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Who Can I Sue Today

Updated on October 1, 2009

Today makes the second time I’ve driven past this billboard. Very simple question plastered on billboard advertisement asking “Who can I sue ?“ Is this another subtle mind game to turn the American people against each other. Lets see , Who Can I Sue ? My neighbor, my boss, my relatives, just about anybody and for any reason. No real accident with damages nor personal injury need be incurred. Who Can I sue today ?

My thought was … are personal injury attorneys now educating us on whom we can go around suing ? like there aren’t enough frivolous lawsuits already . Doesn’t it seem that advertising like this plants the seed for people to sue regardless if they have been injured or not. Sadly already people sue for the most ridiculous things. Seems like nobody wants to work anymore. Getting things the easy way by suing someone else and taking what another has appeals to the common masses these days.

I held back the desire to prank call the number on the advertisement and ask “Who can I Sue?” await the response and tell them I want to sue YOU. Us ? Yeah, you ! For what ? I don’t know….because I can !”

“Lawsuit abuse” also known as “frivolous Lawsuit disease” cost the US economy over 200 billion dollars a year. In Florida alone almost 1200 frivolous lawsuits are filed daily. Legitimate lawsuits those with real personal injury claims protect the consumer, frivolous ones hurt all of us. It is estimated that the tort system in 2005 costs us on average $886 per person. Money that can certainly be used elsewhere.

Jump on the Bandwagon

A few years ago I remember going with my husband to a caféteria in our small hometown. We had just walked up to the open window and asked for two espressos. Out of nowhere comes this young Hispanic looking guy, maybe in his late 20’s, and addresses my husband mistakenly believing him to be a personal injury attorney.

This is the translated Spanish conversation that takes place .

Spanish Guy - “Brother , I need your help. I just got here from Cuba four months ago. You see , I started working as a boat mate with this gringo that has a nice charter boat in the marina across the street. We went out fishing and while out there I slipped and fell on the boat and I injured my shoulder. They tell me around here that you are an attorney , and that here in the United States I can sue my ex-boss , can you help me out with the claim?”

Observation: This man’s arm is not in a sling, no cast , shows no sign of injury whatsoever. He is gesturing with his hands, waving his arms all the while he’s talking.

Husband - “ Really ? Let me see if I understand - You’ve been here four months from Cuba ? Someone offered you a job , you had an accident on his boat and now you want to sue the hand that fed you ? I’m not an attorney but I’ll give you some free advice . Why don’t you go around town gather a few job applications and use those arms and hands which seem to be working fine to fill them out . Get yourself a job and stop trying to scam a hard working man that was nice enough to give you a job to begin with.”


Getting Informed

Before continuing my rampage I decided to look up the advertisers website, Who Can I Sue.

Upon inspection I found out the ‘who can I sue’ is actually an attorney referral service. I’ll admit I was somewhat wrong, although ultimately it is  still designed to find out whom you can sue, it is not the ambulance chasing advertisement I initially thought it was. Going back to the billboard and the boating accident that initially prompted this hub I have to concede that maybe I jumped to conclusions about the young Hispanic. I didn’t have all the facts . Maybe he did have a personal injury claim if there was some sort of negligence, reckless operation of the boat , alcohol or even drug involvement on the part of that boat captain.

You can use the site to look for related information, educate yourself and find out if you potentially have a claim. Bottom line until you check with a qualified attorney with experience in personal injury law and accidents who gathers all the pertinent information and reviews the facts you won’t really know if you have a leg to stand on.

I was impressed with the wealth of information on all legal matters, pending cases and verdicts. It touches on every legal topic you can imagine and has in depth information on current class action suits. It brings forth information on certain products that many of us or our relatives might have used at one time or another and are now recalled for faults or injuries. The website also lists prescription medication and over the counter weight loss products with warnings and informs on pending class action suits. If you’ve ever used any of these dangerous prescription drugs it is worth checking out.

You Be The Judge - Frivolous or Not

 
  1. The Stella Lawsuit is considered one of the most infamous lawsuits. McDonalds served their coffee at about 180-190 degrees, hot enough to scorch and cause third degree burns within seconds. After 700 claims for serious personal injuries caused by their coffee, they continued to serve it at that temperature. 79-year-old Stella Lieback suffered third degree burns and was hospitalalized for eight days while undergoing skin grafts. All she asked of McDonald’s originally was to pay her medical bills. When they refused, she and her family sued. Stella did not walk away with millions due to the judge reducing the damages. McDonalds did appeal but ended up settling to get rid of the publicity much more so than to admit any wrongdoing.

2. A woman who attended 'Halloween Horror Nights' at Universal Studios is suing for $15,000 in damages for extreme fear, emotional distress and mental anguish.


3. Barney the Dinosaur sues the San Diego Chicken. The San Diego Chicken is a sports stadium mascot who, while doing a routine, pummeled a Barney look-alike. The judge threw out the case saying that the act was clearly parody and would not cause trademark confusion.

4. A man is suing the Utah State Prison, saying the prison is violating his right to practice his religion by failing to provide him with a "vampire" diet. The man also filed a complaint that he was denied a conjugal visit with his "vampress" and denied to right to the sacrament of drinking blood.


