“The 10 most ridiculous lawsuits of 2016”

The Chamber of Commerce’s picks for the honor include a Georgia jury’s finding a woman only 8 percent responsible for her $161,000 injuries as she walked into a ladder while texting on her cellphone, a student’s complaint that the College Board omitted from SAT scoring a section where a typo had led some students to get extra time, and a would-be class action against MasterCard for not pulling down a cancer-research promotion at once when the $30 million fundraising target had been met. [New York Post]


  • Lawsuits are public information. Stories like these, in which the authors always have an agenda and an incentive to embellish and spin, cannot be checked for accuracy unless the names of the parties, the court (or at least the city and state), and the docket number are published. For example, Smith v. Jones, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Docket No. 1234-2016. When scrutinized, they almost almost always contain inaccurate, deceptive, exaggerated, or just plain fabricated information.

    • If Chris has some objection to the reporting of the three linked cases — each was reported on by professionals who named the principals in publications of wide circulation — he or she should put up. Otherwise, I will read his or her charge of “inaccurate, deceptive, exaggerated, or just plain fabricated information” as mere bluster, on behalf of an “agenda” and “incentive to embellish and spin” that might well equal or exceed that of the Chamber, for all we know.

      • I look forward to Chris’s new blog notnearlyenoughlawyers.com, where he can counter Mr.Olson’s deceptive light-hearted end of the year blog posts.

  • My respects to Mr. Olson who runs an informative blog, produces well written books, and works with the Cato institute.

    This site hosts content that would seem to appeal to folks less credulous than typical blog readers. Such readers might wish to know that journalists had taken the time to review primary source material.

    My due diligence amounts to discerning whether the journalist has performed their journalistic level of due diligence. One measure of whether the journalist has vetted information for accuracy is to demonstrate that they have reviewed primary sources, which would be revealed to the reader by providing the link to the material.

    Mr. Coyle does note correctly that none of three linked articles contain additional primary source data. As such, I have a lower credulity for these articles than had they been more completely sourced.

  • The linked New York Post article gives their source for the list as the blog claimsjournal.com

    That source is affiliated with the blog “facesoflawsuitabuse.org.

    Within 10 seconds, one can come up with the original list and sources:


    It’s not that difficult to find or see what is happening.

    Too often we blame our laziness and lack of research on others. The New York post article should have been sufficient to serve as a starting point, not as an ending point or destination.

  • Well, of course all sources of information are biased and the bias of Overlawyered can be read in its name. Walter provides us stories that support his thesis that as a nation we resort to lawsuits to make some one else financially responsible for our personal failings. The way our country administers its laws, with at least occasional instances of “jackpot injustices” encourage individuals and particularly lawyers — who should be the guardians of the system — to act in a manner destructive to those of us who value self-reliance and using the brains that G*d gave an oyster.

    No one here will dispute the fact that there are injustices on the other side of the ledger, but that is not the purpose here, any more than we expect Mother Jones to offer us thoughtful essays on the good things that Ronald Reagan did. Walter offers us links to sources that permit us to judge those sources for ourselves. Vituperation indicates a complete lack of thought and effort — just the thing that Mr. Coyle complains about. Has he done the work to investigate the falsity of the claims made here? I doubt it, else he would have done the work that led to his contrary conclusions and documented how he had done it.

    Mr. Coyle is correct that relying on secondary or even tertiary sources is less accurate than doing the primary research. However, for some reason, his “You’re all so d**ned stupid method is unlikely to win friends or conversions.


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