A Fresh Perspective
By Michelle Berry
It amazes me nowadays what types of things people will file lawsuits about in this day and time. What amazes me the cost is just how petty some of these lawsuits actually are.
An organization known as the Texans For Lawsuit Abuse has a list of some of the most outrageous lawsuits ever filed on its web site. As I scoured the list, I honestly had to shake my head at some of the craziness surrounding them.
•Apparently, a Hilton hotel guest didn’t like the fact that he was charged for reading USA Today. The newspaper was left outside his hotel door by staff. Rodney Harmon, the guest in question, did read the paper, and was unpleasantly surprised by the fact that he was charged 75 cents to do so.
Many hotels across the United States provide this newspaper for free, and Harmon assumed his hotel would do the same. However, when he received his hotel bill, he discovered the charge and concluded that he was deceived by trickery.
In July of this year, Harmon decided to file a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Calif., accusing Hilton of deliberately hiding the newspaper charge by describing the fee in “an extremely small font which is difficult to notice or read.” He did so with the belief that it would be on behalf of all Hilton customers who might have fallen into such trickery. Oh, perish the thought!
Call me crazy, but 75 cents out of my pocket is not a lot of money. Plus, even if I wasn’t aware of the fact I had to pay to read the paper, it probably wouldn’t cause me emotional distress once I found out!
•The restaurant Chuck E. Cheese is responsible for causing children to start gambling? Apparently, one California mother thinks so.
The Chuck E. Cheese franchise, based out of Dallas, prides itself on being a place “where a kid can be a kid.” However, California mom Debbie Keller believes kids might actually be at risk of developing serious gambling problems. She is suing the company for that very reason.
The lawsuit, totaling five million dollars, said the games intended for kids are really illegal gambling devices.
Personally, I think Chuck E. Cheese didn’t spend sitting around thinking of ways it could turn children into gamblers. But, that’s just my opinion....
•There is a couple out of Michigan who is actually spending their retirement in search of lawsuits. Yes, you read that correctly.
Recently, a newspaper out of Indiana ran an article on class action lawsuits against ATM fees. Such suits have won up to $2.5 million for trial lawyers.
Retirees Nancy Kinder and Ray Harrison are known for going around the entire country looking for ATMs with unmarked fees, withdrawing a small amount of money, and then filing a large lawsuit. Can we say MISUSE in big letters?
•A northeast Ohio man didn’t participate in a lottery drawing that the rest of his co-workers won. However, he still feels he is entitled to some of the money when all is said and done.
Edward Hairston filed a lawsuit in common pleas court when his colleagues at a Kraftmaid store hit the jackpot back in August after buying the winning tickets at a gas station.
Apparently, he had taken part in the office lottery pool for eight years, but stopped paying into it when he missed work this summer due to a back injury.
Customers were interviewed at the store where the ticket was purchased, and do not believe Hairston should be entitled to any of the money.
In this instance, I have to say I agree. I sympathize with the man for hurting his back, but if he hadn’t been paying into the pot for several months, what makes him think he is entitled to that money?
It saddens me how people think lawsuits are quick fixes to problems like these. There are times when they are necessary, but not when you have to pay to read a newspaper or because you think your children might pick up gambling habits from a children’s restaurant. Just something to think about.....