What Did You Watch? 2011-06-26 (Sunday)

TV Arts

webermpolarisnet
I watched:

THE SOUP.

FASHION POLICE.

MTV CHALLENGE: THE RIVALS:
In this incarnation of the Real World/Road Rules Challenges, the 
contestants are paired off with their worst enemies/rivals, forcing the 
morons to cooperate to win the prize. In the first ep, one of the 
douchebags is goaded into punching a fat black guy whose name I do not 
recall, but it looked more like a little girl's slap. As a result, he's 
escorted away from the Costa Rica home they're trashing. 

MY BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDING:
I watched a marathon of TLC's quasi-documentary on Gypsies and 
Travellers. Holy crap! What a bunch of tacky vulgar riff-raff!

BOB'S BURGERS
Bob moonlights as a cabi to raise money for Tina's 13th birthday party.

Burger of the day: 
•Olive and Let Die
•Thank Gawd It's Fried Eggs

M*A*S*H
"There is Nothing like a Nurse". The men must cope without the women
after they are forced to evacuate.

M*A*S*H
"Adam's Ribs". Hawkeye concocts an elaborate scheme to obtain ribs from 
his favorite Chicago restaurant.

FINDING BIGFOOT:
After watching the latest ep, I can now say I am over this show. They 
examined some intriguing pictures someone accidentally took of what 
could be a Sasquatch on a nearby moutain ridge, so they make Bobo pose 
and take pics. The pictures are practically identical to the originals 
but they declare them "inconclusive" without taking into consideration 
that the figure in the original pictures doesn't have a neck because the 
camera wasn't focused on him. Without missing a beat, they decide to 
camp out nearby for some nighttime hooting and hollering. At some point, 
two of the team report hearing "something like people talking" nearby 
and conclude it's a pair of Bigfoot because that's what they do, take 
long walks in the woods and talk to each other. They narrow their search 
by canvasing the locals at a town meeting (with an establishing shot of 
a big sign calling for people who have seen Bigfoot) and strangely 
enough, they ask who's seen Bigfoot. Surprisingly, not everyone raises 
his hand. Why did those people attend? They checked out a couple stories 
and triangulated a better place to hoot and holler for Bigfoot. Bah!  

CHEATERS

What did you watch?
                                            
Ken
LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL VINCENT-er INTENT.

Dawson Leery vs the Winklevosses over a ROMANTIC social network (gotta love 
the L&O twist of ripped from the headlines plot).

Considering the romance subject, it was obvious where they were going with 
Goren and the shrink--or Goren and Eames (after all, her husband was killed 
years ago).
                                            
Syvyn11
LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL VINCENT-er INTENT.

Dawson Leery vs the Winklevosses over a ROMANTIC social network (gotta love
the L&O twist of ripped from the headlines plot).

Considering the romance subject, it was obvious where they were going with
Goren and the shrink--or Goren and Eames (after all, her husband was killed
years ago).
                                            
Patty
I watched:

"Poirot: The Clocks." This one got awfully complicated. Good to see
Geoffrey Palmer, even though he was only in a few scenes. (It's an
amusing coincidence that there's a character named Hardcastle in
this story, although that isn't the character that Palmer played.)
The actress playing Miss Pebmarsh looked familiar; her name is Anna 
Massey and looking at her IMDb listing, I'd guess that I remember 
her from "The Machinist."

"True Blood." A lot happened in this first episode of the season.
Was I the only one who expected Jim Kirk to show up in that early
chase scene? I'm pretty sure it was filmed in one of the same
locations that "Star Trek" used a couple of times.

Spoilers ahead....






















So that's it for the fairies? If so, they sure dropped that storyline
quickly. 

Amusing seeing Hoyt and Jessica in their "the honeymoon is over" phase.
(Although I guess they haven't actually gotten married.) 

I hope they get Tara back to Bon Temps soon.

Why did those people kidnap Jason? Any theories? The show has certainly
done some excellent character development on him.

And then the two big bombshells: King Bill, and Eric's new house. Oh my...


Patty
                                            
Thanatos
Yep, definitely Vazquez Rocks.
                                            
Arthur
They looked demonic.


Were those new characters or the same people he was previously 
associating with?

