Friday, March 10, 2006

Woman sues Catskills resort
for $20M
over bedbug attacks

(Headline said, USA Today, March 8, 2002)

(Link here to article)

Now $20M is a lot of money. Ms. Fox was on the Good Morning America (ABC TV) show yesterday morning. She looked very recovered from those 500 bites she got at the Catskills resort hotel last summer.

So what were her damages? How did the $20M number come about?

She obviously has recovered now, this next spring after the bites. Granted they were pretty bad according to the pictures, I'm sure her medical expenses weren't even $10,000.

.[Photos, supplied by the law offices of Zalman & Schnurman, show bedbug bites on Ms. Fox.]
How long was she not able to work and how much did she lose by missing work? Who was a 'booking agent.' There are too many of these already in this world. Don't go to school to learn to be one if you are planning on making big bucks.

Being very liberal with her, I still can't figure out how these actual damages would even come to $100,000.

LawSuit Abuse! Lawsuit Abuse!

Well, that's what it smells like to me. In Texas we have stopped such nonsensical waste of court time and big rewards for pain and suffering.

As an attorney, I know most everything over and above the actual losses suffered by the plaintiff goes to the attorney. She alleged here there was $10M in pain and suffering, mental anguish. Then for punitive damages, to punish the hotel?

As I said, Texas has limited these non financial damages to $250,000. That has been the end to those multi million dollar lawsuits, because the poor attorney's can only get a max of $250,000 without taking from the money awarded for hospital bills, etc.

I could have been sued for $20,000,000 too, because of flea bites!

How would that have happened? Well, back in the early 70's I took the four oldest kids (Karen wasn't even born yet) to Nebraska to spend some time with there grandparents in Lincoln and Tekamah. Tim had almost 500 bites the next morning. He probably was eight years old.

He didn't show me anything, but was scratching a lot by breakfast time. The Arkansas BIG NAME CHAIN motel had those creatures someplace biting him. After breakfast, I finally looked at him and he had about one bite every inch or so on his body.

A friendly druggist found some salve and some benydril tabs to relieve the itching. He was over it by the time we got to Nebraska, that evening. Ms. Fox may have been more sensitive, surely, to get all those big red welts. Or maybe she didn't get them taken care of right away.

One thing sure, she wouldn't want me on her jury.

How could I have been sued for $20M? Tim would do it, alleging that I had not sued this BIG NAME CHAIN motel for the $20,000,000. By the time he became 18, the statute of limitations had run. But limitation time on his rights to sue me as a parent not bringing the lawsuit just started when he became an adult.

Kids are doing this more and more, suing a neglectful parent for neglecting them when they were small. And the parents are losing.

My class action lawsuit

This was a stockholder suit against KeySpan, a power company in New York. The plaintiffs alleged mismanagement causing loss of value to their stock. Since this affect all the stockholders, if true, the lawsuit was turned into a class action suit.

I had to document all purchases made during a several year period. Since I'm in the stock dividend reinvesment program, I was purchasing stock every quarter, or four times a year. That was time consuming finding and listing the amounts and number of shares involved.

Last week I got notice of settlement of this suit. KeySpan was to agree to five new and better checks on management. They were also to pay the attorney fees for the plaintiffs. These lawyers did not get rich, as the award was only $20,000. That may not have covered their expenses. If each stockholder submitted as much paperwork as I did, that alone would cost several thousand to go through it all.

How to do it then?

For sure, stay away from Texas and other states limiting non out of pocket damages.

Go to New York to get bitten. Those people love their attorneys and hate it when businesses try to make a dollar. [It seems like all the big lawsuits and class actions are there. Probably though, there are just more businesses per capita than elsewhere, people are the same everywhere.]

Make the newspapers and the TV shows.

Go to Massachusetts to get bitten. Then get Denny Crane and Alan Shore of Boston Legal (link)to represent you.

Money, money, money! It's all for the money. They say those bedbugs are making a big comeback these days, so we'll probably see more of this kind of thing.

I think she should be paid for her doctor bills and her time off work and anything related to that (gas mileage to doctors, etc). Mental anguish.....oh, maybe enough for a new outfit...and I'll be generous...$300. You are right, lawsuit abuse indeed! She wouldn't want me on the jury either.
I'm with you. These lawsuits are getting out of hand. Pay the medical bills and if your in a good mood, lost time and wages, etc. But $20 M - come on.
I like Boston Legal. I realize it has nothing to do with lawyering but it's very entertaining.
Way to go Texas!!
I like Boston legal. Sarcastic humor rocks. Anyhow yes it is lawsuit abuse. I'll even be generous, give her $25,000 and call it a day. But millions? Give me a break.
We watch Boston Legal too. But now the Amazing Race is on an opposite channel. Maybe we should learn how to use our VCR to record.
Surely your brain will be pooped for the trip with all this thinking you're doing....

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