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As John says, most of the ridiculous cases tend to lack case numbers
and jurisdictions - no way to verify the facts. That tends to raise a
in my cynical mind. Especially when the existence of rumors of this
type is beneficial to at least four large, well networked, industries.
While I'm sure no politician ever made up a case to grab a few votes,
no insurance agent never made up a horror story to close a sale, no
lawyer made one up while browsing for retainers, and no journalist
ever made one up to meet a deadline, just about anybody who tells
a story tends to be a little hazy on some of the details, and a
successful storyteller errs on the side of drama.
I'd also like to point out that the supposed victims of the horror
stories (like McDonalds in the hot coffee case) almost always ask
for, and get, gag orders.
From: John Gear[SMTP:catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM]
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 1996 11:52 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list TEC
>I heard about a similarly ridiculous case about a guy who chose to trim
>his hedges--with his lawnmower!
I've heard these and many others--but never from anyone who knew anyone
involved or who could provide documentation. Just like I've heard the
Neiman-Marcus $250 cookie recipe, alligators in the sewers, and
puppies. I would certainly like to read the decision regarding the guy
ran in the refrigerator race. I'd bet a cookie that there's more than
If anyone tries to make you turn a usable document into warning-littered
sludge ask them to cite the specific court decision that (they think)
requires such asinine things. And then don't hold your breath.
The "outrageous" cases that make the press (like the McDonald's hot
in the lap) always have a lot more too them than can fit into a 7 second
newsbite or 30 second story. I have yet to find a case where the
didn't make a lot more sense when you looked into it further (such as
reading the decision, which is now easier than ever).
John Gear (catalyst -at- pacifier -dot- com)
The Bill of Rights -- The ORIGINAL Contract with America
Beware of Imitations. Accept No Substitutes. Insist on the Genuine