Any theories? The show has certainly
                                            
Obveeus
For anyone looking to see more Fairies (especially Ian and Windowwasher), 
the series premiere (hey, that is what they are calling it) of WINX CLUB is 
on Nickelodeon tonight.  Several stars from Victorious will star as does the 
daughter on 'Castle'.
                                            
Arthur
It doesn't conflict with anything else on my DVR so I'll give this a 
look.  It's sandwiched right in between Teenwolf and Switched at Birth / 
Law and Order: CI.  So they'll be plenty of new material to watch tonight.

Also in case anyone is interested, there's a (I think) new Documentary 
on HBO tonight.  It's called "Hot Coffee" and about the Mc Donald's 
coffee case and tort reform.  It gives the other side of the case that 
you didn't hear from late night comedians making fun of the situation.
                                            
Ken
Does it finally focus on the fact that the woman won the lawsuit because it 
was NOT the first time McDonald had been sued and lost for making coffee far 
too hot?

That the award was punitive damages to McD's? Because while the woman bore 
responsibility for spilling the coffee on herself, the punishment should not 
be a 2nd (or 3rd) degree burns?
                                            
Arthur
Yes.  It also discusses a lot more than the Mc Donald's case like 
mandatory arbitration contracts, limits on jury verdicts and corporate 
financed judges.
                                            
Obveeus
Is that the case where the lady put a hot cup of coffee in her lap, took the 
lid off, and dumped it (accidentally) on her lap burning her genital area? 
Jury sees 'burned lady private parts vs. really rich company' and actual 
fault doesn't enter into it.  At best, she should have been held 50% at 
fault for her own actions.
                                            
Mason
You're the guy the documentary was made for.  Watch it, learn what
actually happened, and repost when you know the facts.
                                            
Obveeus
What fact is that?  Please, let me know.

The coffee was hotter than other places claim to have their coffee?  So 
what?  Seriously.  The coffee was not served at an unreasonable temperature. 
To believe otherwise is a matter of opinion, not 'fact'.
The fact that she got burned really bad because she dumped the coffee onto 
sensitive parts?  So what?  The plaintiff's negligence should not increase 
the defendant's penalty.
McDonalds didn't pay her off in pretrial?  So what?  Stupid on their part, 
sure, but not a reason for a lottery win in the end.

What facts do you believe I am unaware of?  Anything other than that I don't 
agree with the *opinion* as to the merits of 'punitive damages' that some 
others are working really hard to support?
                                            
Mason
No no.  It is a question of fact that the jury decided.


Actually it is, on a public policy level.  One of the reasons that the
courts (and voters) allow these ridiculous punitive damages is that,
without them, companies would deprive people they injure of fair
compensation.

In other words, it's completely the reason for the "lottery win".
                                            
Obveeus
In other words, it is exactly what is wrong with the current system, which 
is exactly what I am complaining about.  Ebb and flow of the tide, swing of 
the pendulum, whatever you want to call it, we are currently in a place 
where the 'lottery win' use of the court system has gone too far.
                                            
Mason
I don't think it's "what's wrong with the system".  I think that it's too
bad we have to use such a blunt instrument to stop corporations from
knowingly injuring and killing people.

If it were up to me, the corporate executives responsible for the decision
making would have done some jail time for reckless endangerment.  And a
number of executives at Ford and GM would have gone to prison for
manslaughter.
                                            
Arthur
Yes it is that case and if you watch the documentary, you'll see the 
jury did assign a percentage of fault to her.  The also show the 
pictures of the damage the coffee did.  They do a little segment of 
asking various people on the street who all claim to know the facts and 
describe the suit as frivolous then they discuss the actual facts of the 
case and what really happened.  They also discuss other cases and show 
how the media and politicians distort the facts to create a narrative.
                                            
Obveeus
So, she paid for at least half of her own medical bills?


That is exactly the kind of stuff that sways a jury to hand out a big $$$ 
award against the part with the deep pockets.  A fair award would have been 
to give her half her medical costs and no 'pain and suffering' lotto style 
win simply because she was accident prone to the point of dumping an entire 
cup of coffee into her lap and then sitting there in the hot puddle.  if she 
wants to claim she was seat belted in, then sue the car manufacturer for 
having seatbelts that restrained her from being able to get out of her own 
mess.


