Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Roaches On A Plane" Lawsuit Is Raunchy.

"Snakes On A Plane"--move over. We have a new plot for an action thriller thanks to a Charlotte attorney who's launched a lawsuit against an airline because some cockroaches were roaming around in the plane during a short flight. He's suing for damages in excess of $100,000 for "emotional distress" and other associated psychological ills.

As they say on ESPN, "C'mon, man!" Really? As a personal injury attorney, I want to say thanks to this colleague. Thanks for adding to the list of goofball lawsuits that make it into the media, and feed into all the negative stereotypes about our legal system. You know, the ones people ask me about at a party or bring up when I am picking a jury during a trial where my client has LEGITIMATE injuries. It's funny how miscreants like drunk drivers can wallop people over and over again, I'll file a lawsuit, the claim is either settled fairly or tried to a jury, and the media never reports it. That's not newsworthy. But a $100,000+ lawsuit THAT WILL GO NOWHERE is now plastered all over the media.

I'm reasonably sure "roaches on a plane" will make the list as a topic of discussion the next time I'm in court. And thanks too for giving The Chamber Of Commerce's militant "Institute For Legal Reform" more fodder/propaganda for its mission: to wipe out or limit YOUR INDIVIDUAL right to access the courts, unless you're a corporation, and then you can sue the pants off of anyone without restriction.

If this lawsuit even survives a motion to dismiss, if I were a judge I would award damages of a few extra bags of complimentary peanuts for his next flight. He could use them as a repellent. After all, cockroaches don't like peanuts. I've heard that if they eat them they will blow up and die.

OK, maybe that's an urban myth, like Juicy Fruit gum and moles and Alka Seltzer and seagulls. Add this lawsuit to the list of "urban myths" about our legal system. No matter what The Chamber of Commerce says in their latest "e-mail alerts," these cases are the exception, not the rule.

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