Consumers strike back.

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<http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1293&e=5&u=/nm/20040528
/bs_nm/telecoms_att_lawsuit_dc&sid=95573419>

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two California women have sued AT&T Wireless
Services Inc. (NYSE:AWE - news), claiming the cellphone company got too
big too fast and let the quality of its service slip.


This could be an interesting case, as if it succeeds (or appears that it
might), many more suits for other carriers in other areas where they
oversold their service could result.
 
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"Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote in message
news:rmarkoff-1CB7ED.05261730052004@news05.east.earthlink.net...
> <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1293&e=5&u=/nm/20040528
> /bs_nm/telecoms_att_lawsuit_dc&sid=95573419>
>
> LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two California women have sued AT&T Wireless
> Services Inc. (NYSE:AWE - news), claiming the cellphone company got too
> big too fast and let the quality of its service slip.
>
>
> This could be an interesting case, as if it succeeds (or appears that it
> might), many more suits for other carriers in other areas where they
> oversold their service could result.

You sure have a knack these days of pointing out the most frivolous of
lawsuits and regulations. This is about the most ridiculous yet. The next
thing will be seeing is a lawsuit over the inability of carriers to provide
blanket coverage across the country, or one that claims that someone was
financially harmed because their phone was disconnected for non-payment.

It would seem that cellular service in the State of California might get
very expensive for everyone, if this type of stupidity is allowed to
continue. Here is a case of everyone in the state (not just cellular users)
having to pay for the inability of the government to draw a line in the
sand.
 

Eric

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rmarkoff@faq.city (Røbert M.) wrote:
> LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two California
> women have sued AT&T Wireless Services
> Inc. (NYSE:AWE - news), claiming the
> cellphone company got too big too fast and
> let the quality of its service slip.

Interesting, and it could be an interesting case. But I think it sounds
too close to a baseless lawsuit... and I hope that it doesn't become a
regular occurance. If everyone would sue their prospective cellular
carrier, than the carriers would be paying out too much money in
lawsuits, and thus would never be able to use money to expand or improve
their networks.

I guess I just get tired of reading about lawsuits where someone sues
McDonald's because it made them fat, or a burgular sues a homeowner
because he got injured on the property as he was breaking in.

Eric
 

jeff

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"Scott Stephenson" wrote:
>
> "Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote:
> news:rmarkoff-1CB7ED.05261730052004@news05.east.earthlink.net...
> >
<http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1293&e=5&u=/nm/20040528
> > /bs_nm/telecoms_att_lawsuit_dc&sid=95573419>
> >
> > LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two California women have sued AT&T Wireless
> > Services Inc. (NYSE:AWE - news), claiming the cellphone company got too
> > big too fast and let the quality of its service slip.
> >
> >
> > This could be an interesting case, as if it succeeds (or appears that it
> > might), many more suits for other carriers in other areas where they
> > oversold their service could result.
>
> You sure have a knack these days of pointing out the most frivolous of
> lawsuits and regulations. This is about the most ridiculous yet. The
next
> thing will be seeing is a lawsuit over the inability of carriers to
provide
> blanket coverage across the country, or one that claims that someone was
> financially harmed because their phone was disconnected for non-payment.
>
> It would seem that cellular service in the State of California might get
> very expensive for everyone, if this type of stupidity is allowed to
> continue. Here is a case of everyone in the state (not just cellular
users)
> having to pay for the inability of the government to draw a line in the
> sand.
>
I don't think this lawsuit is as ridiculous as it might seem, and there is
precedent for this type of suit succeeding. As I see it, the basic issue is
a contractual one....what did AT&T Wireless contract to do for its
customers, and was it able to deliver on its contract even with the
expansion of service? I think the courts would be willing to overlook a
relatively brief "blip" in service if AT&T worked hard to correct the
problems and if the disruption of service couldn't have reasonably been
anticipated. I remember several years ago, when AOL changed from an hourly
fee structure to a flat-fee unlimited use strucure, the infamous "AOL busy
signals" began. Not only did AOL not rush out more modems and phone lines to
handle the increased usage, they decided to place limitations on the
supposedly "unlimited usage" plans (e.g., automatic logoffs after X minutes
of no activity, no "unlimited access" during peak usage times). One (or
more) lawsuit was filed because AOL had basically breached its contract with
its customers to provide unlimited access for its flat-rate fee customers.
If my memory is correct, the lawsuits were classified as class action, and
AOL ended up refunding a portion of each customer's monthly subscription
fee. AOL also made massive changes to its user agreement and Terms of
Service to protect itself against future lawsuits (e.g., defining
"unlimited" as "unlimited, except that we can't guarantee that it's actually
unlimited"). AOL should have anticipated that changing to a flat-rate fee
structure would result in tremendous increases in usage. And, even if it had
miscalculated, it should have started working immediately to improve access
rather than trying to force people offline. Corporations have a
responsibility to their customers, not just to their shareholders, and
sometimes it takes lawsuits like these to reacquaint them with that
responsibility.