No doubt, if you go buy a Dominos pizza and sit in it, you will receive 
similar burns.  Should they serve their pizza at room temperature just in 
case you try to open the box and dump the entire thing into your lap?
                                            
David
She offered to settle for 20,000 dollars.  MacDonalds refused.  


She was 79 years old and quite arthritic.  The coffee soaked into her
sweat pants.  She had more burning on her upper thighs than her
buttocksBy the time she was physically capable of getting up and out
of the car and taking off her pants the damage was already done.  Are
you seriously thinking that she was just sitting there while her flesh
melted?  At 190 degrees, it takes no more than 7 seconds for the full
damage to be done.  Any longer than that and the coffee has cooled
from contact with the accident victim and her clothes to the point
where it won't do any more damage.  Just how fast do you imagine a
79-year old woman can get out of a car and take her pants off even if
the seat belt is unfastened?  


No, you won't.  Not even close.  Clothing would actually protect you
from contact with a pizza rather than making it worse.
                                            
Obveeus
That makes McDonald's stupid...but it does not mean that the jury's 
verdict/judgement was reasonable.  No doubt, what McDonalds was really 
trying to do is avoid a settlement that would have also 'required' them to 
dserve all their food at a lower temperature in the future or risk an even 
huger lawsuit down the road based upon the precedent of this case.


So McDonalds should avoid selling hot foods to old people?  Maybe they could 
have each person take a test before getting served to better ensure their 
capability of handling the meal?  Other than making for a better sob story, 
what does her age have to do with it?


So McDonalds should avoid selling hot foods to poorly dressed people?  How 
is it McDonald's fault that she wore clothing that retains liquid/heat?


Yep...and too old/feeble to handle a coffe cup goes a long way towards 
explaining why it took her more than 7 seconds to move away.  Thousands of 
people dump coffee on themselves every year and very few are so slow tp 
respond that they suffer severe burns. As I said, she took the lid off the 
cup and she dropped the cup of coffee in her lap.  She has to accept some of 
the blame and the jury *should* have assigned her blame...and as such, any 
judgement against McDonalds should have been set at less than the cost of 
her medical bills.


Again, do you expect McDonalds to refuse service to old people?  Her age 
and/or reaction time is not their fault.


Hot pizza sauce would soak right into the absorbent cotton sweat pants just 
as coffee does.  Coffee does not have any magical absorbing ability.
                                            
Mason
That doesn't happen.  A settlement is almost always confidential and
includes a statement denying that the defendant did anything wrong.

McDonalds had actually settled 700 of these cases, which is why they were
able to keep on serving coffee that they *knew* would cause third-degree
burns in a certain percentage of coffee service.

Only a verdict stops this kind of ongoing and predictable damage to
customers.


No.  McDonalds should have stopped selling food that it knew would cause
3d degree burns to a known % of coffee customers.


They did.  They assigned her 20% of the blame and cut her award by 20%.

If you disagree, fine.  Just make sure you read the entire transcript
before you start second-guessing them.
                                            
Obveeus
If that were *really* true, then the court would have awarded her l4ess than 
what her medical bills were, not many, many times more.


I do disagree...and I'm not going to change my mind and agree with you that 
punitive damages are a separate issue from what she was *really* awarded.
                                            
Mason
The ability of a physically injured plaintiff to recover damages for pain
and suffering is pretty much written in stone in the US.  I don't think
I've ever seen a verdict limited to medical bills.


Actually, punitive damages were reduced by the same 20%.  The court
eventually capped them at 3x actual damages.
                                            
Jeremy
They did. 

(You just proved Arthur's point.)
                                            
Obveeus
No, they didn't...at least not in any real way.  Assigning her a portion of 
the blame *in reality* would mean awarding her less money than the cost of 
her actual damages.


