Bob Dorigo Jones

CFA Senior Fellow

 

Let's Be Fair! Commentaries in 2013

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:  2014  2012  2011

 

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.

 

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