Jeff
 
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"Jeff" <jpburk@nospam.att.net> wrote in message
news:9Kouc.11254$_k3.263024@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
>
> "Scott Stephenson" wrote:
> >
> > "Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote:
> > news:rmarkoff-1CB7ED.05261730052004@news05.east.earthlink.net...
> > >
> <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1293&e=5&u=/nm/20040528
> > > /bs_nm/telecoms_att_lawsuit_dc&sid=95573419>
> > >
> > > LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two California women have sued AT&T Wireless
> > > Services Inc. (NYSE:AWE - news), claiming the cellphone company got
too
> > > big too fast and let the quality of its service slip.
> > >
> > >
> > > This could be an interesting case, as if it succeeds (or appears that
it
> > > might), many more suits for other carriers in other areas where they
> > > oversold their service could result.
> >
> > You sure have a knack these days of pointing out the most frivolous of
> > lawsuits and regulations. This is about the most ridiculous yet. The
> next
> > thing will be seeing is a lawsuit over the inability of carriers to
> provide
> > blanket coverage across the country, or one that claims that someone was
> > financially harmed because their phone was disconnected for non-payment.
> >
> > It would seem that cellular service in the State of California might get
> > very expensive for everyone, if this type of stupidity is allowed to
> > continue. Here is a case of everyone in the state (not just cellular
> users)
> > having to pay for the inability of the government to draw a line in the
> > sand.
> >
> I don't think this lawsuit is as ridiculous as it might seem, and there is
> precedent for this type of suit succeeding. As I see it, the basic issue
is
> a contractual one....what did AT&T Wireless contract to do for its
> customers, and was it able to deliver on its contract even with the
> expansion of service? I think the courts would be willing to overlook a
> relatively brief "blip" in service if AT&T worked hard to correct the
> problems and if the disruption of service couldn't have reasonably been
> anticipated. I remember several years ago, when AOL changed from an hourly
> fee structure to a flat-fee unlimited use strucure, the infamous "AOL busy
> signals" began. Not only did AOL not rush out more modems and phone lines
to
> handle the increased usage, they decided to place limitations on the
> supposedly "unlimited usage" plans (e.g., automatic logoffs after X
minutes
> of no activity, no "unlimited access" during peak usage times). One (or
> more) lawsuit was filed because AOL had basically breached its contract
with
> its customers to provide unlimited access for its flat-rate fee customers.
> If my memory is correct, the lawsuits were classified as class action, and
> AOL ended up refunding a portion of each customer's monthly subscription
> fee. AOL also made massive changes to its user agreement and Terms of
> Service to protect itself against future lawsuits (e.g., defining
> "unlimited" as "unlimited, except that we can't guarantee that it's
actually
> unlimited"). AOL should have anticipated that changing to a flat-rate fee
> structure would result in tremendous increases in usage. And, even if it
had
> miscalculated, it should have started working immediately to improve
access
> rather than trying to force people offline. Corporations have a
> responsibility to their customers, not just to their shareholders, and
> sometimes it takes lawsuits like these to reacquaint them with that
> responsibility.
>

You're comapring apples to oranges. AOL made a dramatic change to their TOS
by offering unlimited acces, and then violated their own terms by putting
restrictions in place after the fact. ATTW has not done anything close to
that.

