Bob Dorigo Jones

CFA Senior Fellow

 

Bob Dorigo Jones, Senior Fellow at Center for America, is a leading spokesperson about abuses in the civil justice system and what we should do about them.  For more than two decades, he has been educating the public about how families, communities, and job providers are hurt by out-of-control lawsuit abuse.

"Let's Be Fair!" is broadcast weekly on more than 600 radio stations nationwide, including the Cumulus Network.  The dynamic and entertaining commentaries are heard by tens of millions of Americans each week, making "Let's Be Fair!" the widest-reaching and longest-running legal reform media program ever.

Send an email Bob with your stories!  Bob@CenterForAmerica.org

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LBF Archive

 

Back to School Lawsuits?

As kids go back to school, it’s the parents who have homework – signing waivers and authorization forms designed to avoid lawsuits, as a major study reveals half of teachers and administrators have been threatened with a lawsuit.

 

PMS Warning: Enlarged Prostate?

One of the best Wacky Warning Labels™ never picked in the annual contest is for PMS Midol, which warns, “Do not use if you have an enlarged prostate.” You don’t have to be a doctor to know that someone suffering from PMS does not have a prostate, but it’s a valid warning for men who might need a pain reliever.

 

Lawsuit Paid in Coins

An insurance company sued by a man claiming he had been assaulted denied wrongdoing, but settled the case and paid the settlement in…a dozen large buckets of coins, sending a message about the frustration with excessive litigation.

 

U.S. GDP Lawsuit Costs:  $589 Billion More

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) cost for lawsuits is $589 billion more than what we would pay if we simply had the same lawsuit costs as other industrialized countries, which spend 1 percent of their GDP on civil and tort litigation – so imagine what could be done with that money in our economy.

 

Baseball Bats and Lawsuits

Most youth baseball leagues use aluminum bats to save money and increase safety. Despite the injuries that have been prevented by aluminum bats, manufacturers have been sued in recent years – making Little League more expensive, not safer!

 

Lawsuits Holding Up Vital Sunscreens?

As more Americans than ever are diagnosed with skin cancer, lawsuit fears have slowed FDA approval of TIME Magazine-cited safe sunscreens available in Canada and Europe that could help millions in the U.S.

 

Down the Garden Path

A well-known Connecticut artist and gardener spent years giving tours of her gardens, donating the proceeds to charities – until a married couple sued her for pain and suffering when the wife twisted her ankle in the gardens. The artist closed the gardens, fearing the loss of her home in the process – so no more charity support.

 

Fasten Your Seatbelt! In a Gondola?

Gently floating in a Venetian gondola is a low-risk dream-come-true for many people; unlike the original gondolas in Italy, the Las Vegas version requires safety belts - a fact noted by a Venetian gondolier living in the U.S.: "the difference is American personal injury lawyers."

 

Would You Drink Printer Ink?

The 17th annual Wacky Warning Labels Contest brings to light new outrageous warnings like "Do not drink" (on a tiny ink toner cartridge) and "get rid of children" (on a cell phone battery charger made in a foreign company) that show just how far manufacturers believe they have to go to avoid the growing cost of lawsuits in America.

 

Airlines Square Off -- No Lawsuit

Twenty years ago, two airline companies discovered that they were using the exact same advertising slogan. It was quite a coincidence, but both executives knew that only one company could keep using it - instead of a lawsuit, they agreed to a public arm-wrestling match, with proceeds going to local charities - solving their problems without litigation.

 

Judges: "Mere Machines"

Thomas Jefferson said that judges should be “mere machines,” deciding cases based on what the law is – not what they want it to be – which creates predictability in court and confidence among the people that there is “equal justice under law.”

 

No "Frozen Joy"

A famous Scandanavian-sounding ice cream company sued another famous Scandanavian-sounding ice cream company to stop them from using the “frozen joy” name – only to admit in court before being dismissed that the suing company’s name actually has no meaning, forcing the judge to put a deep freeze on the lawsuit.

 

College Internships No More?

College internships may become a thing of the past, thanks to lawsuits against high-profile companies and individuals like TV personality Charlie Rose, who have been sued by students claiming they should have been paid – over and above the valuable work experience.

