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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/not-that-it-didnt-occur-on-occasion-but-like-30559363.aspx

Subject:  Re: Hot Coffee Date:  2/24/2013  1:32 PM
Author:  GardenStateFool Number:  418472 of 445583

Not that it didn't occur on occasion, but like voter fraud, it was extremely rare that a plaintiff would receive a massive award without justification.

But what is justification? There's one going on with Motrin right now. A child ended up with a horrible condition that will, yes, give her health problems for the rest of her life. They're awarding something like $63 million dollars because of "failure to adequately warn of the possibility of the issue."

However, the condition essentially amounts to an allergic reaction. And there have been allergy warnings on those products for pretty much ever.

And the problem was, the kid had an issue, they took her back to the doctor a couple of times. And the doctor told the family to keep giving her Motrin. And doctors are absolutely aware of allergy issues with ibuprofen.

And this isn't unique to Motrin, it's all ibuprofen. And the warnings are essentially identical on all ibuprofen products. It happened to be that Motrin, rather than Advil, was this family's ibuprofen of choice.

So, the child has an issue, causing her pain and fever. She's given Motrin. It gets worse. They take her back to the doctor, who prescribes more Motrin, and the child ends up in a horrifying spiral.

And the makers of Motrin are on the hook for $63 million dollars. Which will of course be taken to MORE courts.

Who's liable? Why? And I do mean that... why? Why not the doctor? Why not ALL makers of ibuprofen who don't have the warning?

Is this child in a horrible situation and her parents will be coping with it (as well as the child) for the rest of all of their lives? And are the healthcare bills insane? Absolutely, yes.

But $63 million?

I have a child with lots of allergies. I live in fear that at any time he could develop a new allergy to a previously well tolerated substance. And that substance could be anything.

If it's apples, do I get to sue Motts? How about the orchards that grew the fruit? Monsanto? I'm sure they have deep pockets. They must have something to do with apples!!!!

Where is the line between personal responsibility and not?

Was this the first time she'd ever gotten McDonald's coffee? The first time at that restaurant? Did she not know from any previous experience how hot their coffee was served?

I've been burned before. Actually, by coffee. From a restaurant. I had to go to the hospital and everything. I'm not minimizing her pain.

What I am wondering is why I don't have millions and millions of dollars because of it.

And when you look at it, people sue for a lot of things:

1) The cost of the litigation - legal costs are expensive
2) Healthcare costs. Huh. Maybe if we did something about those we wouldn't have so many problems?
3) Loss of income/loss due to the issue - okay. But if you add up time out of work, and even X years of lost income, etc., these awards are way more than people had in any lifetime.
4) Pain and suffering. And here's where things get expensive.

However, when the pain and suffering is caused by an entity with deep pockets, the awards get rather outsized.

I'm not saying the system isn't broken. It is.

But in so MANY ways that what you're talking about barely scratches the surface.

GSF
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