In this lawsuit against ATTW, it is being requested that the courts
establish what a reasonable amount of growth is for a company, which is
completely laughable given the flat growth and subscriber decrease ATTW has
shown over the last year. And proving service degradation that is due to
the actions of ATTW is going to be almost impossible to prove. Is the
service wrose because of construction and growth by third parties that
interfere with service quality? If so, how is the company liable? Is there
a clause in the TOS that guarantees service to continue when outside
influences have an effect on coverage? Does the TOS guarantee blanket
coverage, regardless of influences outside of the company's control?

With this logic, television stations would have been exposed to the very
same types of lawsuits before the advent of cable. Service did degrade due
to a number of situations outside of the station's control back in the day.
And I guess I can sure the developer of the new neighborhood that gets in
the way of my view of mountains. I'll sue the city as well, because they
have grown too quick and degraded the quality of my surroundings. Sound
stupid? Of course it does, but no more stupid that what has been filed in
California.
 
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In article <9Kouc.11254$_k3.263024@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"Jeff" <jpburk@nospam.att.net> wrote:

> I don't think this lawsuit is as ridiculous as it might seem, and there is
> precedent for this type of suit succeeding. As I see it, the basic issue is
> a contractual one....what did AT&T Wireless contract to do for its
> customers, and was it able to deliver on its contract even with the
> expansion of service? I think the courts would be willing to overlook a
> relatively brief "blip" in service if AT&T worked hard to correct the
> problems and if the disruption of service couldn't have reasonably been
> anticipated. I remember several years ago, when AOL changed from an hourly
> fee structure to a flat-fee unlimited use strucure, the infamous "AOL busy
> signals" began. Not only did AOL not rush out more modems and phone lines to
> handle the increased usage, they decided to place limitations on the
> supposedly "unlimited usage" plans (e.g., automatic logoffs after X minutes
> of no activity, no "unlimited access" during peak usage times). One (or
> more) lawsuit was filed because AOL had basically breached its contract with
> its customers to provide unlimited access for its flat-rate fee customers.
> If my memory is correct, the lawsuits were classified as class action, and
> AOL ended up refunding a portion of each customer's monthly subscription
> fee. AOL also made massive changes to its user agreement and Terms of
> Service to protect itself against future lawsuits (e.g., defining
> "unlimited" as "unlimited, except that we can't guarantee that it's actually
> unlimited"). AOL should have anticipated that changing to a flat-rate fee
> structure would result in tremendous increases in usage. And, even if it had
> miscalculated, it should have started working immediately to improve access
> rather than trying to force people offline. Corporations have a
> responsibility to their customers, not just to their shareholders, and
> sometimes it takes lawsuits like these to reacquaint them with that
> responsibility.
>
> Jeff

The basic common law principle involved is fitness for purpose. AT&T (or
other cellular carriers) sell you a pehone with the implied warranty
that its usable. They have your home address, they shouldnt sell you a
phone if you cant get service. They typically are not allowed to hold
you to q contract for service when they can not provide the service.
Thats what the lawsuit is all about. From where I sit its a slam dunk
for the plaintiffs, and if Cellular Carriers had their feet held to the
fire, maybe they'd provide the services they promise, rather than play
the lame "It'll cost extra" card when they are forced to keep their
promise.
 