 

Cleaning Up a Lawsuit Mess

A Kansas school district suspended an elementary school janitor for sunbathing in the nude on the roof of a school, so when the janitor was denied head custodial jobs at 7 other schools, he sued the school district, lost, appealed, and lost again – all at taxpayer expense. The district was attempting to avoid a lawsuit, but they wound up in court anyway.

 

Most Outrageous Lawsuit Ever?

A New York man has filed a lawsuit demanding $2 undecillion - that's a 2 with 36 zeros after it, or more money than on the planet - but this is his 20th lawsuit in 10 years. So, which is more outrageous - the amount he demands, or the fact the courts allow him to continue filing lawsuits?

 

17th Annual Wacky Warning Labels Contest

From the moment we wake to the moment we put our heads on the pillow, we are bombarded with warning labels, an often-humorous, always costly sign that America is a lawsuit-happy society – as we kick off the 2014 Wacky Warning Labels™ Contest to showcase how costly it’s become.

 

Football Text Fumble Lawsuit

NFL’s Buffalo Bills were forced to settle a $3 million dollar lawsuit filed by a fan who received three extra text messages after signing up to receive 5 texts from the team per week – adding to the “sue first, ask questions later” American lawsuit crisis.

 

Lawsuits and Public Safety

Chicago’s police department spends half a billion taxpayer dollars each year defending lawsuits, many of which are frivolous, thus monopolizing precious tax dollars and jeopardizing public safety – and this is only one government office in one major city.

 

Sue Thy Neighbor Outrage Inspires Attorney

We heard about a lawsuit, brought it to the attention of major newspaper, and it inspired an attorney to donate his time to help a Florida soup kitchen named Love Thy Neighbor when it was sued by a business named Love Your Neighbor – and public response won a dismissal!

 

Wall of Shame

Artist Bob Cassilly, founder of one of the most popular children’s museums in America, the City Museum of St. Louis, posted the names of personal injury lawyers who filed frivolous lawsuits against the museum for all to see, demonstrating one way Americans are fighting back against the lawsuit-happy culture.

 

Good Samaritan Stopped Cold

A quick-thinking Ohio woman began CPR on her office colleague but was told to stop by her supervisor because they might be "held liable if something goes wrong" - sadly, the colleague later died, demonstrating how fear of being sued is changing our 'Good Samaritan' behavior.

 

Little League Lawsuits

Dr. Creighton Hale, a young college professor who joined Little League baseball in 1955 and invented much of today's safety gear, made news when he testified before Congress that Little League spends more on liability insurance to cover against lawsuits than it spends on bats, balls, and gloves combined – which means fewer kids playing organized baseball today.

 

Stranger Than Fiction

The so-called "Stella Awards," given in honor of the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit plaintiff, are in fact nothing more than urban legends about fake, crazy lawsuits – when there are plenty of true lawsuits that prove truth is stranger than fiction – and more costly.

 

Cookies and Lawsuits

Lawsuits have become as much a part of our lives as the Girl Scouts, Little League, and the YMCA – in one major metropolitan area, the Girl Scouts have to sell 32,000 boxes of cookies to cover the liability insurance just to protect the local organization from lawsuits.

 

Save A Life, Get Sued

After rescue divers pulled a Colorado man to safety when his car plunged into a raging creek, he thanked the first responders for saving his life – then filed an intent to sue them! Costly lawsuits like this actually jeopardize future rescue operations.

 

Teacher Sues Police

A teacher arrested for allegedly making violent threats against her school and referencing the Columbine massacre is suing the police department for $6 million dollars, so how do we expect law enforcement to protect our children under constant threat of lawsuit?

 

Taxpayer "Pain and Suffering"

A man walks into an IRS office owing $60,000, claims he’s injured at the office, sues and a judge awards more than $800,000 in damages – including $750,000 in “pain and suffering” – at taxpayer expense.

 

"Horse Sense Fence"

Artist Shey Hembrey wanted to demonstrate how overcoddled our society has become, so he created miles of barbed wire with a pink warning label on each barb that says, “Warning: Sharp!” that he has called “Horse Sense Fence” – and the popular display has become a symbol of America’s warning label culture.

Read more here: http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2014/02/25/the-horse-sense-fence-offers-humorous-commentary-on-life-in-america/

 

"New Car Smell" Lawsuit

A deadly California car crash involving a man who fell asleep takes a turn when the sleeper sues the carmaker, alleging that "new car smell" made him nod off behind the wheel.