Not if you understand what assigning a portion of the blame should mean and 
have enough math skills to understand that the other portion has to be less 
than 100% as a result...rather than say 5000%.
                                            
Mason
Which they did.  They reduced her award by 20%.  Read the freaking facts.
                                            
Obveeus
Read the numbers next to the two dollar signs:  sum of medical bills and sum 
of amount awarded.
                                            
shawn
Actually that only applies if they were awarding only based on the
costs of her injuries. Because McDonald's had been sued many times
before due to this same issue with many other people being injured due
to the high temperature of their coffee the jury added in a penalty
reward which means that she got more money than just her costs. If
McDonald's hadn't been quite aware of the problem due to so many
previous injuries and the out of court settlements that they entered
into then they would likely have awarded her less than her medical
costs.
                                            
Thanatos
Yeah, but she shouldn't have. She should have received her costs, 
period. The punitive award should have gone to the state.
                                            
Obveeus
Which is as I said it should be, per the rest of this thread.  The punitive 
damage crap is what needs to be changed with the current legal system as it 
turns the whole process into a lottery style system.


The huge lottery style win was not because of prior cases, but because of 
the extra pitiful appeal of the client in this case.
                                            
David
The offer did not contain any such precondition, there was no huge
lawsuit prior to their refusal of the settlement offere, and there had
already been 700 claims quietly settled before they lowballed Mrs
Liebeck.  800 bucks off a 10,000 dollar hospital bill?  Seriously?  


<shrug>  That's one approach.  Another would be to to stop serving
them 40 degrees hotter than normal.  A third would just be to to go
ahead and pay the hospital bills when the inevitable happens.  Or
heck, they could just label them in a way that would be visible before
you empty the cup.  Bear in mind that their coffee was in fact much
hotter than anywhere else, so it wouldn't be reasonable for people to
just automatically know how much risk they were taking.
                                            
Arthur
Facts?

that sways a jury to hand out a big $$$

In the movie they discuss a case where a person is trapped in a phone 
booth and looses a leg as a result so they sue the phone company.  But 
when the "frivolous" lawsuit is described loss of leg or being trapped 
in the phone booth is not mentioned.  Only the absurdity of suing the 
phone company.  Anything can be made to sound absurd if you don't know 
the whole story especially if there's a party involved with a vested 
financial interest in distorting the events.



It the above statement is demonstratively false, would you change your 
opinion or does it not matter?  Seriously, if you bought a pizza and 
upon touching it, your finger melted off would suing Dominoes constitute 
a frivolous law suit?  Does it matter if the pizza is safe for human 
consumption?  Does it matter if Dominoes knew the pizza was not safe for 
human consumption when they sold it to you?  Does it matter if it 
happens to you vs. happens to someone else.


Should they serve their pizza at room temperature just in


This is the point of the movie.  You're making various claims and 
drawing false analogies about what happened without actually knowing 
what happened.  All most people knew about it were the misleading 
soundbites.

Interesting how the jury who actually heard all of the evidence is 
routinely dismissed out of hand by individuals who presumably don't know 
anything more about the case than on a stand-up routine.  One of the 
interesting comments they made is people are quick to want to strip 
juries of the ability to make findings of fact with regards to what is 
an appropriate monetary verdict but say nothing with regards to those 
same juries deciding whether or not to take a human life.

People are going to disagree about what is or isn't fair.  One of the 
main points of the movie is people are constantly making these judgments 
without actually knowing all the facts.  Moreover there are concerted 
efforts to make sure people don't know the facts.  It's an interesting 
movie best to watch it then decide what is or isn't fair about the 
various situations discussed.
                                            
Obveeus
Have you never had pizza before?  If you grab it right when you get it and 
take a big bite you will burn the skin on the roof of your mouth.  If you 
sat it the pizza and let that hot cheese/sauce stay against your genitalia 
for an extended period of time you would most definitely receive severe 
burns.

Once someone manages to accidentally drop an entire pizza into their lap and 
burn themselves, you will no doubt be ready to hand them hundreds of 
thousands of dollars for the company's clearly neglegent act of serving hot 
pizza.

 > Should they serve their pizza at room temperature just in

Um...ok...so I looked up the case (on wiki so feel free to correct its 
errors) and it seems that she did take the lid off the cup of coffee and 
dump the entire cup into her lap and then remain seated in the hot coffee 
until she received severe burns.  So, what part of my 'claims' was 
incorrect?


As a rule, the 'appropriate monetary verdict' will not equate with 'I won 
the lottery'.  The civil justice system needs some reform to limit the 
outrageous sums paid out for 'pain and suffering' and generally 'punitive 
damages'.


