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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit for a pair of pants

The United Stated probably has one of the most developed legal system of the world. Cases move fast over there, and people are able to get justice quickly (if you leave out the inmates of the Guantanamo prison camp). However, as with any system, there is always scope for misuse, and when there is scope for misuse, there will be always be people who will try and exploit these possibilities. A lot of laws were raised in the past, and may contain clauses or loopholes that have not yet been filled, and people may be wanting to fill these gaps. So, here is a gentleman who has filed a case that wants to claim $54 million from a dry cleaner over a missing pair of pants:

A court Thursday rejected an appeal filed by a former administrative law judge who sued a dry cleaners for $54 million over a missing pair of pants. Pearson initially sought $67 million from the Chungs, calculating the amount by estimating years of legal violations, adding nearly $2 million in common law claims for fraud. The saga began in May 2005, when Pearson took several pairs of pants to Custom Cleaners for alteration as he prepared to start his new job as an administrative law judge. He alleged that among them was a pair of pants from a blue and maroon suit. When he came to collect his clothing, he said, the Chungs tried to give him a pair of charcoal gray pants that were not his.
He claimed millions of dollars in attorney fees and millions more in punitive damages for what he called fraudulent advertising under the law. He also claimed that a sign in the store's window promising "satisfaction guaranteed" was an unconditional warranty that required the defendants to honor any claim by any customer without limitation. The Chungs' attorney argued that no reasonable person would interpret the signs to mean an unconditional promise of satisfaction. District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff agreed, ruling that Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's Consumer Protection Act.

Such cases do have an impact on people. Legal fees can be fairly high, and in the past, it has been seen that even important personalities have had to raise money for feed to attorneys; so there is always a cost to frivolous cases. The United States does not seem to have a way to defer such frivolous cases, and because of legal feed, even if a person wins a case, the amount of money involved could end up harming them immensely.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coming home after 44 years

One has heard of separation in the past, but this particular event takes the cake. This is a story of separation not causing the relationship to break apart, with the relationship resuming after a gap of 44 years. There are still many hidden stories in this, but given that the man seems to be suffering from amnesia, those stories are not likely to be fully told. The surprising part in this whole story is that the lady was willing to be a faithful wife and support her husband (although he had been given up for dead and his last rites performed):

A 92-year-old man, who was believed to be dead for the last 44 years, has now returned to his home in Kolkata and remarried his wife, the couple's son said Monday. Panchkari Hazra left his residence in Behala in south Kolkata in 1964 and was missing since then. He didn't inform his wife Annapurna and two sons - Arun and Tarun - why and where he was going.
"When my father didn't return home for 12 years or send us any information about his whereabouts, my mother performed his last rites under social pressure and started living the life of a widow," Tarun said. "On Wednesday, a friend at Behala informed me that a very old man had been living in our old home for the last few days and was claiming to be Panchkari. "I rushed to Behala and brought him to Jagatdal on Saturday. I was only three years old when he left home so don't remember his face clearly. But my mother recognised him at once," Tarun said. However, Hazra seemed to be suffering from loss of memory.

44 years is an extremely long time, but when the family recognized him and was willing to re-establish relationships, all ends well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Imagine explosives on your desk

People have a fascination for something that looks different, so it was no wonder that the Managing Director of a company in England was using a different paper-weight. A friend of his had gone for a dive and found an interesting looking object on the sea bed, he gave it to the Managing Director Jeff Hayes, who found the object interesting and kept it on his desk as a cool looking paperweight. What he did not know was that the paperweight was actually a long unexploded bomb, a foot long object that was still capable of causing a lot of damage if it burst:

However, his office landlord, Clive Parks, and his friend Jon Williamson, a keen shooter, realised the detonator on the shell was still live and the TNT was showing.
They carefully moved the bomb out of the building and into a flower bed before calling the police who then contacted the army's bomb disposal unit.
Mr Williamson said: "I saw it on the desk and thought 'that looks dangerous'. "I shoot so I know about firearms, it still had a live detonator and the explosive TNT was exposed.

If by accident the bomb had been severely shaken or otherwise jostled, the bomb could still explode and would have affected not only this office, but even other offices in the same building. On the other hand, it may have never exploded.

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