A 14-year-old Travis County girl who said she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on MySpace.com sued the social networking site for $30 million, claiming that it fails to protect minors from adult sexual predators.
Isn't it about time we had some serious tort reform done in this country. Shouldn't stupid girls with equally stupid mothers just suck it up that they made a mistake? What has myspace got to do with what they do off-line? Have we all forsaken personal responsibility?
Fortunately, a half year later, a judge did the right thing in this case:
Washington Post, 15 Feb 2007,
Judge: MySpace Guiltless In Child Assault
Yesterday, a Texas judge tossed out a lawsuit against MySpace, the world's biggest social-networking site brought by the family of a 13-year-old girl assaulted by a man who found her through her MySpace page.
The man, 19-year-old Pete Solis of Texas, lied about himself on his MySpace page to gain the trust of the girl, who is identified as Julie Doe in the suit. He was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child last year.
Doe's family sued MySpace for $30 million and their case was joined by other families who had experienced similar assaults. MySpace is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, and is fighting legislative efforts to restrict access to the site at school and library computers.
In dismissing the suit, the judge wrote: "To impose a duty under these circumstances for MySpace to confirm or determine the age of each applicant, with liability resulting from negligence in performing or not performing duty, would of course stop MySpace's business in its tracks and close this avenue of communication..."
In the end, according to the judge, "If anyone had a duty to protect Julie Doe, it was her parents, not MySpace."
A few years ago a man sued the four big fast-food corporations, saying their fatty foods were responsible for his obesity and related health problems. Yes, they held a gun to his head and said do not eat right and never, ever exercise.
How about this one: Man Sues Nissan After Running Over Daughter?
Then there is this depressing tale from Feb 2006:
New York Post, Feb 2006 Archived - No Link
OFF THE HOOK
Jacqueline Colaitis, the widow of fur magnate Jerry Colaitis, had sued Benihana for $10 million. But jurors took just two hours to let Colaitis know her claim was an empty shell.
"I'm disappointed. I don't think the jury went through the evidence," a stunned Jacqueline told The Post.
"They were wrong, and I still don't have a husband, and his kids still don't have a father."
The Colaitis family went to the Benihana in Munsey Park on Jan. 27, 2001, to celebrate the birthday of one of their young sons and watched as a chef performed the famous "flying shrimp" stunt of winging hot shrimp into diners' mouths.
The restaurant stopped the practice of winging shrimp after the suit was filed.
These frivolous lawsuits lead to Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) among businessmen and customers.
Because of this stupid, greedy bitch, millions of diners for the next 10,000 millennia will not be able to catch shrimp at Japanese restaurants. Certainly, If this keeps up we'll all be cutting steak with dull plastic knives.
How many hands do I see out there for tort reform? How about 'loser pays' for lawsuits?
This got me so upset I had to stop working and take a walk. After a few minutes of wandering the streets of New York, Joe's coffee shop came into view and I knew what I needed: A quiet relaxing sit with a nice hot cup of coffee.
Me: Hey, Joe - a cup of java.
Joe: You'll have to wear these asbestos gloves, Bernie.
Me: What are you talking about?
Joe: Well, you remember that woman who sued McDonalds for...
Me: Yeah, yeah, I know, Coffee was too hot - burned her thighs. Probably first time she ever felt anything hot down there. Jees, these gloves are thick.... [a moment later] Hey, Joe, not for nuthin, but this coffee ain't hot at all.
Joe: Yep, hopefully that'll keep me from getting sued.
Me: [sigh] Where's the sugar?
Joe: Don't carry it anymore; McNeil vs. Sugar Association. Besides aren't you familiar with Effects of Diets High in Simple Sugars on Urinary Chromium Losses and that sugar Inhibits Net Renal Tubular Reabsorption of Calcium and Magnesium and... 10,000 other bad things.
Me: Whoa, hold on. I just came in for a simple cup of coffee. Forget the sugar - I'll take the Splenda.
Joe: Sorry, Equal vs Splenda...
Me: Yeah, I get it. Just let me have some milk.
Joe: No Got Milk. Catherine Holmes filed a law suit against the dairy industry claiming that drinking milk has made her fat. Also a physicians group sued on behalf of lactose-intolerant people.
Me: No milk?
Joe: Can't take the chance.
Me: [sipping now] Joe, there's no coffee - it's just tepid water.
Joe: My attorney is checking to see if I can safely dispense that, as we speak.
Me: Who do I have to kill to get a decent cup of coffee?
Joe: Hey - we don't allow that kind of Muslim talk around here.
See my previous post What to do if your child is allergic to McDonald's
Tort Reform in Texas helped bring Doctors back into the state: Docs get clipped by tort system
Tort Liability Index: 2006
a poor civil-justice system lowers the standard of living for ordinary citizens... meaningful legal reform on the other hand pays dividends in the form of stronger economic growth and higher personal income.
Dissecting Leftism, 24 Jun 2006,
Turning the Tables on Abusive Tort Lawyers
At long last, there's good news in the fight against "jackpot justice" tort claims and the nefarious law firms that file them. In courts and legislatures across the country, fraudulent lawsuits are being exposed, and the abusive tort lawyers that file them are finally getting a taste of their own medicine. Most notable is the recent indictment of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, the nation's most notorious class-action law firm. For four decades, Milberg Weiss has filed hundreds of dubious class-action lawsuits and wrung billions of dollars from terrified companies.
Now, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted Milberg Weiss and individual partners on multiple counts of conspiracy, racketeering, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns. For over twenty years, according to the U.S. Attorney, the firm brazenly paid kickbacks to repeat plaintiffs in order to serve as lead counsel in class-action lawsuits. Worse, according to prosecutors, the firm continued to do so while aware that it was under investigation.