Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sue 'em All

So there is another tobacco lawsuit. I have mixed feelings about this type of lawsuit. On one hand I think it is kind of ridiculous to choose to smoke for thirty years and then blame someone else when you get cancer. On the other hand, it would certainly put a smile on my face to see big tobacco lose billions of dollars, regardless of why or how.

I don't know what kind of success these suits against tobacco companies have had (maybe some of you can fill me in) but I think they have not had much luck. I do know (from the movie Runaway Jury) that there hasn't been a successful one against a gun company (unless the movie is lying to me, but why would it do that?). I guess the reason that these suits don't succeed that much is the element of choice, you chose to smoke, someone else chose to shoot the gun, it wasn't the company's fault, etc. There is a point there, but like I said, I wouldn't lose any sleep if they had to shell out millions every time someone died of lung cancer. So who's fault is it? Should anyone be held responsible?

Then I had another thought, relating all this to conference and recent lessons in church. Cigarettes are an addiction that can end up ruining, or ending your life, what about pornography? Has anyone ever sued a pornography company because they got addicted and lost their job or family? Could such a claim ever succeed? You could probably point to a quantifiable loss if it cost you your job, or alimony, or child support. Could you claim emotional distress? What would you have to show to win? Is it just your own fault you are addicted and you should take responsibility? Say what you will about plaintiff's attorneys, that is one I would like to see them bring.

2 Comments:

At 10/12/2006 10:51:00 AM,

1) These cigarette suits sometimes succeed, and this one appears to have a better chance than most.

2) There has been one large settlement with a gun manufacturer. It wasn't a class action, but an individual suit. They admitted no wrong. KMART also settled a lawsuit for selling a gun to a kid in Utah who committed suicide with it.

3) Pornography class action lawsuits... I like it. You're going to be a rich man Chris.

 
At 10/12/2006 04:35:00 PM,

I knew someone would come through with the real facts, thanks.

 

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