I'm pretty confident that I'm not going to think she got a 'fair' amount of 
money even after I watch the show because my opinion of these court cases 
transcends the specific sob story at hand.  Are you willing to accept that I 
have every right to disagree with you about what constitutes 'fair' just as 
you claim above?
                                            
Thanatos
Or at the very least, stop paying punitives to the plaintiff. Actual 
damages are supposed to compensate the plaintiff for their injury. 
That's all they should be entitled to.

The express purpose of punitives is to punish the defendant for its bad 
behavior. That money shouldn't go to the plaintiff. It should go to the 
state, to help pay for the massive cost to the court system that these 
lawsuits incur.

It would also have the added effect of making attorneys a bit more 
reluctant to file suit at the drop of a hat. Since the real big money 
usually comes from punitives, if it all went to the state, the pot of 
gold at the end of the rainbow wouldn't be there to tempt those lawyers 
to keep filing such questionable claims.
                                            
Mason
It's McDonald's own damn fault.  The woman originally asked McDonalds to
just pay for her skin grafts (6% of her body had third-degree burns) and
lost  pay from work, @ $40,000 total.  They offered her $800, so she got a
lawyer.

Let me tell you from long experience, if McDonalds got abused by the legal
system, it was only after it tried to screw the woman out of a fair
settlement by abusing the system itself.

McDonalds has the money to pay lawyers by the hour.  Your normal working
stiff doesn't, and not many lawyers can afford to take 1/3 of $40,000 as
their fee for taking a case like this to trial.  Hell, the expert witness
fees can run higher than that.

The fact is, McDonalds had had 700 prior settlements for third degree
burns suffered from its coffee.  It had statistics and made a business
decision that paying off such claims was cheaper than lowering the
temperature of the coffee.

That's what punitive damages really do.  They rebalance equations like
that.
                                            
Arthur
Agreed.

That being said, I had no idea recommending a documentary would cause 
this much debate.  That wasn't my intent when I recommended it.  As I 
mentioned a before, the movie actually addressed several different 
cases, not just the Hot Coffee one.  That wasn't even the most egregious 
case mentioned.  The documentary also discussed the corporate response 
throughout the country to limit people's ability to recover and the 
effect that's having.
                                            
Remysun
This is the downside to the What Did You Watch threads. When shows are
worthy of having their own thread, the discussion either gets cut up
or filed by the date someone watched it.

To me, Hot Coffee was more explosive, illuminating, and thought
provoking than a Michael Moore documentary. He picks obvious point of
views, and you're gonna agree or disagree based on who he is and who
you are. Meanwhile, Hot Coffee set itself out to take a point of view
the audience might not have originally agreed with, and does a
wonderful job of saying: Hey, you don't have all the facts.

They point to the media spin with the numbers being inaccurately
reported, how corporate America has been able to buy out the court
system with faceless negative campaign ads run by the "US Chamber of
Commerce" and other tactics, and sidestep every American's Seventh
Amendment right through "mandatory arbitration". They show how award
caps have merely limited the hit a corporation or insurance company
has to take, how minimal the touted rollback effect on insurance
premiums is (if you can even call it that), and how the victims or the
taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

Unfortunately, it doesn't present a solution; it only says that we
have to look more closely before we believe the hype we see and hear,
whether it's how ridiculous a civil case may seem, or the negative
campaign ads attacking a candidate.
                                            
Obveeus
That is good idea.  I have a feeling it would also cut down on the number of 
huge lottery style punitive damage awards because 'money to the state' 
doesn't have nearly the heartstrings pulling of 'that poor pathetic soul'.

And yes, lawyers would still take these cases because the opportunity to 
bill hundreds of hours of work at $500/hr against a judgement would still be 
financially worth it to the lawyers.


True, there would be fewer ambulance chasing nuisance lawsuits with lawyers 
living off the idea that settling frivolous/false claims is cheaper than 
taking them to trial.
                                            
David
And why would anyone pay them all that money to get nothing in return?
                                            
Thanatos
Why do lawyers take cases now when there's no possibility of punitives?
                                            
Mason
In run of the mill tort cases (e.g. car wrecks) the amount of work is very
small -- you don't have a lot of ambiguities in the law -- and you don't
need a lot of expensive expert testimony.

