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Weird Lawsuit May Save the Earth

Dan Bobinski
January 9, 2004 -- By Dan Bobinski

According to a recent article in Pittsburgh’s Tribune-Review, reporter Rich Cholodofsky tells us that a couple is suing Wal-Mart for injuries they claim were caused by canned goods and condiments that tumbled from an overfilled plastic grocery bag. 

The bag broke when the couple, Ronald and Brenda Sager, were unloading their groceries at home. Brenda suffered “cracked and damaged toenails” and also claims to have a broken foot and ligament damage from the incident. 

Brenda is suing Wal-Mart for $30,000. 

Ronald also decided to get in the game, and he’s suing them for an additional $30,000 because “during Brenda’s healing process, he was deprived of her comfort and her attention.” 

Puleeeze! Give me a break! Grow up, Sagers!! Take responsibility for your own actions. I don’t know what’s worse: The Sager’s victim-mentality, or the fact that a lawyer actually took this case. 

I wonder how the conversation went. Here’s my fictitious screenplay: 

Brenda: Ouch! &%$#@*& 
Ronald: What happened? 
Brenda: This stuff fell out of the bag and landed on my foot! It hurts like a son-of-gun! 
Ronald: We should sue the &%$#@*& 
Brenda: Why? 
Ronald: Because they overfilled the bag and didn’t think about what might happen. It’s ALL THEIR FAULT! 
Brenda: Great idea. Besides, they’re made of money. Everybody else is suing for no good reason. We should get a piece of the action. 
Ronald: Hey – you just gave me an idea. I think I’ll sue ’em, too. 

Next day’s phone call: 
Ronald Sager: We want to sue. 
Trial Lawyer: Not a problem. Let’s go for the gusto. The worst they can say is no. We’re not out anything if we try. 

According to Cholodofsky, “The Sagers contend Wal-Mart was at fault. The store, they claim, failed to properly instruct and train its employees to correctly bag products, negligently provided a defective bag, recklessly overpacked the bag by placing in it too many heavy items, failed to double- or triple-bag the purchases, and placed Brenda Sager in a ‘position of peril.’” 

Sidebar question: How does one “recklessly” overpack a bag? 

I need to dissect this for a moment: 

1. Ronald and Brenda put the groceries in their car while at the store. They saw an overfilled bag but did nothing. 

2. They got home and as they’re unloading their car, they again saw the overfilled bag and did nothing. 

What if the bag tore as Ronald and Brenda were loading it in their car? What if it tore as they were unloading it from their car? How can they prove in a court of law that a tear didn't occur after the bag was in the Sager's possession? In their lawsuit, the Sagers said Wal-Mart should have “made sure their bag didn't break.” How can Wal-Mart be responsible for possible Sager ineptness? 

It is amazing the lengths people will go to avoid responsibility and assign blame to others for their own careless actions. Additionally, this short-sighted self interest makes it more difficult for U.S. companies to produce and sell products competitively in the global market. 

If this case is not thrown out by a judge, I propose filing a counter suit. Let’s sue Ronald and Brenda Sager for failing to gather any common sense during their upbringing and therefore placing us all in a position of peril. 

Here’s how it works: 

Frivolous, asinine lawsuits raise prices because those wascally corporations certainly don’t absorb their legal fees – they pass legal fees on to consumers through higher prices. 

With higher prices the poor cannot afford to shop, so the government must give out more money and the minimum wage must be raised, which further burdens the US Taxpayer and again raises prices. The resulting economic slowdown could cause a nation-wide market collapse, all because people like Brenda Sager don’t use common sense. 

Yes, a lawsuit against the Sagers is vitally important to save us.  And if we follow Ronald Sager's lead, the Chinese should sue, too, because if the US economy collapses due to continued Sager-like ineptness and eternal victimhood, the Chinese would be deprived of our economic attention and their comfort would be negatively affected. Before you know it, the earth would be in total chaos. ($30,000 for each lawsuit ought to do it.) 

You may think this is a weird idea for a lawsuit, but you know what’s really scary? I bet I could find a lawyer to take the case and argue with a straight face that it could save the world. 

© 2004 Dan Bobinski / Leadership Development. You may freely forward this information on condition that you send the text as an integral whole along with complete information about its author, date, and source.
Dan Bobinski is President of Leadership Development. He can be reached at (208) 375-7606 or by Email at dan@leadershipanswers.com.


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