Gut Rumbles
 

August 17, 2005

litigation

I have a friend who once operated his own water treatment business. He knew his shit and he taught me most of what I know about boilers, heat exchangers, cooling towers, generators and turbines.

He started out working as an operator for the TVA when he was 18 years old. He stoked those big-ass, coal-fired units and then became interested in water treatment. He left the TVA and went to work for Deerborne (which I believe was absorbed by Nalco a few years ago) and became a Regional Manager. He handled a LOT of water treatment.

When he decided to start his own business, he quit his job and signed an agreement with Deerborne stating that he wouldn't steal any of their business for two years. He kept his end of that bargain.

At then end of that two-year period, he started calling on some old clients. Where I worked was one of them. We opened up one of the boilers for an annual inspection and found the tubes completely fouled with calcium deposits, so bad that we had to hire Haliburton (yeah--- the same people who are responsible for the War in Iraq) to chemically clean the sumbitch before we dared light a fire in it again.

We opened up another boiler and discovered the same thing. We fired Deerborne and hired my friend to handle our water treatment.

What did Deerborne do? They SUED THE SHIT out of him. They didn't have a legal leg to stand on, but that didn't stop them. They had lawyers just hanging around all over the place. Give 'em something to do.

This crap is what's wrong with our "justice" system today. After about four years, Deerborne dropped the ridiculous suit, but my friend was out nearly $50,000 in lawyer's fees by then. He had to pay to defend himself.

I believe that we need a "loser pays" legal system in this country. If you sue somebody (or send someone to trial) and you don't win, YOU pick up the tab for everything. Fuck this crap of being able to break someone by hauling them into court, whether they deserve to be there or not.

I read recently that Michael Jackson's legal bills are well over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. He has to pay that, even though the state couldn't convict him. That just ain't right in my mind.

Of course, I have a very poor opinion of our legal system. I've had to pay my ex-wife's attorney too many times.

Comments

Yeah, I'm with you there Rob. That would put a got-dam end to frivolous lawsuits wouldn't it.

Posted by: assrot on August 17, 2005 12:42 PM

Actually, done incorrectly it would act to stifle legitimate legal action as well, since the possibility of losing a legal case (We're Humungocorp, you sue us, we'll toss 3000 lawyers on you, and if you lose we'll Own your ass for the next 10 generations) will drive away such suits as well. The best system, alas involves a few more lawyers, but is basically to impliment a two tiered method where the first step involves a panel that determines if the suit is a legitimate grievance, if the panel says yes then things go ahead as normal. If the panel says no, then the case can still move forwards, but it becomes loser pays all legal costs. This worked rather well in New Mexico (Or Arizona, not sure which) with regards to medical torts for a while before the lawyers managed to get it killed.

Posted by: Mythilt on August 17, 2005 01:01 PM

Lawyers , Priests, and Politicians are three occupations that paid to lie.

Posted by: James Old Guy on August 17, 2005 01:36 PM

Mythilt is unfortunately correct. While "loser pays" seems like a good system, and would probably work to a certain degree on a civil basis, it removes an element of justice for the little guy. What is certain, is that we need tort reform now. We should cap punitive damage awards and make it so that when you do win, you collect. And when you lose, you have someting to lose. Frivolous law suits cost us all money. We all pay insurance premiums. The real problem is the system itself and the greed of those who litigate. Everyone who falls down or gets in a car accident thinks of it as winning the lottery and the plaintiff's bar helps promulgate that bs.

Posted by: Florida Bill on August 17, 2005 02:07 PM

""read recently that Michael Jackson's legal bills are well over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. He has to pay that, even though the state couldn't convict him.""

That don't mean the little peckerwood wasn't guilty.

He wasted more money on bullshit than you can ever dream of, 1$million is chicken scratch. If he didn't want to spend it he should of pleaded guilty--because he was/is and it would have saved taxpayer money too.

Find somebody else to feel sorry for.

Posted by: Ralph on August 17, 2005 02:11 PM

Ralph, your barfathon doesn't change the point of my post. Are you saying that our legal system should be used as a club to bludeon anyone you don't like? Guilty or not?

If so, fuck you, dude.

Posted by: Acidman on August 17, 2005 02:16 PM

Your post had a point?

Fuck me.

I thought it was just more vile, angry invective about nonsense floating in your head because you don't have enough dignity to get a job, a hobby, help somebody out.

Elvis, that half-ton drug addict, was a great showman but a minor talent. You didn't get the memo? It's all right with me if you want to idolize him. Lots of trailer trash white people do.

Hell, I hear he's alive even, living in a double-wide outside Barsto. You want to get all misty-eyed about his blubbery ass fell off the toilet into his butter fried peanut butter, honey & banana sandwich, it's okay with me.

Sort of takes the edge off the reality of your life don't it?

Now watch, Chablis the meter-wide sandpaper cunt will be here any minute now telling me what a worthless cunt I am. It don't take much to amuse you Rob. That's a good thing I guess.

Posted by: Ralph on August 17, 2005 02:33 PM

Gotdam acidman you can reel em in!

There sometimes is a way to recover legal costs by a countersuit. Business often do this, especially when it appears to be a bullshit law suit as the one you described. But, for the average Joe you have to find a lawyer willing to take the case on percentage.

Posted by: GUYK on August 17, 2005 03:54 PM

I forget who said this, but it resonates:

"All professions are conspiracies against the laity."

Posted by: Brett on August 17, 2005 04:32 PM

Me, I would like to take a page from Frank Herbert's science fiction. In one series, lawyers were very prestigious. The winning lawyer killed the loser in the courtroom right after the verdict. Lawsuits were few, and lawyers were fewer. :)

Posted by: tweell on August 17, 2005 05:49 PM

I wonder if Ralph is an ex priest, now a lawyer, getting ready to run for political orifice!!

Legalizing duels would negate a lot of litigation

Posted by: TomR on August 17, 2005 09:26 PM

Smif--

On Trolls . . .

Ralph obviously understands what it means to have too much time on his hands, since he has to spend twice your free time to come up with his witticisms in response, and still, say nothing . . .

Chablis? The top of her hat is missing, she has mis-spoken through it so many times, and the chap who toasted her about the brutal murder by British cops of Menezes nailed her type perfectly. Whatever her critic missed, she supplied perfectly in her response--which identified her as a part of the gene poll best left behind next generation. Even when wrong, she admitted she would have murdered an innocent. Chablis--you are seriously fucked up in the head when you will go so far to be right that you would kill someone the whole world knows was innocent--even the dumb-fucks that defended the murder. Shit, have you no shame? I think not. You should really shut your pie hole. You don't have the guts to be an honest troll, and you lack knowledge to be a critic about shit. You just run your mouth and imagine everyone should accept it as fact. Next to your usual dribble, the Emperor WAS wearing clothes!

Me.? I am Troll. Watch me roar and draw more readers. Sorry, Rob . . . just "tending bar," if ya know what I mean . . .

My point? Government caused this shit with litigation (yes, sports fans, every court is "government" and tells you what to do and how to live--just like politicians!), so to seek government redress is to ask the fox to guard the henhouse.

Solution?

Anarchy

(That ought to stir the termites contentedly chewing on the old petrifed political logs of the two-party joke/political system--sorta like: Choose your idiot!)

Anyyway, you wuz right agin t'nite, Dude!

Your only honest troll . . .

:-)

Posted by: jb on August 17, 2005 11:30 PM
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