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"Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote in message
news:rmarkoff-EF758F.13463530052004@news03.east.earthlink.net...
>
> The basic common law principle involved is fitness for purpose. AT&T (or
> other cellular carriers) sell you a pehone with the implied warranty
> that its usable. They have your home address, they shouldnt sell you a
> phone if you cant get service. They typically are not allowed to hold
> you to q contract for service when they can not provide the service.
> Thats what the lawsuit is all about. From where I sit its a slam dunk
> for the plaintiffs, and if Cellular Carriers had their feet held to the
> fire, maybe they'd provide the services they promise, rather than play
> the lame "It'll cost extra" card when they are forced to keep their
> promise.

Funny- my cell company has my home address, and technically, I fall outside
their coverage. But, I don't use it at home. Are you saying that they
shouldn't seel to those who live outside their coverage area?

Fitness of purpose means something much different than a blanket guarantee
of service. You are given a chance to try the service, and if it suits your
purposes during that trial period, you accept the terms of agreement. The
cellular company is not responsible to provide blanket coverage, and is not
responsible for actions of others that affect the quality of coverage. This
is something you have never addressed.

Your 'slam dunk' is anything but that, and is something you probably
shouldn't wish for. Imagine if somebody could walk into court and sue the
company you work for, saying that the business had grown too quick. If this
lawsuit is allowed to trial, what basis would you expect the court to use to
detrmine this aspect of the complaint? And wouldn't the decision apply to
all businesses doing business in California- if you grow faster than the
court determined ATTW should have, wouldn't you be open to the same type of
lawsuit?
 
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In article <25799-40B9F776-36@storefull-3238.bay.webtv.net>,
caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:

> Interesting, and it could be an interesting case. But I think it sounds
> too close to a baseless lawsuit... and I hope that it doesn't become a
> regular occurance. If everyone would sue their prospective cellular
> carrier, than the carriers would be paying out too much money in
> lawsuits, and thus would never be able to use money to expand or improve
> their networks.

The Carriers would win the lawsuits IF they were providing service as
contracted.
 
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"Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote in message
news:rmarkoff-759D4D.13471730052004@news03.east.earthlink.net...
> In article <25799-40B9F776-36@storefull-3238.bay.webtv.net>,
> caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:
>
> > Interesting, and it could be an interesting case. But I think it sounds
> > too close to a baseless lawsuit... and I hope that it doesn't become a
> > regular occurance. If everyone would sue their prospective cellular
> > carrier, than the carriers would be paying out too much money in
> > lawsuits, and thus would never be able to use money to expand or improve
> > their networks.
>
> The Carriers would win the lawsuits IF they were providing service as
> contracted.

They are- you need to read the Service Agreements.
 
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In article <25799-40B9F776-36@storefull-3238.bay.webtv.net>,
caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:

> I guess I just get tired of reading about lawsuits where someone sues
> McDonald's because it made them fat, or a burgular sues a homeowner
> because he got injured on the property as he was breaking in.

Wrong analogy. How about every other burger has no meat in it, and
McDonalds shrugs its shoulders, and said

"Well you came at a busy time of day, but you still pay regardless of
whether you got meat". Thats what cellular carriers are doing when
service is oversold.
 

Eric

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(Røbert M.) wrote:
> How about every other burger has no meat in
> it, and McDonalds shrugs its shoulders, and
> said
> "Well you came at a busy time of day, but you
> still pay regardless of whether you got meat".
> Thats what cellular carriers are doing when
> service is oversold.

Yeah you're right, but I wasn't using my McDonald's comment as a real
analogy. I was just stating that there are so many lawsuits going
around... and they are getting more and more ridiculous... that any
lawsuit that is "iffy" like this one, will get compared to other
frivilous ones and not given a chance to play out fairly.

