That Hot Coffee Case

Last night I definitely had some strong questions around the value of punitive damages with regards to psychological and emotional distress. I think it is much more common to blame frivolous lawsuits for their deleterious effect on society. While this video arguably gives more credit to the lawsuit for changing behavior than it deserves, it does highlight that even the most famous example of these suits are largely completely misunderstood.

By some bizarre form of luck, I have had the unique opportunity to sit on a number of juries. One thing has become extremely clear to me in this limited experience with the US courts, absolutely everything that happens in those rooms is incredibly well thought out. The number of discussions that transpire before something ever reaches trial is mind boggling. I really don’t think frivolous lawsuits are much of a thing, and when they do happen it would make most sense to be at the hands of the absolute wealthiest individuals and corporations.

People gasp about how much everything costs when you are getting married. A personal injury case will probably cost about the same, and a larger case such as one against a hospital will likely cost you much, much more. It is simply not feasible for almost anyone to drag something through court if there is not a very legitimate dispute.