Thursday, July 28, 2005


I have noticed it more and more as time goes on. People are “sue-happy”. If there is one irregularity in a normal routine, or the least little thing that someone may say or do, people are willing to sue. I really cannot comprehend it. Sometimes people will even commit fraud in order to gain from someone else, if they see an opportunity to do so. Take for example, not too long ago there was a portion of a human finger that a woman says she found while eating a bowl of chili at Wendys restaurant in San Jose, California. San Jose Police Chief told the media that his department conducted a "CSI-like" investigation into how the human fingertip could have ended up in the chili. The probe involved an "ingredient trace back investigation" to see if the finger entered the chili somewhere in the food production, but determined that the woman suing was involved in the incident. How could anyone do something like that. This had tremendous repercussion for Wendys. Wendy's says that since the incident was reported, sales dropped off at franchises in Northern California, forcing layoffs and reduced hours in some locations. Then there was the time at the seafood restaurant chain McCormick & Schmick's where a lawsuit was brought by a California woman who said she suffered severe emotional distress after she discovered a condom in her clam chowder. A woman and three companions sent their soup back to the kitchen to be reheated while dining at the Irvine, California, restaurant. The woman said she was treated rudely by the waiter, and when she began eating the soup she encountered a chewy, rubbery object that she first thought was calamari or shrimp. She spit the offending object into her napkin and discovered it was a rolled up condom. Then she said, 'Oh my god' and ran into the bathroom with another friend of her’s and I started throwing up. The restaurant chain launched an investigation but had no idea how the condom got into her soup. The settlement was reached the day the restaurant was to go to trial. The settlement terms were confidential. Do you really think it happened that way? It makes me skeptical, as so many people see an opportunity and run with it…..all the way to the bank! My point is that I find it disgusting that so many people are willing to do what ever it takes to get over on someone. That is the reason so many Obstetricians have changed their practice to Gynecology alone. Their malpractice insurance is one of the highest in the medical field. I guess it just wasn’t worth it for so many of them. Anyway, I just think people should have more integrity and morals, and not be willing to sue at the drop of a hat.


Edge said...

People are scrupulous (sp?). They will get what they can from whomever. What you are really asking is that people have common sense. And that ain't happenin' anytime soon.

It's more a case of irresponsibilty. I don't want to be responsible for my actions so when I get drunk and fall off a building it's the building owner's fault they didn't stop me.

How ludicrous!!


Chris said...

Integrity... I thought that word was eliminated in revision #2 of the NewSpeak Dictionary?

In a world without leaders, trying to find a man of virtue and integrity is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. Few people actually understand the word integrity, even fewer can come to grips with the concept.

How can you explain to someone the value of being honest, admitting to a mistake, when television, magazines, and video games glorify immorality? It can be done, with those close to you, but only by example. Unfortuntely, a life of integrity, is like a life of virtue, very, very lonely.

ticharu said...

I agree with jef. Personnal responsibility is dead. Why is it dead? Because of the Nanny State. Someone needs to take care of us.

In the other half of my brain the voice is saying, no, the chick who sued Wendy's is the ultimate example of taking care of herself.

She fabricated the evidence, that's immoral!

Augh, Good Ticharu and Bad Ticharu are fighting... I'll have to give them crackers.

The Husband said...

there are way to many lawyers in this world. what about the big mcdonalds case where they coffee was to hot and the lady spilled it on her lap. what gets me is the big tobacco cases. people suing for billions even though they are aware of the damages. i'm not a smoker and i think that is total BS. nobody forced cigarrettes in your mouth and made you smoke them for 30 years. i'm actually planning my own lawsuit soon...for second hand smoke. i'm going to sue all the tobacco firms saying i was harmed by all the secondhand smoke i inhailed over the years. absolutely ridiculous.

SemiMBA said...

Personal responsiblity is dead, but so is corporate and government responsiblity. No one, no agency, or certainly no company wants to take responsiblity for their own actions -

In the case of the condom, it is likely that someone in the restaurant put it in the soup out of spite. Why else would they settle? Personally, I would refuse a private settlement demanding a public apology and a public settlement. That way, the restaurant couldn't wipe it under the carpet.

As far as the Wendy's thing goes -although I feel sorry for Wendy's and the particular franchise in question, I think it was way out of hand as far as the DA's office and the Media. For Christ's sake, we have unsolved murders, rapists, pedophiles, etc, and the DA's office puts all of their efforts into pretty much a low level attempted grand theft and extortion case (a non-violent felony). Excuse me, but personally I think we need to focus on real hurt and not just the monetary thing.

