Lawsuit Nation? My Two Cents

My daughter is graduating college this year. She's decided she wants to apply to law school. She's busy working two jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching loans, as my husband and I have made it clear we aren't paying for post graduate studies.

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At first I thought, "Do we really need another lawyer in the world?" It's so easy to disparage attorneys...until you need one.

Upon further consideration, however, I think she's made a smart call. No matter what's happening in the broader economy, the lawsuit biz just keeps growing. In a nation of laws, we are a litigious people.

Take the case of Mary Bach of Murrysville, PA. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bach is a big fan of Banquet "Brown 'N Serve" sausage at Walmart . She's a bigger fan of accurate pricing. Bach sued Walmart after it charged her $1 for sausage that was listed at 98-cents. The first time it happened, the store immediately gave her a refund.

It happened again when she returned to the store six days later to buy more sausage. (That's a lot of sausage, but, hey, it's National Sausage Month.) This time, Bach wanted to speak to the manager, who offered her another two-cent refund. Bach refused in order "to weigh my options." Bach felt Wal-mart was intentionally defrauding customers, so she decided to put her two cents in before a judge.

Turns out this isn't Bach's first legal rodeo.

"This is the fifth lawsuit we've had against this store for the same problem," Mary Bach said. "This isn't an isolated incident." Wal-mart denies the pricing mistake was intentional.

Ridiculous, you say? Inspiring? Is Mary Bach a symptom of all that's wrong in America, or should she be lauded for fighting corporate powers with one of the last tools left in the little guy's toolbox?

Well, the judge found in favor of Bach. She was awarded a total of $180--$100 in damages and $80 in court costs. Goodness knows how much Wal-mart paid to defend itself over a couple pennies. The retail giant has 30 days to appeal.

Worth it? Bach's return on investment (the rejected two-cent refund) netted her an 8900 percent gain.

Geez. Maybe my daughter oughtta skip law school and go straight to filing lawsuits.

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