 

Lincoln's Lawsuit Advice

As we celebrate the 205th birthday of Abraham Lincoln – one of America’s greatest Presidents and a talented trial lawyer – his critical advice about lawsuits is more relevant today than ever: “Discourage litigation…the nominal winner is often the loser in time and expense.”

Read more here: http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2014/02/10/great-advice-from-abraham-lincoln-on-the-topic-of-suing-someone/

 

Football and Lawsuits, Or Not

As Americans tuned in to the NFL football championship, we take a look back at the early days of the game, when in 1905, 18 people died from football injuries. Football fan Theodore Roosevelt called for new safety rules, which also resulted in the formation of the NCAA – no lawsuits, just cooperation.

Read more here: http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2014/02/05/when-football-gave-america-a-lesson-in-problem-solving/

 

California Warnings: No Health Benefit

A terrifying warning label required by law on thousands of products reads, “This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer,” but a researcher reveals there isn’t a single empirical study demonstrating any public-health benefits – yet the warning labels have created a massive and costly lawsuit industry.

Read more here: http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2014/01/24/you-know-those-ubiquitous-prop-65-warnings-they-may-be-worthless/

 

Choices, Not Lawsuits

McDonald’s was sued over its menu after a certain filmmaker gained weight eating only the famous restaurant’s food – now, a high school teacher has taken the challenge and actually lost 37 lbs, exercising daily, demonstrating that quality of life boils down to individual choices, not “blame it on the guy with deep pockets.”

 

Class Action, Zero Benefits

A new study reveals that now-common “class action lawsuits” – for which most Americans have received letters telling us we are part of a lawsuit - often result in no money to the plaintiffs, only big payments to the lawyers.

 

Most Unusual Lawsuit of 2013

A Florida plaintiff law firm found itself on the receiving end of a tort case when a client fell out of a chair at their office and sued the firm for injuries – the client won a cash award, and every law firm in Florida must now inspect its chairs every six months.

 

Believe It or Not:  Winter Lawsuit Threat

A Michigan canal featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not connecting two lakes thaws even when the lakes are frozen – and snowmobilers risked running off the ice into the ditch! A volunteer group put up temporary fencing to protect the snowmobilers, but the fences came down when authorities warned the volunteers could be sued if the fences blew down.

 

Wacky Holiday Warnings

Not only is this “the most wonderful time of the year,” it’s also the most warningful time of year! The Wacky Warning Labels™ Contest receives many of its annual submissions from holiday warnings, like the Christmas tree that warns, “Not for human consumption.”

 

Truckers Face More Obstacles

“If you bought it, a truck brought it” may be less of a sure thing if new regulations based on lawsuits take effect, making truck driving a more costly and even less safe endeavor for the 70% of freight that is delivered in America each year.

 

Privacy or Student Safety?

A Washington state lawsuit brings to light the hidden dangers of known sexual predators in public schools – a girl’s family settled with the school after finding out that her attacker was convicted sex offender whose privacy was protected by state law. Why? Because school officials can be sued by the sex offenders if identities are revealed.

 

Pepper Spray Lawsuit:  Who Won?

Cameras captured a California campus cop's illegal use of pepper spray on students, but the officer wins more in his worker's comp lawsuit than the students he harmed.

Read more here:  http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2013/12/03/campus-police-officer-who-pepper-sprayed-students-gets-bigger-payout-than-students/

     

     
 

Too Many Deaf People?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helped build a much-needed housing facility for the hearing impaired in Arizona – and now they’ve sued the same facility because they allege it has too many deaf people. What’s next, seniors suing nursery schools for admission?

 

666 Lawsuit Omen

A union representing law professors sues school after receiving a $666 raise, claiming the school’s dean is equating them with the devil – or is it just the way the math worked out?

Read more here:  http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2013/11/17/law-school-professors

 

Honor Our Vets -- Hire Them!

As we celebrate Veterans Day, the best way to honor our National Guard and veterans is to hire them – trained, committed, ready to contribute to your workplace, and this year, there are federal tax credits available for employers who hire qualified applicants.

Read more here:  http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2013/11/11/honoring-veterans-and-strengthening-america

 

Baseball Beards

As the 2013 World Series concludes, the Boston Red Sox’ top lawyer received a cease-and-desist letter from the American Mustache Institute claiming trademark violations when the world champs were marketing the now-famous beards as part of the Sox club ethos.

