Friday, 6 July 2007

Of Runaway Noses, and Ludicrous Lawsuits...



I am not in a very good mood this week, and the reason for this is my nose...

Yes, my nose...

You see, it ran away somewhere around Monday, and till today has yet to really return...It makes a pit-stop back home every few hours, but never when it's really needed...

The problem with noses that run away is that it starts giving the head ideas about what is expected behaviour, so the head begins to act up too. When my nose returns, I am planning to fully ground it with no wandering privileges, and hopefully it will send a message to the head to behave too...


So, today, because of my nose and head which have not been behaving, I have decided I want to spew something about people suing other people...


Yep...


Did you know that America in the late 1800's and early 1900's was a landmine when it came to industrial accidents? As late as in the year 1913 (after many factory owners had installed safety devices), about 25 000 people died in industrial accidents and close to 1 million people were injured (Source: A People and A Nation)! And this was eventhough the American Federation of Labour (AFL) had been in existence since circa 1886...

There were many groups who lobbied for better working conditions, but the Supreme Court made things difficult: They very narrowly defined what jobs were dangerous and which workers needed protection...

Needless to say, those who needed the protection didn't get it...



And yet, look at America today! People are suing people/companies left and right, top and bottom, and for things that don't make sense, and for preposterously large amounts of money!


Remember Roy L. Pearson Jr, an administrative-law-judge in Washington, DC, who sued his dry cleaners for $67.3 million over his pants that went missing? He later brought his claim down to $54 million, but holy cow! $67.3 million ($54 million) over a pair of pants? He jolly well knows his dry-cleaners cannot afford the bill and litigation fees itself might just bankrupt the entire business! And to think it made it to court in the first place!

I don't know which is more appalling: the fact he (a judge!) could even think of suing so much over a pair of pants, or the fact that it went all the way to Superior Court...I'm no lawyer, but don't Superior Courts have better things to do than worry about a pair of pants?!?


What about Malaysia?


Remember four-year-old Muhammad Khairil Baqir Maslan, whose upper right arm was paralysed during birth? The Penang Hospital Director and Federal Government agreed to pay him RM 78 745 in the end...

Wow...Losing the use of your arm for life and you get RM 78 745, but lose a pair of pants in America and you can try and sue for $ 54 million!


Hmmm...


I wonder if Malaysia will be travelling down tha road in a few decades time? After all, more and more people are becoming aware of their rights, and how the law protects them...


Come to think of it, it might be a good thing if exercised wisely...It might make companies (especially healthcare) be more careful and responsible for their services and charges when they know people can haul them up to court and hold them responsible...



But then again, it could turn out like Sheila Longden from Manchester, New Hampshire who sued the tobacco company Phillip Morris USA for being "negligent, fraudulent, and part of a conspiracy that led to her husband's death from lung cancer"...

She lost...


"What about the woman who sued an outdoor mall after being "attacked" by a squirrel, on the grounds that the mall "failed to warn" her in advance.

Or "the photographer who fell off a garbage truck he had climbed on top of to take some pictures, then sued the waste-management company for $50 million because he "never thought in a million years the truck would move"."

Or "the drug-abusing patient who sued a hospital for "allowing" a visitor to sneak illegal drugs into the hospital for her." (Above 3 examples from: Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist).



The fact is, people actually come out and sue for things that don't make sense...


Does this mean that if I open a can of Coca-Cola and become so absorb in drinking it, I don't realise that there is a gapping hole in the floor and I fall, I can sue Coca-Cola because they failed to warn me that drinking Coca-Cola while walking and not looking at the road might cause me to fall?

After all, this will potentially earn big bucks...Didn't you know Malaysia has many potholes, not-properly closed drains, manholes and missing interlocking-tiles?...

I could fall down easily, even with both eyes (in my case, four eyes) trained on the road...Add the fact that I'm naturally a clumsy oaf, and voila! you have a stupid lawsuit in the making...


Or how about this? I buy a cup of teh-tarik-kau from the mamak stall and drink it, and 2 hours later, I go and take a blood test and discover my sugar levels are higher than normal, and I sue the stall because they didn't tell me drinking drinks with sugar might just will definitely cause my glucose levels to go up!


Ludicrous right?


Coca-Cola anyone? Teh-tarik at nearest Mamak Stall most welcomed too...



22 comments:

Nightwing said...

Only in America. Which is why some call it the American dream. Can sue this and that.

winniethepooh said...

yeah Daphne, they are LUDICROUS lawsuits absolutely make NO common sense at all. Y are they even allow to file for something so 'unthinkable' in the first place. Waste court time, waste tax payers money...Some human beings are given the BRAIN but smart for the wrong reasons..sad *shake head*

Jo-D said...