Eric
 
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In article <10230-40BA763B-30@storefull-3236.bay.webtv.net>,
caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:

> (Røbert M.) wrote:
> > How about every other burger has no meat in
> > it, and McDonalds shrugs its shoulders, and
> > said
> > "Well you came at a busy time of day, but you
> > still pay regardless of whether you got meat".
> > Thats what cellular carriers are doing when
> > service is oversold.
>
> Yeah you're right, but I wasn't using my McDonald's comment as a real
> analogy. I was just stating that there are so many lawsuits going
> around... and they are getting more and more ridiculous.

Sorry, I disagree 100%. The ones that are truly ridiculous get thrown
out of court; the ones that are played up as ridiculous, (i.e. the lady
that got a big settlement cause she spilled McDonalds' coffee on herself
omit crucial information - That McDonalds and only that McDonalds
insisting on selling 190 degree coffee, when EVERY other McDonalds sold
170 degree coffee, and then McDonalds refused to even cover her medical
bills, and their expert witness was awful; and her settlement got
reduced on appeal) often are quite good.

Our legal system makes businesses keep their promises (real and
implied), and is part of what makes America GREAT.

Those that want to play up rare excess of our legal system should go to:

http://www.overlawyered.com
 

Eric

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rmarkoff@faq.city (Røbert M.)
> Sorry, I disagree 100%. The ones that are
> truly ridiculous get thrown out of court; the
> ones that are played up as ridiculous, often
> are quite good.

What do you think about the lawsuits where a burgular sues a homeowner
because he was injured on the property of the house he was breaking
into? Or the people who are suing McDonald's and other fast food chains
for making them fat? I know there are several instances where the
burgular won his case, often winning thousands of dollars from the
people he was trying to rob... that is pretty ridiculous, and that
wasn't thrown out of court don't you agree?

But back to the topic at hand... I think that if coverage is promised,
or was once strong, and then drops off... I don't know if that is proper
basis for a lawsuit... it could be. It is certainly proper basis to get
out of your contract without penalty. I just think too many of these
cases will hurt the cellular industry rather than help it.

Eric
 
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"R?bert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote:
> 170 degree coffee, and then McDonalds refused to even cover her medical
> bills, and their expert witness was awful; and her settlement got
> reduced on appeal) often are quite good.

Why does it not surprise me that you didn't think that lawsuit was frivolous...

If the woman hadn't been driving with the cup between her legs it's a lot
less likely she'd have had a problem... Sorry, it's not McD's fault she's
a flaming idiot.

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"Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote in message
news:rmarkoff-64AE9A.06125231052004@news03.east.earthlink.net...
> In article <10230-40BA763B-30@storefull-3236.bay.webtv.net>,
> caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:
>
> > (Røbert M.) wrote:
> > > How about every other burger has no meat in
> > > it, and McDonalds shrugs its shoulders, and
> > > said
> > > "Well you came at a busy time of day, but you
> > > still pay regardless of whether you got meat".
> > > Thats what cellular carriers are doing when
> > > service is oversold.
> >
> > Yeah you're right, but I wasn't using my McDonald's comment as a real
> > analogy. I was just stating that there are so many lawsuits going
> > around... and they are getting more and more ridiculous.
>
> Sorry, I disagree 100%. The ones that are truly ridiculous get thrown
> out of court; the ones that are played up as ridiculous, (i.e. the lady
> that got a big settlement cause she spilled McDonalds' coffee on herself
> omit crucial information - That McDonalds and only that McDonalds
> insisting on selling 190 degree coffee, when EVERY other McDonalds sold
> 170 degree coffee, and then McDonalds refused to even cover her medical
> bills, and their expert witness was awful; and her settlement got
> reduced on appeal) often are quite good.

And I would expect you to have this philosophy, Phil (no slam intended).
You have made it quite clear in many of your posts (both here and
non-cellular groups) that you are quite comfortable living in an entitlement
society, where the government is expected to handle everything painful. The
lawsuit you have brought up was our system gone amok- the settlement had no
direct bearing on the issues at hand. If it had been based in legailty, it
would have been limited to medical costs, legal costs and a small penalty.
And because of this decsion, the courts have been transformed into a
government sponsored version of "Wheel of Fortune".