5. In 2005, Austin Aitken sued NBC for $2.5 million. He claimed that an episode of “Fear Factor” caused him “suffering, injury, and great pain.” He said that watching the contestants eat rats on television made him dizzy and light-headed, causing him to vomit and run into a doorway. He judge said the case was frivolous and threw it out


Not all ridiculous lawsuits end up with a windfall, most are thrown out or judgment found for the defendant. And in some cases like with Mrs. Stellars coffee cup, where originally the whole case smelled of another sad frivolous case turned out to have some merit.










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    • profile image

      ryanhsargent 6 years ago

      I am a personal injury lawyer in San Diego and agree that there are too many lawsuits. In fact, many cases that get filed should not. Many times disputes are trying to get resolved but they cannot be finalized before the statute of limitations expires. In my area of the law, I am dealing with insurance companies who are very unreasonable. For example, if you rear end someone and they get injured and you have insurance, I would negotiate with your insurance company. However, if your insurance company was being unreasonable, I would have to sue you, not your insurance company. http://www.sargentlawfirm.com

      http://www.sargentlawfirm.com/blog

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      Pamela N Red

      So true. There is a risk in everything you do in life. Negligence or manufacture defect apart allowing your children to play on monkey bars is part of growing up not an excuse to sue if they happen to fall. I tell you some people clearly lack common sense.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Vampire diet. lol That one is rich.

      It is ridiculous the amount of silly lawsuits we have in America.

      A few years a go I had an employee that was going to sue our town because her son fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm. I told her that she would be hurting herself. It is her tax dollars that paid for that park and if they lost a lot of money they would shut down the play area making the kids suffer.

      People don't realize we pay in the long run for frivolous law suits. Our insurance premiums and taxes go up.

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      JosephZasa

      You would have access to the facts more so than I. Frivolous lawsuit or not thankfully we have a system to determine that and pay out accordingly. Like I said you be the judge.

      Whether we agree or not, I do thank you for the relevant comment.

    • JosephZasa profile image

      JosephZasa 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      McDonald's coffee spill - http://hubpages.com/hub/-Behind-The-McDonald's-Cof...

      There are absolutely frivolous lawsuits that occur each and every day. However, did the tort system really cost everyone $866 in 2005? Or did the report just take the total value and divide it by the number of people in the U.S.? If "XYZ" company pays out $250M (.001% of its annual revenue) in a lawsuit because they manufactured a device that injured or kill hundreds of people, should I then think that the tort system just cost me $0.81?

      Should we cap the total amount annually that can be paid out in lawsuits? Maybe tell the first 1,000 people who have a legitimate claim, that they are allowed to seek financial compensation. After that, nobody can sue...and we can get back our $866.

      Switching gears...I think that billboard is an absolute disgrace--we agree on that point :)

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      Jun

      I agree with you there. Lawsuits should be avoided but sometimes its just necessary otherewise some will feel like they can get one up on you.

    • profile image

      Jun 6 years ago

      I try to avoid lawsuits as much as I can. But sometimes I feel that it's necessary and just has to be done.

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Employment attorney San Diego

      Sad but true, people like this immigrant don't help out the rest with their cause. Thanks for leaving your thoughts.

    • profile image

      employment attorney san diego 7 years ago

      I am not one to base my thoughts on an anecdote but, the story about the young immigrant really does illustrate the point. The immigration issue brings in a whole other arena of complexity on top of the issue of frivolous litigation.

    • profile image

      McEnzy Jeannis 7 years ago

      In other hand,If you could retrieve or acquaint me all information as need without no alternative it will be clever sincerely, thank you.

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Truth form Truth

      Thanks for reading.

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Good article, very true.

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      CreativeOne59 - Thanks for stopping in and reading. I appreciate your comment.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a very informative hub on law suits. great hub. thank you for sharing. creativeone59

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Storytellersrus

      I Wish ! If anything along those lines comes around, you will be the first to know. Thanks for the comment. :)

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Sounds like a great title for a novel. Send me the release date!

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Hi James

      I also had a friend who coached his daughter through a slip and fall at a grocery store. She was fine but he made no qualms about letting us know he was going to milk it. She was soon going to a chiropractor and attorney. Her settlement $15K. Unbelievable! Thanks so much for your gracious comment. I'm flattered to have you as a fan. Good to hear from you.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Outstanding Hub! Great topic. Our country is lawsuit crazy. I'll admit I have a crazy uncle who has sued about 20 stores from a woman rolling a shopping cart over his foot to shooting himself in the mouth with a slingshot. In every case, he's been paid out of court maybe 5, 10, or 20 grand to drop it. Ain't that a shame. And I've told him so, too.

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Welcome back FastFreta

      Many cases can be brilliantly represented to give more merit than what they actually deserve, like in the Stella case. The fact that a jury found for Stella and awarded the amount they did implies they unanimously found validity in her case. Of course, the variables, different players and opinions determine that and given a different set possibly a different outcome every time.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thanks again.

      Califonia and Florida two states you can alway count on to get out of hand!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      WOW! I never knew that the Stella case had any validity, however, I do know that there are a lot of frivolous law suits. California is often called the "sue me state," ergo frivolous law suits are the order of the day. I use to do court filings for attorneys, and I can testify to the crazy lawsuits that I use to witness. I like your husband's response to that ne'er do well. Keep up the good work.

    • Bail Up ! profile image
      Author

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Hi Jacobkuttyta

      I agree, although sometimes they come your way not matter what.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Nice hub. I think it is better to avoid any law suit.