Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Money for Nothing

I apologize for the frequent use of comics lately, but some of the best commentary on our social situations comes from the humor writers. Take the strip at the right for example. The story is the croc is suing the zebra for not becoming a food source for him. But the "lotto" mentality of the legal system is one of the more sickening aspects of our society.

There are a significant number of people who seem to believe that they are entitled to large cash awards every time something doesn't go their way. To wit:

The Imus mess

The $54 Million pants

Top 10 Frivolous Lawsuits

There is a well-documented phenomenon in America of attorneys shopping for juries in certain states because they will award ridiculous amounts of money in questionable cases. Some of those states have enacted lawsuit reforms, but, as the croc says, the odds are still better than the lotto and there are no ping pong balls.

I'm not sure what to do about it, other than try to teach conflict resolution at the lowest possible level. Many of these suits are issues that got out of hand (a pair of pants for $54 million?) and should have been handled at a much lower level than the courts.

Sometimes your only recourse is to sue, when a party refuses to talk or try to work something out. But even then, suing for the actual damages, and not some lotto-type number, is a better way to handle things.

No wonder the rest of the world shakes their head at us.

1 comment:

bishopman said...

I love the comics. My philosophy prof in college had us bring in "philosophical" comics.

On your point: There is definitely a "cha-ching" mentality when you get wronged. Did you hear about the guy suing ("cha-ching") 1-800 Flowers for delivering the receipt and thank-you to his wife for flowers he sent to his girlfriend.

Who can I sue? I wanna hit the lotto, too.