In cases with catastrophic actual damages, the juries award high amounts
of "pain and suffering", which ensure that the lawyers get paid and the
plaintiff still gets a decent amount.
                                            
David
Well I was interpreting what you were saying that you would also
preclude large awards for pain and suffering as well.  Was I wrong? it
seemed to me that your feeling was that the old lady deserved nothing
except partial coverage of her hospital expenses.  Apart from that,
lawyers don't take cases on contingency without the prospect of a big
win at all.  It just doesn't happen.  Now that can be a big pain and
suffering award or it come from formulating the case as a class action
suit (in which case the plaintiffs won't actually get more than the
800 bucks the company offered after the lawyers take their slice). But
a lawyer wouldn't and doesn't work a contingency case against a big
corporation without the prospect of a big enough award to make it
worth his while for the investment he's taking.  But I suppose they'd
still take one angry neighbour against another cases, and one big
corporation against another cases.
                                            
Thanatos
Only partially. I'd put a higher evidentiary burden on it. Actual pain 
and suffering. No multi-million-dollar awards for nebulous psychological 
trauma and a lot of that nonsense. But someone who lost a limb or 
something, sure.
                                            
Mason
These arguments also ignore another reality of practicing contingency law
for plaintiffs -- you can lose and get zip.
                                            
Obveeus
I don't understand your question.   How does getting paid $500/hr count as 
'getting nothing' for the lawyer?  How does a client getting the money to 
pay their actual damages/medical bills count as 'getting nothing' for the 
client?  Why does there have to be a million dollar bonus in it for either 
party to pursue legitimate cases?
                                            
David
They wouldn't get any money to pay to their actual damages and medical
bills because it would cost more to sue than the award would be.  And
that's if they won.  Which they wouldn't if they went up against a
corporation because they wouldn't have enough money to win.
                                            
Obveeus
You still aren't making any sense.
Scenario:

Delivery boy stumbles as he is walking up to a house to deliver their pizza.
The pizza flips out of the box and lands on the customer's feet causing 
severe burns.
The severe burns result in $20,000 in medical bills.
The pizza company doesn't want to pay it because they think the plaintiff is 
at fault for not wearing shoes and for not jumping out of the way quick 
enough.
Customer hires a lawyer at $500/hr and spends the next 3 years plugging 
slowly through our court's definition of the 'right to a speedy trial' and 
accumulates $60,000 in legal bills to a half dozen helpers (lawyers and paid 
expert witnesses).

A jury decides that the pizza company is in the wrong because they chose to 
deliver hot pizza to people's homes knowing full well that if the pizza was 
spilled onto a person it would result in injury.  So, the burned footed 
plaintiff gets his $20,000 in medical bills paid and the lawyers get their 
$60,000 in business.  Everyone gets money...except for the pizza company 
which, of course, passes on the added costs of these litigations to the 
customers.

What part of this are you having trouble with as a perfectly fair method of 
everyone getting paid?  BTW, before you complain about a lawyer not getting 
paid when he loses, just remember that it will *really* work like every 
other business where some customer's don't pay.  The lawyer will simply 
raise his hourly fee until it comes into a profitable balance between 
customers that don't pay and one's that do pay covering the costs for those 
non-paying customers.

Everyone gets paid and everyone that has been a victim will get the money 
they deserve.  What won't happen is for a few guys to get multi-millions 
while everyone else in America opens up their wallet to cover that cost 
through higher priced pizza/insurance.
                                            
David
Leaving the plaintiff 40,000 in the hole.  If he won.
                                            
Obveeus
Are you intentionally going out of your way to fail to understand?
Pizza place pays plaintiff $20,000 for medical bills.
Pizza place pays plaintiff's legal costs of $60,000.
                                            
Mason
You weren't real clear about that, to be honest.  This is actually how
they handle it in England, i.e. the loser pays both sides' attorneys'
fees.  But it hasn't and will not change in the US; the concept that each
side pays its own attorneys' fees is pretty firmly fixed.

There are exceptions.  Primarily, civil rights acts provide that a losing
*defendant* will pay for the plaintiff's attorneys' fees.

Also, vexatious and totally ridiculous litigation can result in an award
of attorneys' fees, but this is pretty rare.

