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Op-Ed

White chips

September 26, 2022

When you see a white chip, don't assume you know what it is. Fortunately, there are lawyers determined to protect you from chip disillusionment.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Lawyers rarely fail to impress me when it comes to spotting hot new trends. Litigation may move slowly through the courts, but new lawsuits can be filed practically overnight.

On Monday last week, a California Court of Appeals panel issued a pair of rulings that said two companies — Walmart and Target — could be sued for selling white chips that led consumers to believe they were buying white chocolate chips even though their packaging said nothing about chocolate.

On Wednesday last week, two new lawsuits were filed in Los Angeles against Ghirardelli Chocolate and The Vons Companies for selling white chips that could be mistaken for white chocolate.

I’m not sure what the damages might be for fake chocolate ingestion when you’re expecting real chocolate, but no one likes to be fooled. Justice must be served (hopefully with a chocolate chip cookie).

The best part of this was being able to read the lengthy descriptions in the lawsuits of the origins and benefits of real chocolate.

Favorite part of one of the suits: “Among women, approximately 50% chose eating chocolate to having sex.”

No one bothered asking men.

In other science news, the United States Court of Federal Claims has ruled that the U.S. government has a license to use a patent on producing mice with Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m hoping someone realizes they’re supposed to be fighting Alzheimer’s, not producing more of it.

Room service? I’m definitely against sexual harassment, but sometimes you’ve got to appreciate the variety and creativity.

The following is from a sexual harassment suit filed in Los Angeles: “This matter arises out of an egregious sexual harassment incident on September 10, 2021, wherein Defendant Hotel Mondrian’s employee trespassed onto Plaintiff’s hotel room, stripped naked and proceeded to masturbate on Plaintiff’s bed while holding Plaintiff’s friend’s shoe in his hand.”

No word on whether this was consensual for the shoe.

While you’re picturing that, consider this headline from the Press-Telegram (of Long Beach, Calif.): “Feds say sex acts were paid for by Long Beach dock workers’ health plan; 10 charged in insurance scheme.”

Why was this illegal? Aren’t sex acts excellent therapy for mental and physical health? Think of what a great recruiting tool this kind of health coverage could be for your business.

It turned out, though, once you read the story, that the crime was that a “chiropractor” was billing insurance companies for medical services that weren’t exactly as described.

I’m guessing the $2,110,290 in claims from one chiropractor may have been a tipoff. Some services are too popular for their own good.

Serious error. Driving is serious business. Enjoy it at your peril.

A man named Anthony Michael Watson has filed a federal lawsuit in Minnesota against Hennepin County and two deputy sheriffs that says he was pulled over and then told, “You look like you were having too much fun.” Then he was searched, cuffed and carted off to jail.

A couple of hours later a deputy saw Watson’s tattoos and declared they had the wrong guy.

“Mr. Watson heard the deputies talking to the jail intake deputy about someone being dead. He later found information on the internet about a 45-year-old African American man named Anthony Demetrius Watson who had been killed. Mr. Watson is white and was 28 years old at the time.”

But he could have been in disguise.

It gets weirder. According to the complaint, one of the deputies then dropped Watson off at a convenience store, gave him a business card, and said, “If you know anyone with guns or drugs, I’ll pay you from my personal bank account for the information.”

I’m guessing they haven’t done any business since then.

If it were me, I would have ratted on some more dead guys.

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