his performance was not satisfactory.
Three major tort reform bills have passed the Oklahoma State Senate. One bill, SB 824, is authored by Democratic State Senator Susan Paddack, which protects doctors against frivolous lawsuits. The bi-partisan bills passed an evenly divided Senate and now make their way to the House.
The other two lawsuit reform bills, SB 1024 and SB 507 are sponsored by republican senators, Owen Laughlin and Cliff Branan, respectively. SB 1024 helps teachers and educators maintain discipline in the classroom without fear of lawsuit.
SB 507 was written initially to protect volunteers and others who help charitable organizations remain exempt from liability when helping in emergency situations such as transportation needs. Democratic Senator Jay Paul Gumm, then tacked on a seemingly unrelated amendment to this bill to protect firearm manufacturers from liability from criminal use of their weapons.
Tort reform has been a hot button issue in recent times, pitting Republicans and Democrats against one another in sometimes quite contentious battles. Many see tort reform as means to redistribution of wealth within this country while others view it on purely ideological basis. It is refreshing, however, to see politicians working out common sense tort reform issues on a bi-partisan basis that will benefit the most people possible.