Wendy's has recovered - the woman and her husband will probably have a long time to think about their crime while festing in jail. Time to move on.

Just my two. Good posting and well written blog.

SemiMBA said...

I was going to comment about Carl's posting on McDonalds. Don't let a politicians soundbyte (In this case Ronald Reagan) tell you the whole story. In this case, McD's has been warned through several complaints and lawsuits that their coffee was too hot (over 150 c). They failed to heed these warnings time and time again. Juries and certainly appellant courts are not stupid - the will, and do overturn unjust verdicts. In this case, McD's decided against taking action and they lost.

If I were McD's CEO, I would identify the risk manager who made this decision and fire them.

Just my two.

(I think the woman who put the coffee between her legs was stupid as well - but that does not mean that McD's can throw up their hands playing innocent when they are aware of the problem)

Bar Bar A said...

Amen. good post

Lee Ann said...

Jef - I guess not everyone is like you, me and several of our fellow bloggers. They should have the 3 R's. Respect for yourself, Respect for others and Responsibility of one's actions!

Chris - Funny how those same words (well notions) are what I learned from my parents. Wonder why I think like that now? I guess I was one of the lucky ones and should say thanks to my parents!

ticharu - you said it well. It is a shame that people will stoop so low to "take care of themselves". Nothing but a criminal.

Carl - I agree with you about those smokers that sue the tobacco companies because they are getting cancer, emphysema or whatever other type of illness. That blows me away!

semimba - thank you! You made some good points.

well woman - thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

Dave Morris said...

Sometimes I wonder about getting sued for things we blog about. Sure there must be regulations regarding libel and slander, but with today's sue-happy environment, and some of the opinion pieces I write about specific people and companies, I worry about it.

I'll echo the theme - personal responsibility is dead. Society is always looking for someone to blame, someone to pay for their misfortune. Sickening.

BeckEye said...

People (not all) will naturally try getting away with something if there is a pattern of other people getting away with the same thing. There are a whole lot of people out there who have no integrity, but as I see it, it's the legal profession that's to blame. Once stories of people getting huge settlements over accidents that were usually caused by their own stupidity, others start thinking they should try to get a piece of the pie too.

I remember in high school, I took an American Law class and heard the most ridiculous thing, that I still remember to this day. He said that if you have a swimming pool and a kid from the neighborhood sneaks into your pool and drowns, you will most likely be responsible for the death. Pools are considered "attractive nuisances"...gotta love that term! So, you're supposed to take more precautions than normal if you own a pool or other such item that young children would find attractive. It's absolutely ridiculous that you should have to be responsible for someone trespassing on your property, using your things without your knowledge. It's like a punishment for having something that not everyone can afford or fit in their yard.

BadGod said...

Way too many serious comments here, so I have to add.

I am currently debating whether to drive my pick-up into a tree. No where in owners manual have I read that it may cause injury to do so. All I have to do is claim stupidity and you can call me Mr. Fuckin Billionaire.

Good post.

BadGod said...

ALso, I am known as "attractive nuisance" in my neighborhood.

True Story.

Lee Ann said...

Dave - I have wondered that too. So I try to check my facts before I write about a specific thing. I try to only give only facts and my opinion, or raise a question about it. You make a good point!

Beckeye - Absolutely "if they do, so can I". I remember when my parents got a pool, we were informed of that liablity you talked about! Amazing huh?

Badgod - Hey Mr. Attractive Billionaire! That's just about right! and thanks!

Becky said...

Most people don't know what the word respect really means, it's no longer one for all and all for one, more like it's all for me!! What can you do though, you can't change an entire world's views on things.... Free will is a bitch sometimes...

mojoala said...

I remember back in the day, when I belonged to a "Congregational Holiness Church".

One of the church rules was that you could not sue someone, it was declared illegal by the bible.

Some 15 years later the same members whom instituted this rule had to change rule, because they had a need to sue for mal practice.

I still can't believe the frivalous Mickey D's hot coffee lawsuit. The judge and jury must have gotten a cut on the award....

Lee Ann said...

rebecca - yes, and unfortunately it is for me (at any cost). Thanks for stopping by!

mojoala - hmmm, that is interesting. The one place you think you can rely on!