The West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse issued an April Fools Day press release asking West Virginians to guess which cases are bogus and which are real. The answers are below (no peeking!).
1. A Sissonville High School graduate sued claiming he is “unprepared for life.”
2. Medical records show that a Bridgeport radiologist, who was paid nearly $10 million by personal injury lawyers, examined 515 patients one day, more than one per minute.
3. A Southridge Center Sam’s Club customer outside of Charleston sued the retailer over a spider bite she sustained while eating grapes she bought at the store.
4. West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw settled a lawsuit for $10 million, but gave none of the money to the three plaintiffs in the case. Instead, he kept it for himself, essentially converting it into a political slush fund.
5. A patron in a Huntington McDonald’s sued the restaurant for $50,000 claiming her fall on a busted packet of ketchup led to “painful and extensive medical care and treatment.”
6. Personal injury lawyers presented “medical evidence” to a West Virginia court from a doctor who does not exist.
7. The mother of a 7-year old filed suit over a school playground splinter.
8. A man who lived and worked in Virginia and was injured on the job there sued in a West Virginia court, even though the machinery he was operating was made in Ohio.
9. A West Virginia personal injury lawyer collected a $143,000 fee in a lemon law lawsuit even though his client was awarded less than $8,000 by the court.
10. West Virginia has a “No Proof? No Problem!” standard in its courts whereby a lawsuit can be filed without any evidence of actual injury.
If you guessed that any of these cases are bogus, you’re wrong.
“While it is fun to challenge people to this contest,” remarked Steve Cohen, executive director of CALA, “the sad commentary on our legal system is that these lawsuits are all true.”
While CALA’s press release is creative, it is too true to be humorous. It would be one thing if frivolous lawsuits were thrown out as soon as they were filed, but many times the court lends credence and even decides in favor of asininities. The judicial branch has definitely aided in hurting the economic and social climate of our state.
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