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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Where’s The???

I have another one for your "Assumption of Risk" files today.

A complaint was filed last week on behalf of a guy with "a condition whereby small white papules appear on the shaft of the penis and, although not dangerous, are unsightly and emotionally destabilizing."

I'll go on when you stop tittering....


OK. This isn't going where you think it's going. The suit wasn't against a hospital or a former girlfriend. The suit was against CBS.

You'd think that a guy who has been emotionally destabilized by an embarrassing condition wouldn't want to go on television to reveal his embarrassing condition. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

According to the suit, the plaintiff went to get treatment and was told he could get it for free if he agreed to appear on a program called "The Doctors" on a medical network that only doctors would look at.

A bit later, allegedly, he was told the show was really on CBS, but "no one would see the episode and that plaintiff's appearance would be anonymous."

I don't think I need to tell you the rest.

Guys really do think with their penises....

THE "HUH?" FILE. Some interesting language in Los Angeles lawsuits this week -- all of it from entertainment industry spats.

Lawyers may want to consider leaving creativity to their clients.

First, the opening two sentences from a suit against a film distributor: "Many television viewers are old enough to remember the now classic Wendy's hamburger commercial 'Where's the Beef?' In the matter of ThinkFilm, the unanswered question is, 'Where's the Money?'"

Let that sink in for a moment.

So the plaintiff is a little old lady?

Nope. Just a film production company.

Is the film company attempting to find thicker dollars to eat?

Just for fun, let's parse this out.

First, we learn from the complaint that many persons who have viewed a thing called television are sufficiently ancient to remember the commercial. But do they actually remember it? Are some of them so old that they no longer remember commercials? Could some of them have been not watching television when those commercials appeared?

What about television viewers who are not old enough to remember the commercial? Is this lawsuit not for their eyes or comprehension? If you can't remember the commercial, can you possibly understand what is to follow?

None of these questions are answered.

Another "unanswered question" appears in sentence two. The unanswered question is: what does wondering where some money went have to do with an old Wendy's commercial?

The easy answer is that both share "Where's the." In that respect, the classic Wendy's commercial relates to every lawsuit filed in court. In fact, it probably should be made part of the official court forms so that lawyers won't have to keep repeating it.

And then there was this in a suit against a video game company: "Such actions are not surprising, given that Activision is run by a CEO who has been publicly quoted as believing that the best way to run a videogame studio is to engender a culture of 'skepticism, pessimism, and fear,' and who prefers to pay his lawyers instead of his employees."

Aren't most companies run that way?

Obviously, no lawyer should be discouraging this.

Finally, an example of the danger of letting sentences run out of control from a suit filed on behalf of a woman against her entertainment industry ex-husband's divorce lawyers: "Defendants were aware of all this but yet have participated in having this company collapse by bombarding the court with lies and misstatements to deny (plaintiff) and their child their constitutional due rights and caused plaintiff's loss of at least $500 million dollars by their vicious acts and fabrications."

The wife had a child with her husband's lawyers?

There's a mini-series here somewhere.

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