Read more here:  http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2013/11/03/world-champion-boston-red-sox-receive-

 

No More Monkey Bars

School recess is an important part of childhood development, but now 2 states have banned the schoolyard game of tag on top of many jurisdictions eliminating monkey bars and slides due to excessive lawsuits, risking important life lessons for kids.

Read more here:  http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2013/10/26/will-a-school-in-your-community-be-the-next-to-ban-tag-at-recess/

 

Voter Majority:  Fairness

A bipartisan national survey shows a “new American middle” that is neither blue nor red, but makes up 51% of American voters who believe in fairness and meritocracy – lack of fairness is at the root of the lawsuit crisis, so there is hope that elected leaders will tune in to the consensus.

 

Scaffolds and Schools

Building scaffolds have always been dangerous places, but federal worker compensation laws have it covered – except in New York, where builders buy special insurance on top of standard coverage costing the NYC school system (and taxpayers) the equivalent of two news schools per year to protect against lawsuits.

Read more here: http://www.bobdorigojones.com/2013/10/21/outdated-scaffold-law-piles-costs-on-taxpayers/

 

Surprising Agreement on Lawsuit Abuse

With the recent federal government shutdown, it often seems like politicians can’t agree on anything. Bob talks about a time when two former leaders in Congress, who were on total opposite ends of the political spectrum, surprised everyone by getting together to alert Americans about the harm lawsuit abuse is doing to our nation.

 

Vaccination Fraud

Many will not be vaccinated this flu season because they fear the medicine is toxic, based on warnings several years ago by a medical researcher who warned that some vaccines cause autism in children - turns out, he was paid by plaintiff lawyers to manufacture evidence for lawsuits they planned to file.

 

From Judge to Americans:  Avoid Lawsuits At All Costs

One of our greatest judges with a name to go along with his reputation, Judge Learned Hand pled with future generations to view litigation as the absolute last resort.  He said,“litigation is to be dreaded beyond almost anything, short of sickness or death."

 

Fantasy Football Challenge

Fantasy football is now a national favorite, bringing with it the specter of lawsuits – and new insurance policies and mediation services have sprung up to help avoid the courtroom.

 

Back to School Lawsuits

Back-to-school now means more than books and pencils – it means parents signing all sorts of legal waivers and forms to protect the schools from costly lawsuits, as nearly half of all current teachers and administrators have been sued.

 

Tax Rebate from Lawsuits

Americans deserve a rebate from the heavy tax added to cost of goods and services as a result of lawsuit abuse - $1900 a year, which could be zero if we reduced the lawsuit rate to that of every other industrialized nation.

 

World Asks, "Why Wacky Warnings?"

The annual Wacky Warning Labels Contest – now in its 17th year – inspires calls from media around the world asking, “Why wacky labels in America?” Lawsuits are easy to file, costly to defend, and wreak havoc on real innovation – so labels have become an American phenomenon.

 

John Marshall and College Costs

The longest-serving Supreme Court Justice is rolling over in his grave as a student at a college named for him sues the school after he was injured during a raunchy fraternity prank – the suit was eventually dismissed, but only after considerable expense to the college – a growing trend in lawsuit abuse.

 

Detroit's "Lawsuit Tax"

As the largest city yet to declare bankruptcy reveals its finances, the public learns that Detroit spends millions each year settling lawsuits rather than defending in court, amounting to a huge “lawsuit tax” on the city’s taxpayers.

 

Factory Tours Ending: Lawsuits

Factory tours show kids and adults how things are made. Sadly, these tours are becoming less available, as companies shut down this valuable community outreach due to fear of lawsuits.

 

Trillion-Dollar Lawsuit

America’s first trillion-dollar lawsuit – brought by a prisoner who has filed 380 lawsuits, establishing a costly record for states like California, which spent $200 million of taxpayer money on lawyers for inmates.

 

Litigation Stifling U.S. Economy

A massive increase in securities litigation is making it very difficult for many entrepreneurs to get the investment capital they need to grow. Bob Dorigo Jones talks about how this is stifling the US economy.

 

Wacky Warning Labels Contest 2013 Winners!

The Grand Prize in the Center for America’s sixteenth annual Wacky Warning Label Contest was recently selected by a studio audience on national television. Bob Dorigo Jones reveals the winner in this week’s “Let’s Be Fair.”

