In a bizarre legal statement filed in the U.S. District Court in California last month, a lawyer filed suit against Apple claiming that its iPod suffered from faulty design and as a result, caused hearing loss. The case stems from the fact that the European Union, aware that its citizens are stupid, have legislated that Apple restrict its iPod to 100db. Apple was not required to upgrade its North American models as most westerners have long since had a proficiency to use that little dial known in industry circles as the ‘volume switch’. So far, the volume switch has worked well here.

All humour aside, these frivolous lawsuits are not benign. They are costing industry billions upon billions of dollars. The profits of thousands of companies are being siphoned off by money hungry lawyers and a willing public that has no conscionable objections or moral problem taking money that they neither earned or deserve. It is simply another indicator that we are no longer adhering to the principals that made our nations stand out.

These profits do not simply disappear, either. They are recouped in several ways. The two that affect you and I are a lesser quality product and a more expensive one. From go-karting to paintball, from coffee to iPods, everything is becoming more expensive and it isn’t just because of the rise in the price of crude. It seems that there is no thing too silly for some of our judges to consider in their courtrooms.

What we truly need are people with some scruples, lawyers with at least a minimal amount of character, and fewer radical anti-corporate judges. Were I a judge, I would rebuke this plaintiff until his ears fell off and would then tell him to get out of my courtroom. Some of our judges, however, seem to not have the basic intuitive common sense to see when the courts are being abused and laughed at.

In another lawsuit, Viacom and Kellogg’s are being sued in the U.S. in a class-action lawsuit worth $2 billion. The suit alleges that the advertising of the two defendants is aimed at youngsters during children’s television programming. While sugary cereals perhaps are not the healthiest choice for our children, since when do commercials determine what your or my children eat? My kids see these commercials regularly and they understand that I will only buy the “fun” cereal once in a blue moon. The reason? It isn’t a wise health decision. We stick to the basic grains, such as Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Shredded Wheat, Oatmeal, etc.

I don’t need a court to award me a huge amount of money, I simply practice wise parenting and ensure my children eat properly. Any deficiency in this department is not the fault of Kellogg’s, it is the fault of the parents who are too tired or too lazy to do what they should know is proper. If their children are able to pressure them because of television programming, then there is a much bigger problem here than commercials.

If we don’t start to have judges who can discern these simple precepts and who will stand up and admonish these plaintiffs, we will continue to pay more for pretty much everything, and a few gullible people and slick lawyers will be wallowing in our money.

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