Thursday, June 21, 2012
Can I blame Al Gore for my weight gain?
Since 1969 when the California Supreme Court extended the theory of strict liability to any entity in the chain of distribution for a product, Americans have increasing looked for ways to blame someone else for their injuries or health problems. The civil court system has become clogged with frivolous lawsuits of more spurious natures with each year. I can assure you after having worked in the insurance claims business for more than 30 years, the creativity of the plaintiff's bar has continued to boggle any reasonable mind. The theories of liability and recovery become even more ludicrous with each passing year. The problem ( or if you are a plaintiff seeking to strike the lottery, the benefit) is that juries cannot be trusted to make reasoned and informed decisions because more often than not the below average Joes ( trust me - average Joes figure out how to avoid jury duty or are unceremoniously cut by one side or another) have lost all concept of what is reasonable or.....hope that if they are the in a similar position as the plaintiff, have the potential to hit the jackpot as well.
I kid you not.....I spoke to an attorney in New York City who told me a panelist on a mock jury actually thought an award of $1,000,000,000 ( One Billion Dollars) was reasonable pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case.
Hence, my assertion that I can blame Al Gore for my weight gain. Al Gore purports to have, if not invented, participated in legislation that expanded the Internet. The Internet spawned online shopping sites, which have made it simple to shop from the comfort of my arm chair or couch.
Before I was able to shop online, I went to the Mall, parked, walked from the parking lot or garage, and walked around the Mall from department store to department store to boutique seeking out various and sundry treasures. Yes, I am an avowed shopaholic. From my early 20's in Indianapolis when I trawled through Castleton Square, Lafayette Square, Glendale, Washington Square and wandered through the downtown shopping district, through my late 20's in suburban Dallas where I routinely investigated the offerings at the Galleria, North Park, or Collin Creek Malls, to my early 30's while I lived in Hong Kong walking from my high rise on the side of the Peak down the side of a mountain into Central, taking the Star Ferry to Kowloon where I walked up and down the Golden Mile, investigated the Temple Street Night Market, climbed the crooked street of Lan Kwai Fong, climbed the smelly back stairs in industrial districts looking for deals, through my late 30's and early 40's when I wandered through the suburban malls outside of Washington, DC at Tyson's Corner, Pentagon City, Lake Forest, or White Flint Mall in Rockville, Maryland... I maintained my weight and a svelte size 6 (probably in current vanity sizing a 2) .
Then, Al Gore either invented or promoted the Internet. I've lost all interest in driving to a shopping center, walking from store to store, and seeking out the perfect sale shoe, handbag, pair of earrings, cutting board, bath sheet, sweater, wine goblet, pair of jeans, suitcase, sewing machine, smoker, plant, gun, computer or book. No, I order EVERYTHING but vegetables and meat online. I did all of my Christmas shopping online the last few years. But for the Internet ( and Al Gore) I would be benefiting from a significant amount of additional physical activity / exercise and would be much thinner and healthier.
If one expands the theory of strict liability as the courts have been inclined to do over the last 43 years, then Al Gore and the development of the Internet are legally liable for my 20 extra pounds. Maybe I should sue him. What do you think?