 

Where Have All the Phone Booths Gone?

Phone booths are quickly vanishing from the American landscape. The main reason is cell phones, but lawsuits against phone companies over accidents involving pay phones is another big reason.

 

Label Lawsuit

Chuck Firth designed an effective kitty scooper adopted by Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup crews – and faces a “label lawsuit” that threatens to destroy his company, not because the product is defective, but because California rules spur thousands of “label lawsuits.”

 

Unpaid Interns? Only in Congress

As college kids hit the summer job market, unpaid internships are a good way to gain experience. Now, a federal judge has ruled that interns must be paid, citing federal labor laws – except for Congressional interns, because Congress exempted itself from federal labor laws governing everyone else.

 

200 Weeks On-Air!

Unique storytelling about lawsuit abuse and its impact on our communities and way of life now heard by tens of millions of Americans over 200 consecutive weeks - part of the American mainstream discussion!

 

Reputation vs. the Facts

Reputation is important, but not the only thing, as the president of the largest law school in America found out when he commissioned a poll about school reputations and found out that Penn State ranked in the middle of the pack – and Penn State has no law school!

 

Ejected for Too Many Lawsuits

In sports, you can be ejected for too many fouls. An Idaho woman has been ejected from court – she’s filed too many lawsuits and now is forbidden from new lawsuits. Her response? She’s sued the judge who ejected her.

 

Drowning in Lawsuits

A neighborhood pool rescinds a job offer to a deaf lifeguard applicant for safety concerns, only to face a lawsuit that is now going to trial – proving out fears of lawsuits regardless of chosen course.

 

Warning:  This is NUTS!

Label on peanut bag warns, “Contains nuts,” even though peanuts aren’t nuts! Sounds wacky, but actually right – peanuts and nuts are often processed in the same places, so the warning helps avoid allergy issues.

 

$40,000 Guinea Pig

As college costs skyrocket, a Michigan college student wins $40,000 in a lawsuit against the university to gain the right to carry a guinea pig to class, against regulations.

 

"Two guys walk into a bar..."

New burdens and costs on public places, as Iowa Supreme Court approves lawsuit by unruly bar patron ejected from bar whose lawyer argues that the police should have been called – on his own client!

 

Windshield Lawsuit Reinstated

After a California teen was convicted of killing a driver by throwing a 2 ½ lb concrete chunk from an overpass, the driver’s estate sued the truck maker, alleging windshield should have withstood impact – lawsuit dismissed, but reinstated by divided appeals court – in the ultimate test of “reasonable standard.”

 

Dr. Oz Faces Crazy Lawsuit

Famed physician and TV host Dr. Oz, now faces a lawsuit by a viewer who didn’t follow directions and blames the famous physician for pain and suffering – costing plenty even if it’s thrown out in court.

 

Baseball, Hot Dogs and Lawsuits?

Parents sued the Little League and coach when their kid missed a pop fly and it hit him in the eye – sadly, it’s one of many lawsuits filed that threaten American youth sports.

 

Three Strikes and Little League's Out!

Dr. Creighton Hale joined Little League Baseball in 1955 to enhance safety, but recently he warned Congress of the lawsuit crisis as liability insurance now costs more than all the balls, bats, helmets, and fields every year.

 

Too Many Lawyers?

Even as law schools slash enrollment, analysts believe there are too many lawyers, as evidenced by three recent lawsuits against Chicago-area law schools by students who want their tuitions refunded because they can’t find jobs.

 

Hurricane Sandy Relief:  Delayed

Fear of lawsuits prevented 400 architects from assessing the damage following Superstorm Sandy, delaying recovery by months – Good Samaritan laws currently unavailable in New York and 23 other states.

 

FDR:  "Fear Itself"

Eighty years ago this month, President Franklin D Roosevelt bravely declared, “The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself”- and today, we need that reminder to shake off the fear of lawsuits that affects every aspect of our lives.

 

Health Courts:  Another Look at Fairness

Special health courts will help direct compensation to legitimate claims from harmed patients, ensuring that more money goes to patients and not to plaintiff lawyers.

 

U.S. Doctors:  4 Years on Lawsuits

According to a new study, American doctors now spend more than 4 years of their career time dealing with lawsuits – more time than they spend in medical school!