>
> Our legal system makes businesses keep their promises (real and
> implied), and is part of what makes America GREAT.

No- that is what what makes the European system what it is. What makes
America great is the ability of the common person to affect change, not
through government, but through their own actions. You don't like a
company- don't do business with them.

>
> Those that want to play up rare excess of our legal system should go to:
>
> http://www.overlawyered.com

No need to go there- we have examples the the one in your original post
that make their way to the newspapers every day.
 
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Those are by far the exception to liability cases. The vast majority of
liability suits are business-to-business contract disputes. Most of the
weirdo stuff like the example you cite below are exaggerated for political
reasons. In reality, they represent a very small portion of liability
dollars being paid, most of which are reasonable and valid.

"Eric" <caperenewal@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:17057-40BB2094-213@storefull-3231.bay.webtv.net...
rmarkoff@faq.city (Røbert M.)

What do you think about the lawsuits where a burgular sues a homeowner
because he was injured on the property of the house he was breaking
into? Or the people who are suing McDonald's and other fast food chains
for making them fat?
 
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"Eric" <caperenewal@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:17057-40BB2094-213@storefull-3231.bay.webtv.net...
rmarkoff@faq.city (Røbert M.)
> Sorry, I disagree 100%. The ones that are
> truly ridiculous get thrown out of court; the
> ones that are played up as ridiculous, often
> are quite good.

<What do you think about the lawsuits where a burgular sues a homeowner
because he was injured on the property of the house he was breaking
into? Or the people who are suing McDonald's and other fast food chains
for making them fat? I know there are several instances where the
burgular won his case, often winning thousands of dollars from the
people he was trying to rob... that is pretty ridiculous, and that
wasn't thrown out of court don't you agree? >


I would agree with you. And it does other things- it clogs up the court
system, costs the taxpayers and delays those cases that truly deserve being
heard.


<But back to the topic at hand... I think that if coverage is promised,
or was once strong, and then drops off... I don't know if that is proper
basis for a lawsuit... it could be. It is certainly proper basis to get
out of your contract without penalty. I just think too many of these
cases will hurt the cellular industry rather than help it.>


I don't think they'll hurt the industry, unless the courts make rulings that
they have no right making. In this case, one of the points is that ATTW
grew too quickly. How can a court determine this?
 

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NoSpam@For.me (Chris Cowles) wrote:
> Most of the weirdo stuff like the example you
> cite below are exaggerated for political
> reasons. In reality, they represent a very
> small portion of liability dollars being paid,
> most of which are reasonable and valid.

I agree, but it is lawsuits like the ones I stated that get a lot of
press, and really bring us down as looking like lawsuit hungry idiots.
;)

Eric
 

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"Scott Stephenson" <scott.stephensonson@adelphia.net> wrote:
>
> You're comapring apples to oranges. AOL made a dramatic change to their
TOS
> by offering unlimited acces, and then violated their own terms by putting
> restrictions in place after the fact. ATTW has not done anything close to
> that.

It's not "apples and oranges" at the most basic level of the lawsuit. Both
cases depend on what was promised in the contract between the corporation
and the customer. AOL promised access to its proprietary content and to the
internet with no stated restrictions and then breached that contract by
implementing its unlimited access plan without ensuring that its
infrastructure could handle the load. Courts are often pretty forgiving of
mistakes being made, and I suspect that the courts would not have imposed a
judgment against AOL if AOL hadn't had a "let 'em eat cake" attitude when
the problem arose and then, when member outcries arose, blamed their
subscribers for the problem and further breached the contract by limiting
unlimited access. I haven't read AT&T Wireless' user agreement or Terms of
Service, so I don't know what they promised their customers. I doubt that
any court would put restrictions on how fast a company can grow, but I would
bet that the lawsuit will be successful if it can be shown that a breach of
the contract between AT&T and its customers occurred.