Expert witness fees are a different matter, since they are "costs of
litigation" rather than "fees".  They are often awarded against a losing
party.
                                            
Thanatos
Yes, and the trial lawyers lobby like hell to keep it that way.

That doesn't mean changing it isn't a good idea.
                                            
Mason
Eh.  It's like socialized medicine.  There are plusses and minuses to both
sides.
                                            
David
Cool.  So then nobody would sue because they'd  lose money on the
deal.  After all, lawyers aren't free.
                                            
Thanatos
No, they could still take a case on contingency, they just wouldn't have 
the opportunity to rake in millions for a relatively small amount of 
work. Lawsuits aren't supposed to be a lottery win for either the 
plaintiffs or their lawyers. Plaintiffs are entitled to actual damages. 
whose purpose is to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries, not to 
enrich lawyers and give them an incentive to sue.

Punitives have an entirely different purpose-- to punish the defendant 
for intentionally reckless or negligent behavior and to protect society 
from similar future behavior by serving as a deterrent. Society should 
be the beneficiary of those awards, not the plaintiff.
                                            
David
If they suffered from terminal brain damage.  There wouldn't be any
chance of winning against a corporation because the necessary
resources just wouldn't be there for an attorney who only got his
expenses back if he won and nothing at all if he lost.  Only an idiot
would make a career out of such cases.
                                            
Thanatos
Doesn't change the fact that damage awards aren't purposed to make 
lawyers rich. The entire basis of the legal system is predicated on 
actual damages to the plaintiff to compensate for their injury. Not to 
give them enough money to make lawyers rich enough to take cases.
                                            
David
Right so the best thing to do is to abandon tort law anywhere outside
of small claims court.
                                            
Thanatos
Whether it's "the best thing to do" is irrelevant. The purpose of the 
legal system isn't to make lawyers rich enough to think suing is 
worthwhile.
                                            
Mason
That is, actually, not correct.  Courts almost uniformly take into account
the necessity of paying the plaintiffs' bar sufficient fees, to insure
that persons injured by corporations will have *realistic* access to the
courts.
                                            
Thanatos
I'm not saying it's not taken into account. I'm saying it's not the 
reason we have a legal system.
                                            
David
Apparently the legal system (at least the tort legal system) serves no
purpose at all.
                                            
Thanatos
Yeah, 'cause unless a lawyer can get 30% of a multi-million dollar 
award, there's no purpose at all.
                                            
David
OK, you tell me.  What's the purpose and how would it be achieved?
                                            
Arthur
I think there are probably very few people on this planet that eat more 
pizza than me.


If you grab it right when you get it and

You know that the pizza is hot and it will burn you.  No one is 
disputing that.  The situation at issue is what happens when you do 
*not* know because they make their pizza *different* than everyone else. 
  Or if the potential harm is different because they make their pizza 
differently.  So you bite into the pizza and instead of burning your 
mouth all your teeth fall out because they add an unadertised secret 
ingredient that no one else uses.  And despite the fact several hundred 
other people have had their teeth fall out they keep on doing it.  Now, 
on top of all of this, the fact your teeth fell out or they are adding 
this extra ingredient is never mentioned in the news stories.

And yes, it's possible for someone if they know this in advance to 
believe the company is not at fault.





I'm sure a lot of people believe that but I doubt if most of them can 
name a single real life case that they actually know all the facts about 
where that occurred.

One of the stories in the movie involved someone who needed millions of 
dollars in medical care for life.  The jury awarded just under 6 million 
to cover the actual medical expenses.  Thanks to caps, the verdict was 
reduced to I think a little over a hundred thousand.





Yes.  That's what I said above.  However, you apparently formed your 
opinion *before* you knew the facts.  Most people did which is the point 
I was making.  Of course it's entirely possible for people to agree or 
disagree about what's fair.  For some things facts don't matter to some 
people.  They form their opinion about certain situations and what 
really happened doesn't matter.  It's a matter of personal ideology. 
The movie is not going to change anyone's personal belief system and 
doesn't try to.