 

Lawsuit:  I Want a Higher Grade!

Recently, a lawyer sued Lehigh University on behalf of a student who wants a judge to order a professor to give her a higher grade – more potential bad legal precedent in cases like this across America.

 

Lincoln and Lawsuits

A new generation of Americans are learning about Abraham Lincoln in the Oscar-nominated hit movie – but did you know he was a great lawyer who discouraged lawsuits whenever possible?

 

Foot-Long:  Lawsuit?

A lawsuit filed against a fast-food chain alleging that its sandwiches are less than foot-long spurs well-known plaintiff lawyer to speak out – against the lawsuit! He says not every wrong needs a courtroom, and juries are getting fed up with the long line of junk lawsuits.

 

Arm Wrestling, Not Lawsuit

Two major airlines faced off over the use the same slogan; rather than going to court, the 2 CEOs chose to arm wrestle in a public event benefiting local charities.  The win-win boosted public opinion of the two companies – with no litigation!

 

Asbestos and Fraud

Once described as the “miracle mineral,” asbestos has cost thousands of lives and more than $70 billion in lawsuit costs – less than half of which reaches the victims themselves, with the rest lining lawyers’ pockets, with recent cases of fraudulent evidence adding to the misery.  Read Bob's Blog Post Here

 

How Does the Garden Grow?

An artist who established a world-class garden – and invited visitors whose fees are donated to charity – reluctantly closes down the garden due to frivolous lawsuits – another community way-of-life victim of predatory lawsuits.

 

Litigation Can Be A Circus

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus was sued by an animal rights group, and even though the case was eventually dismissed after ten years of litigation, the circus had to spend $20 million in legal fees.

 

Feds Sue Over Fed-Funded Program

Only in America would the federal government sue a library system for doing what it was funded to do – provide eReaders to enable more people to access books! The program is now threatened, with layoffs and furloughs to follow, even though the feds provided the funds for the eReader program!

 

Christmas Tree "Not for Human Consumption"

Wacky warning labels abound, especially during the holidays – the 2013 annual Contest is underway with cash prizes for the wackiest warning labels!

 

Morning Sickness: U.S. Stands Alone

Britain’s Princess Kate is battling morning sickness with access to an amazing, safe-tested drug available across Europe and elsewhere – but not in the U.S.! Why? Meritless lawsuits made it too costly for the maker to offer it in America.

 

Bad Press: Threatening Lawsuit

A moving company threatened to sue an unhappy customer when she posted an unflattering review online, which turned the episode into a major black eye for the company when the story went viral.

 

The Streisand Effect

Named for singer Barbra Streisand, the “Streisand Effect” is the phenomenon when lawsuits bring unwanted public attention to an issue that was insignificant - a key for people to understand that lawsuits are not the best ways to resolve all conflicts.

 

Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of 2012

A Buffalo Bills fan has filed a class action lawsuit against the team for sending him “too many” text messages, which he signed up to receive! Worse yet, the fan made no effort to resolve the question without litigation, a sign that America continues to be the land of “sue first, ask questions later.”

 

Lest We Forget ...

On Thanksgiving, we honor the contributions of Native Americans who helped early settlers get started. Now, a federal judge has ruled that a university sports teams can no longer use the Indian nickname, which the tribe wanted to keep – and they fear that Americans will forget about them.

 

NY Public Hospitals and Lawsuits

One week before Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeast, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani described another form of devastation – frivolous lawsuits against New York’s public hospitals costing hundreds of millions of dollars, at a time when storm recovery resources are scarce.

 

Dog Bites Lady, No Lawsuit

A lady contacted Bob about a dog bite incident when she was jogging – one lawyer, then two, sent her letters encouraging her to file a lawsuit; she decided to share the story to inspire others to resolve disputes in ways other than lawsuits.

 

Judges "Mere Machines"

Thomas Jefferson wrote that judges should be a “mere machine” – following the laws as written by lawmakers as long as they’re constitutional, which is a perfect lesson for today’s judiciary to avoid the traps of politics on the bench.

 

Know Your Judges

During election season, the often-overlooked candidates are judges, who play a pivotal role in shaping the law and our lives. Take the time to get to know the judges in your state before you go to the ballot box.

 

Judge As Juror?  Yes

A high-profile judge recently made news by serving on a jury, a good reminder that our civic duty says that anyone can – and should – serve when called to ensure representative jury pools.