> And I guess I can sure the developer of the new neighborhood that gets in
> the way of my view of mountains. I'll sue the city as well, because they
> have grown too quick and degraded the quality of my surroundings. Sound
> stupid? Of course it does, but no more stupid that what has been filed in
> California.
>
No, it doesn't sound stupid, and yes, you can (and probably should) sue
them. There have been many such lawsuits across the country. It all depends
on the conditions of the sale of the home. If you pay a premium for a lot
that has a view, then there is at the least an implied contract (and
probably a stated contract, if the premium for the lot is itemized in your
closing documents) that the value of your property is enhanced by the scenic
view. If a corporation or a municipality or even a neighbor does something
to block your scenic view, you have now suffered a loss in the value of your
property, and you have the right to be compensated for that loss. It's the
only fair thing to do. Corporations (and municipalities) could avoid a lot
of the lawsuits filed against them if they are proactive rather than
reactive and if they take into consideration what will be fair to their
customers insted of what will make them more money or garner them favor with
their shareholders (or political contributors). It's a shame this is rarely
done, but it speaks volumes about the problem with corporate America and the
litigiousness of the people.

Jeff
 
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In article <17057-40BB2094-213@storefull-3231.bay.webtv.net>,
caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:

> rmarkoff@faq.city (Røbert M.)
> > Sorry, I disagree 100%. The ones that are
> > truly ridiculous get thrown out of court; the
> > ones that are played up as ridiculous, often
> > are quite good.
>
> What do you think about the lawsuits where a burgular sues a homeowner
> because he was injured on the property of the house he was breaking
> into? Or the people who are suing McDonald's and other fast food chains
> for making them fat? I know there are several instances where the
> burgular won his case, often winning thousands of dollars from the
> people he was trying to rob... that is pretty ridiculous, and that
> wasn't thrown out of court don't you agree?

I have no opinion because the sensationalist headlines never give one
sufficient information to make a decision.

Its one thing for McDonalds to say its your fault for eating what you
did, its another when they ask you three times: "Would you like to
SuperSize that?" And then the CEO of McDonalds just died of a Heart
Attack.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/news/entertainment/050704_ent_super_size.html


Lawsuits are not determined by what might superficially seem like common
sense, they are decided by the law, both common law, and State and local
law and precedents.
 
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"Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote in message
news:rmarkoff-4160E2.17354731052004@news03.east.earthlink.net...
> In article <17057-40BB2094-213@storefull-3231.bay.webtv.net>,
> caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:
>
> > rmarkoff@faq.city (Røbert M.)
> > > Sorry, I disagree 100%. The ones that are
> > > truly ridiculous get thrown out of court; the
> > > ones that are played up as ridiculous, often
> > > are quite good.
> >
> > What do you think about the lawsuits where a burgular sues a homeowner
> > because he was injured on the property of the house he was breaking
> > into? Or the people who are suing McDonald's and other fast food chains
> > for making them fat? I know there are several instances where the
> > burgular won his case, often winning thousands of dollars from the
> > people he was trying to rob... that is pretty ridiculous, and that
> > wasn't thrown out of court don't you agree?
>
> I have no opinion because the sensationalist headlines never give one
> sufficient information to make a decision.
>
> Its one thing for McDonalds to say its your fault for eating what you
> did, its another when they ask you three times: "Would you like to
> SuperSize that?" And then the CEO of McDonalds just died of a Heart
> Attack.

So, you are saying that in the above case, the courts are in place for those
who or too weak or too stupid to turn down the Super Size? How does their
asking if you want a larger portion relinquish you r responsibility in
eating healthy?

>
> http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/news/entertainment/050704_ent_super_size.html
>
>
> Lawsuits are not determined by what might superficially seem like common
> sense, they are decided by the law, both common law, and State and local
> law and precedents.