Haha! Hows the running nose? back yet? Anyway, coke or teh-tarik, with you, anytime!

Anonymous said...

Youre 21 years old and you've read about the AFL and things that happened in Usa in the early 1900s? Did u research this just for this, or did you come across AFL etc from previous readings? Whatveer it is, deep.

PrincessJournals said...

A lot of ppl here are disgusted w the judge's lawsuit. As if tht pair of pants is his life saver or sumthing. But this is america sweetie. freedom is everything including freedom to make other ppl's life miserable... intentionally.

Did u hear abt a burglar who fell while climbing thru the roof of a workshop or sumthin (tht he was trying to rob) and later sue them for negligence?

Dont forget tht starbuck was sued for the "hot' coffee when a customer spiller his/her coffee and got burn. I mean, its hot coffee for god's sake!

The lawsuits here sometimes wil make u wonder, "are they serious or just simply stupid?"

J.T. said...

Yeah... ridiculous lawsuits which I wonder how does it even get to be heard? Oh wait.. everyone has a right. So there is a right to be heard too.

Whenever I buy something that needs to be microwaved, there is a warning on the box that says "Caution: Contents could be hot. Remove with care." duh!
Oh yeah, and on some packets of shaving blades "Warning: Blades may be sharp." You don't say! Really?
But they have to do that to avoid lawsuits.

Hope your nose returns to you soon. Give it a good pep talk about taking off without warning. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree Daphne, they are ludicrous lawsuits. But it is America, where everything and anything stupid and wonderful can happen!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Nightwing,
Yep, it's the American dream alright...Not all things in America are bad though; they're just a little too into the whole 'rights' thingy...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Winniethepooh,
Yes, that's my question exactly! In Government hospitals here (I suppose everywhere also lar) we have the TRIAGE department, where someone outside the ER accesses the seriousness of a situation and all...Maybe they should have one for court cases...But this time, the 'triage' people should just throw some cases straight into the bin! And charge them for being toooo funny and wasting tax payers' money and people's time!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jo-D,
Nope, not fully back yet...The fella on extended holiday ;) Sure, coke or teh-tarik sounds good...Where you from anyway?

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Anon,
Erm, I've read them before this. History is intriguing! Thanks...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey PrincessJournals,

"A lot of ppl here are disgusted w the judge's lawsuit."

Thank the 'alot of people' if you ever see them...And it's worse when it comes from a judge, who I'm sure, earns big bucks! Can you imagine the kind of trauma (emotionally, mentally) for the cleaners?

My dad told me another one he read a while ago (happened in USA), though the details are paraphrased: A man who committed a crime was runnng away from the law, when he came to a police road block. He panicked, and tried to go in the opposite direction, and ended hitting a tree or something. He sued the cops for 'obstructing the road'!

Sheesh...

Do we laugh or cry?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi JT,
Oh dear! Are you serious? There are actually notes of caution as stooopid as that?
Hang on a minute *Oh-hahahahaha-hehehehehe-kekekeke-heheeeheeeheeee*...
Wait ar, not done laughing *Hahahaha-kakakaka-hehawhehaw!*
*Hiccup*
*Gulp*
Ok done...
But nothing to say adi ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hye Anon,
Hear, Hear, Hear! Stupid and wonderful it is...*Wink*

ae mi said...

heh..

otherwise how do you think people in my future profession get rich over night?

zorro said...

In the US, your neighbor can litigate if he falls on the walkway leading to our house, because you did not clear the overnight snow.In a way, it is good that it keeps everybody on their toes. Unlike here, its is "tidak apa-thy" ad infinitum.Why worry, here you can get away with murder...just wait...it is coming soon.

wolf said...

hey, i fell frm the INTI lab a until dislocate sholder so can sue inti di lar..muahaha

J.T. said...

I agree with Zorro. Many people are getting away with a lot of things in Malaysia.

Stifling as it may sound, it is good to keep people on alert - businesses and neighbours. We are forced to take care of our actions.

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Aemi,
True, but I sure hope you don't become one of them...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Uncle Zorro,

Yes, we definitely do live in "tidak apa-thy land"...You know, I think the person who 'got away with murder', it's not happening soon...It has already happened...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Wolf,
You could try, but I'd guarantee you ain't gonna get anything here in Malaysia! ;) Let me know if you do though! Kekeke...

Daphne Ling said...

Oh JT,

It will be good to keep people on their toes, but it seems that all the people who should be on their toes in the first place, is not being sued...