 

Lawsuits:  "Last Resort, Not First"

The longest-serving state attorney general in U.S. history, Michigan’s Frank Kelly, famously said at his retirement, “There is too much litigation, which should be a last resort, not a first response.”

 

McGovern and Kemp Agree

During the 2012 political season, we remember a TV ad from a decade ago featuring liberal icon George McGovern and conservative hero Jack Kemp who share their mutual concern about the dangers of lawsuit abuse.

 

The Whole Tooth, Nothing But ...

Prisoner who came to prison with five teeth, loses another behind bars and sues – and appeals – as frivolous inmate lawsuits cost taxpayers $80 million a year just to defend.

 

Painless Needles:  Not in the U.S.

To avoid lawsuits that could put it out of business, the maker of a silicone-coated “painless” hypodermic needle won’t take the innovation to market.

 

"Open and Obvious" on Trial

Sitting on a hot bench in the Texas summer should be an obvious no-no without testing it first – or at least that’s what the old common law concept of “open and obvious danger” meant. Now a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys for alleged burns received from a sun-drenched marble bench may turn that on its head.

 

Golden Rule in Schools

Half of all U.S. teachers and administrators have either been sued or threatened with a lawsuit – so parents are now signing waivers as kids return to school, giving parents a “teaching moment” to show kids that there are better ways to resolve conflict.

 

Lawsuits:  90% Believe "A Major Problem"

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new national survey shows that 86 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans believe that lawsuit abuse is a major problem – showing that the word is getting out about the costly impact of America’s lawsuit culture.

 

Pillow Tags and Red Tape

Pillow tags are confusing and, it turns out, expensive, as Kerri Smith found out when she tried to sell her comfort pillow to other pregnant women – and the cost for complying with pillow tags in 15 states? $4000 – and nobody’s safer.

 

Doctor Shortage?  Two States

A tale of two states – NJ leaders fret over the loss of physicians due to high liability insurance costs, endangering healthcare access; in Texas, reforms have brought more docs and better access for all.

 

Buckyballs Fights Feds' Lawsuit

When a federal agency sued the wildly popular company, Buckyballs turned to the media to fight back – noting huge warning labels about dangers of swallowing parts.

 

Three Strikes on Little League Lawsuit

How many more strikes can the legal system take, as an 11-year old Little Leaguer is sued for big dollars because his errant throw struck a woman standing nearby – she and her lawyer weren’t satisfied with settlement offers from the insured League.

 

Iconic Company Driven Under by Lawsuits

America’s largest manufacturer of portable gas cans is going out of business and laying off 117 employees due to costly and frivolous lawsuits – tragic legacy for lawsuit-happy culture for an American iconic company that helped fuel American victory in WWII.

 

Can You Be Sued for Texting Someone?

Bob Dorigo Jones applauds a judge for doing the right thing in an unusual texting and driving lawsuit.

 

Defensive Medicine -- #1 Cost Driver

Defensive medicine adds as much as $126 billion to the cost of health care each year - and is missing from existing "affordable care" laws.

 

Health Care "Monster" -- Lawsuits!

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on national health care, it’s time to take a serious look at the biggest cost driver in American healthcare – lawsuits, which make access to quality healthcare an endangered species for millions due to costs.  The Affordable Healthcare Act doesn't address out-of-control liability for medical staff and institutions, a serious oversight that needs to be remedied or lawsuit abuse may bankrupt the system.

 

New Docs Face Likelihood of Lawsuits

As parents celebrate graduations, new graduates going into medicine face likelihood of lawsuits, according to the NE Journal of Medicine – and American healthcare will suffer.

 

Wacky Warning Labels 2012 Winners

The 15th annual Wacky Warning Labels™ Contest national winners are in…and they’re wackier than ever. Ever shave while sleeping? Or navigate using a decorative globe?

 

Bob Cassilly, In Memoriam

Bob Cassilly was a hero twice – once for saving a priceless Michelangelo masterpiece, and again for posting the names of law firms that sued the famous children’s museum in St. Louis he founded, for which he became a hero of the lawsuit reform cause.

 

High Winds and Warning Labels

Does a warning label really need to warn us not to secure ourselves against hurricanes with a towel that has small weights for beach use? Apparently so. A California woman sues a Rotary Club after falling down in a strong wind because the club's tent did NOT have a warning label.