Not any more- lawsuits are now being used to give the Judicial branch the
ability to circumvent the legislative branch and set public policy through
their rulings.
 
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"R?bert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote:

> I have no opinion because the sensationalist headlines never give one
> sufficient information to make a decision.
>
> Its one thing for McDonalds to say its your fault for eating what you
> did, its another when they ask you three times: "Would you like to
> SuperSize that?"

Only if you're extremely weak-willed. After the first two times I was
asked, if I was asked again, I'd be saying "no" and getting rather irritated,
to the point that I'd probably just tell them to cancel the order. Then I'd
just walk out the door.

Come on. How hard is it to say "no" three times?

Again, why am I not surprised that your philosophy is "it's someone else's
fault"?

--
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Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
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In article <14450-40BB4DC0-218@storefull-3235.bay.webtv.net>,
caperenewal@webtv.net (Eric) wrote:

> NoSpam@For.me (Chris Cowles) wrote:
> > Most of the weirdo stuff like the example you
> > cite below are exaggerated for political
> > reasons. In reality, they represent a very
> > small portion of liability dollars being paid,
> > most of which are reasonable and valid.
>
> I agree, but it is lawsuits like the ones I stated that get a lot of
> press, and really bring us down as looking like lawsuit hungry idiots.
> ;)
>
> Eric

Exactly thats why the corporations that want to go their own way without
fear of being sued play them up like that.
 
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"Røbert M." <rmarkoff@faq.city> wrote in message
news:rmarkoff-8C7B02.05254801062004@news03.east.earthlink.net...
>
> Many states have adopted "No-Fault" laws.
>
> http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/insurance/fs/fs000160.php3
>
> At it was hardly a panacea. Of course General Motors (with exploding gas
> tanks), and Ford (with collapsing Drivers seats and bad tires) want to
> change the system so they can continue to crank out known defective
> vehicles.

Oh yes, that's it! They live to kill people. That's just the kind of
rubbish that I would expect from you, based on your earlier posts, I guess.
The infamous 'exploding gas tanks' argument. Puh-lease! I do remember
Dateline NBC having to grovel on the air about how they purposely
mis-installed the wrong gas cap on their "test" vehicle, repeatedly rammed
it with another vehicle, and (just for good measure) installed a burning
model rocket engine under the gas tank to make sure that things would light
up. You're one of those people that expects everything to be infinitely
safe, yet naively expect it not to cost you anything. It only follows that
you think that all these lawsuits don't cost anyone anything either. After
all, it's "just the insurance company" that ends up paying? So, who cares
if we screw those evil bastards, right? Oh wait, I forgot....we all pay
insurance premiums, don't we? Oh, oh, I know....companies should do
business not to make money, but out of a sense of charity. Is that it? By
the way, do you have a "Nader for President" bumper sticker on the back of
your "rolling deathtrap" .... er...I mean....car?
 
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"D Duddles" <Doug@NOSPAM.com> wrote in message
news:M4Odnd7JMrQGaibdRVn-uQ@comcast.com...
>
> What we need is a loser-pays rule.... Yes, there are legitimate lawsuits,
and people
> should have the right to bring them. But, there should also be a risk
> involved to the plaintiff to deter them from bringing forward junk like
> this. This is how other civilized nations handle it...it should be the
same
> here.

The effect of that would be that the risk of loss to poorly funded
individuals would dramatically outweigh the potential benefits of winning
against a well-funded corporation. That would be true even if their claim
was valid. Corporations could simply flex their legal muscle and scare off
any potential lawsuit except the most flagrantly egregious ones. For
unethical companies, the decision to comply or not to comply with civil law
then becomes a simple finance decision weighted toward non-compliance.

I do not personally support the type of lawsuits you complain about, but do
believe they are a very small minority of cases in a system that otherwise
works well. Revising the system in a manner aimed to squelch those few
exceptions would result in the system providing dramatic unfair advantages
to well-funded corporations.