Two Frivolous Lawsuits

A lot of meritorious lawsuits were filed last week. Yet this morning my Google Reader quickly pointed me to two that seem to embody the definition of a frivolous lawsuit:

  • Walter Olson on Overlawyered reports on a lawsuit in Canada where the Plaintiff is suing after she jumped out of a car while she was intoxicated. As I wrote a comment on the Overlawyered post, I cannot imagine a scenario where this is a legitimate claim. I’m all in favor of lawsuits when the victims are innocent.

    What I do when I see lawsuits like this.

    But there has to be personal responsibility, too. The best way to avoid harm is to avoid exposing yourself to great risk. Drinking so much that you are willing to jump out of a moving car is a choice. Look, this woman suffered a severe brain injury. She’s as worthy of our sympathy as anyone. But she does not have a claim against the driver. Period.

  • The TortProf reports that a woman brought a lawsuit because United Airlines did not wake her, leaving her sleeping on an empty plane for three hours. “Waking up to an empty airplane and not being able to get out — it was very horrifying,” the plaintiff told reporters at a press conference to announce her lawsuit.

Both of these are frivolous lawsuits. But the drunk driving lawsuit at least offers a sympathetic plaintiff. This sleeping on the airplane lawsuit is worthless on every level. The plaintiff is not injured and there are not large numbers of people who are suffering the same insignificant loss. We don’t need to protect a class of people who fall asleep on airplanes and don’t get out with everyone else. This lawsuit was filed only because it makes news. It makes news only because it is ridiculous. It is a vicious circle of insanity that only hurts real personal injury victims who must start out with already skeptical jurors.

Posted in:
  • These actual lawsuits, and hundreds of others like them, are hitting all of us in our pocketbooks. It costs money to defend a lawsuit, even ones without merit, and businesses pass along their legal costs to consumers who buy their products and services. Judges do have authority to dismiss lawsuits they believe have no merit, but not enough of them exercise this power. You are definitely an upstanding attorney who only wants to represent the truly injured which is for what the courts are meant. “Kudos” to you! It is time for our society to accept personal responsibility for their actions and stop the “blame game” which is costing the rest of us!

  • I agree with you that both of these lawsuits are bunk.

    The subway system here in Chicago routinely has drunks that fall asleep past the last stop and wake up in the switching yard. Hope this does not start a trend.

    You had to wonder why the lawyer for the woman who fell asleep on the plane thought it would be a good idea to have a press conference, and then I saw her lawyer was Geoffrey Feiger. That explains a lot. I wonder if she knew that she was going to be in for such a round of mocking.

Contact Information