Well, this is a shockeroo....I had no idea the burn case had been so severe!
PLEASE READ, AND PASS IT ALONG TO EVERYBODY YOU KNOW! Class Warfare III: Losing Your Right to Fight Back
Everyone has heard of the woman who spilled coffee on herself and won $3 million from McDonald's. Perhaps you recall an editorial similar to this one, which ran in the San Diego Union Tribune: "A winning lottery ticket... absurd... a stunning illustration of what's wrong with America's civil justice system."
I saw the injuries. One look was all it took. An 82-year-old woman with such severe burns on the insides of her upper thighs, inches from her vagina, that they required skin grafts. You can see it too, in the documentary Hot Coffee, when it's released. Hot Coffee is the most exciting movie ever made about tort reform.
The jury found out that McDonald's served their coffee at temperatures between 195 and 205 degrees, "high enough to peel skin off bone in seven seconds or less." They found out from McDonald's own files that there had been 700 previous burn incidents serious enough that people had made formal complaints. The woman in the case only wanted her medical bills paid for. The jury thought money might get McDonald's to change its behavior, because burning at least 700 people hadn't seemed to bother the company.
That's what the courts and civil suits are for. To make whoever broke it pay for the damage that's been done. The courts are also the only place where we -- as ordinary, individual citizens -- can force other individuals and corporations -- tobacco, automobile, chemical, pharmaceutical, insurance, and banking -- to open their books and divulge at least the recorded truth, often a history of previous offenses and cover-ups.
The courts are a way to make bad behavior -- injurious, even murderous, acts -- cost enough to make a corporation stop.
Without lawsuits we wouldn't know that tobacco companies knew that cigarettes caused cancer even while they advertised them as healthy; that Firestone tires, combined with Ford SUVs, made them roll over; that the Catholic Church harbored and protected hundreds of pedophile priests; that Vioxx damaged people's hearts and killed them.
Big business hates lawsuits. They hate being made accountable. They hate having to pay. So what can they do about it?
They hire PR companies to spread stories -- frequently less than complete, often completely false -- about frivolous lawsuits. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars promoting those tales. At the same time, almost every settlement contains a non-disclosure agreement. The offenders are free to trumpet their tales far and wide. The victims must stay silent.
The poster child for the victims of frivolous lawsuits is the noble physician. No less a person than ex-president George Bush has told us that it's the trial lawyers who are driving good OB/GYNs out of their practices and depriving communities of decent medical care. It's malpractice insurance (due to the frivolous lawsuits) that is making health care unaffordable. Almost everyone believes this story.
Then there are the facts.
TO READ THE FACTS, GO TO THE LINK...IT WILL MAKE YOU WONDER, AS I DO, WHEN WILL AMERICA EVER WAKE UP???????