 

2012 Wacky Warning Labels Contest

Wacky Warning Labels 2012! The 15th annual contest kicks off this week, pointing to the lawsuit epidemic that creates America’s “warning label culture.”

 

The ADA:  A Lawsuit Machine

Some laws become lawsuit machines, like the Americans with Disabilities Act in California, where 40 percent of all ADA lawsuits are filed – and now there’s bipartisan support for new laws limiting those costly lawsuits.

 

Community Action, Not Lawsuits

Legal synthetic marijuana poses huge threat to youth – community springs into action to make public aware when teen kills parent. Like MADD, grassroots action is often more effective than lawsuits and new laws.

 

Cyberbully Lawsuits

Cyberbullies beware – lawsuits will follow, like the 14-year old Georgia girl who wants others to know she is fighting back until laws are strengthened to better balance free speech against defamation.

 

May Cause Drowsiness!

Employers now can’t ask if employees are taking medications that cause drowsiness, thanks to a recent court win by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission – new dangers and lawsuits to follow!

 

Same Court Case, Different Rulings

Two federal judges issue different holdings in the same court challenge against NLRB “poster rule” – and now an appeals court overturns one, leaving further court action necessary.

 

Of Happy Meals and Lawsuits

A California lawsuit against McDonald’s is thrown out of court, but not before a year’s worth of bad press and costs that harm employers, investors, and do nothing to “improve” public health.

 

Internships Vanish Where Lawsuits Flourish

Internships give critical work experience on the way to a career. But employers, like TV's Charlie Rose and others, face growing number of lawsuits about internships and - as predicted - internships are no longer offered.

 

Never Promised a Rose Garden

A flower bed in front of a condo now costs thousands in legal fees, as the owner and condo association go at it in court– a trend that makes us less civil and more adversarial.

 

NLRB Poster Rule Ruling -- More Lawsuits?

A recent federal court decision on the NLRB so-called “poster rule” leave businesses scratching their heads and worried about a new round of frivolous lawsuits.

 

Girl Scouts -- 100 Years and Liability Costs

As the Girls Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary this month, 32,000 boxes of the famous cookies must be sold to pay for the liability insurance on the sale – and same for community groups across America!

 

California Lawsuit Lottery "Winner"?

The lawsuit lottery continues - a California jury awards $164 million for medical plaintiff and all but $4 million is for punitive damages and mental anguish, and patients pay that bill in higher costs.

 

Business Merger Lawsuit Mania

In 7 of 10 lawsuits challenging business mergers, shareholders get nothing, but lawyers get payday.

 

Sign Here, Then Kids Can Play

Parents signing waivers for play dates for their kids? A growing trend reflecting the sue first, ask later American lawsuit culture.

 

Beer Pong and Lawsuits

Beer pong means no dice for a drunk man who sues a pub after he strolls onto a highway – judge does right thing in dismissing claims in a victory for personal responsibility.

 

Lincoln's "Winners are Losers"

Lawsuit winners are nominal losers in wasted costs and time, said Abraham Lincoln in comments appropriate for today.

 

Email Disclaimers - Unnoticed, Unenforceable

Email disclaimers – the latest wacky warnings, which many lawyers believe are unenforceable; some are adding humor to the disclaimers to see if anyone notices – and they don’t.

 

How Many Prisoner Lawsuit Filings Are Free?

665 lawsuits filed by one prisoner in one year – and who pays for that? Taxpayers! Some states are cracking down – three lawsuits and the prisoner pays.

 

Convicts Robbing Taxpayers From Prison?

Prisoner lawsuits are clogging the courts with frivolous claims – too much time on their hands! 16 states are cracking down, but more need to follow.

 

What's the "Bike" Deal?

A woman sues a big toy store when a wheel falls off a store-assembled bike – rather than taking the matter to the store itself, raising prices and fostering the “lawsuit-happy” culture in the U.S.

 

Why Only One Percent of Lawsuits Go to Trial

New lawsuits are filed every two seconds in the U.S., and former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis calls that “too many and too costly” in her new must-read book, Rebuilding Justice.

 

Art Experts Sued Over Authentications

The new year brings threats of lawsuits against art experts who verify authentic works – leaving museums alarmed by potential impact on art world.

 

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