Patrick posted yesterday about Dr. Tehmina Haque's lawsuit complaining that she and her son faced the post-Shrodinger's-cat horror of having been exposed to the theoretical possibility — though not the reality — of a peanut allergy attack on an American Airlines flight. People in the comments wanted to know — what about the lawyer? Who files such cases?
Ted Frank at Overlawyered is glad you asked. The attorney for Dr. Haque, she who wants compensation for what could have been, is one Kenneth Mollins. Mollins other recent career highlights: representing Francine Dorf:
Mollins appeared on CNN in July 2007 after filing a suit on behalf of a woman, Francine Dorf, who sued Con Ed over the steam pipe eruption in Manhattan that month. Dorf wasn’t injured: she just complained that the loud sound reminded her of September 11, entitling her to damages, in part because she could not “focus enough to read the romance novels that she checked out from the library.”
Personally I think one should be thankful for being spared from reading romance novels, but that's just me. (Here, I'll spoil the plot: they're gonna hump. There, I just spared you four hours, $7.50, and the hassle of hiding it inside The Economist..)
So once again, Kenneth Mollins shows himself to be a master of what-might-have-beens. But he remembers to look out for number one:
Mollins leased an Infiniti, but was dissatisfied with the quality of the Bluetooth system and the GPS. After five months of haggling and attempts to fix the supposed problems, Mollins still wasn’t satisfied, the dealer took the car back and refunded Mollins’s money, including the deposit and all the monthly payments made to date. In other words, Mollins got five months’ use of an Infiniti for free. Not good enough for Mollins: he sued, seeking additional damages for the damage the alleged inability to use a cell phone did to his business.
Actually I rather credit that; there are probably endless people who would like to call Mollins to complain that they want money for something that didn't happen.
Now, the auto dealership prevailed against Mollins. The defendants in the other cases will probably prevail if they choose to fight. But fighting will be expensive in the individual instances and ruinously expensive in the aggregate. If you want good and aggressive lawyering, it's going to run in the tens of thousands, and quite possibly in the six figures if you have to go through discovery. You can hire someone on the cheap, but their chance of getting rid of it is much lower. So most companies make the rational economic decision that they'd make if they were being shaken down by thugs in a country with unreliable law enforcement — they pay they thugs off. The problem is, of course, that the thugs come back, and more thugs want Infinitis with Bluetooth and get into the business.
Why, exactly, should the defendants in these cases have to eat their legal fees? Why, exactly, should the plaintiff — and/or the plaintiff's attorney — not have to pay fees, perhaps at least upon a finding that the suit lacked substantial legal or factual merit?
Why shouldn't Kenneth Mollins be forced to find honest work?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017
- Anatomy of a Scam, Chapter 15: The Wheels, They Grind - August 10th, 2017