I can even see a situation or two where I could form an opinion using 
one set of facts and the discovery that the facts are different than I 
previously believed wouldn't change my opinion.  For example, if 
somebody someday finds a weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, I'm not 
going to suddenly think invading them was a good idea.
                                            
Obveeus
I don't even drink coffee and I know that it is hot....way too hot to drink 
when first served.  I would expect that pretty much everyone else old enough 
to drink coffee knows that as well.


This story has nothing to do with the McDonalds case, so how is it relevant 
to the discussion?

 >> I'm pretty confident that I'm not going to think she got a 'fair' amount 
of

Yes, I formed the opinion that people should not use the courts as a lottery 
system before knowing the specific facts of this case.  How does my learning 
that she claims that she *intentionally* took the lid of the cup of coffee 
so as to add sugar/creamer rather than she simply dropped the coffee into 
her lap and the lid came off change the facts of this case?  The 
gamesmanship over the temperature of the coffee or the lack of a warning on 
a cup to say 'contents hot, do not pour in your lap' don't change the facts 
of this case.
                                            
Arthur
No one is disputing that.  But the point I'm making that I'm either not 
making clear or you are intentionally choosing to ignore is the coffee 
was not served at *normal* temperature.  It was *hotter* than what every 
other coffee establishment served.  It's like if someone is explaining 
that a boxer hid a lead weight in the boxing glove and then beat his 
opponent to death and you keep insisting the opponent knew the risk of 
getting into the ring in the first place.



It has to do with the movie I'm discussing which addressed many 
different cases.


You again are ignoring that the company intentionally served it at a 
*hotter* temperature than other companies that serve coffee.

The

What is gamesnaship?  Either it was served at a safe temperature or it 
was not.  It's not about would she have been burned anyway.  It's did 
she receive injuries that she should not have received because the 
coffee was served at an unreasonably hot temperature.  Is there *any* 
temperature that's too hot?  200 degrees?  300?  Dissolves through the 
cup seconds after being poured in?  Nevermind that's retorical.  I'm 
trying to change your opinion.  You've made it clear the facts don't 
matter and that's fine.  There's no point in discussing this further.
                                            
Remysun
That's actually another HBO documentary, although it was actually hand
wraps soaked in plaster of paris creating a disability that took out
the career of the victim, driving him to commit suicide (or was it a
car crash?).
                                            
Thanatos
Yes, 300 degrees would be too hot, because it would be impossible to 
serve coffee that way, as it would boil and evaporate at 212 degrees.
                                            
Obveeus
Yes, you are.


Actually, you have made it clear that facts don't matter.
Also, you have contradicted your claim that other people should be allowed 
to disagree with your conclusion.


Agreed.
                                            
Thanatos
Funny how every time someone disagrees with that McDonald's verdict, 
they're accused of 'not knowing what really happened'.

It is actually possible to know what really happened and still think it 
was a stupid verdict.
                                            
David
9 times out of ten they don't.  


Which one?
                                            
Patty
Yes, they were bad fairies! Or at least, the ones in control were;
the others were just too zoned out to notice.

I was hoping that Sookie's grandfather could give her some hints
on being a fairy. Drat.




It's the same people he's been helping for a while, although 
I don't recall whether all of the actors in that scene have
been in the show previously. Anyone here remember? For example,
the lady who knocked him into the freezer; is she new?


Patty
                                            
Arthur
Was he even aware that he is part fairy?
                                            
Patty
[snip]



I assume so, since he was hanging around with them for several
hours [sic]. I suppose he could have just thought he was in
Limbo or something like that.


Patty
                                            
Anim8rFSK
What Did YOU Watch?

Ocean's Eleven (the remake).  Actually pretty good.  We were interested 
having watched the original a few weeks ago.  Quite a few WTF moments, 
like they never addressed the biggest concern they had during the 
initial planning - even if you get the money out of the casino you're 
still in the middle of the freaking desert.  Who was Matt Damon's 
father, and why was Damon wandering around the science lab?  Julia 
Roberts brought nothing to the table, and why was she credited as 
'introducing' when this was closer to the end of her career than the 
beginning?  And was that Don Cheadle doing the worst accent this side of 
Gates McMuffin and not being credited "at all"??
                                            
Anim8rFSK
I forgot to mention that this seemed to be the basis for not only LAS 
VEGAS with Jimmy Cann (who looked to have an uncredited cameo) but for a 
lot of the form of HU$TLE as well.