Californian Betty Bullock – that’s her real name, we’re not making this up – may become one of the richest people on earth. Did she inherit a vast fortune? No. Did she invent an incredible new technology? No. Did she win the world’s biggest lottery? No. Betty has smoked her way to fabulous wealth.

Betty Bullock is making her fortune the American way – by a lawsuit claiming ignorance and punishing a major corporation. Betty, now 64 years old, claims, despite almost omnipresent evidence, that she didn’t know that smoking could cause the lung cancer that is now killing her. But the big money didn’t result from the jury’s efforts to compensate her for suffering – the compensatory damages were a relatively modest $850,000. The jury – and it must have been quite a collection of sages – decided that they needed to add a little on top to make sure the big, bad, cigarette manufacturer was punished for its sins – and awarded Bullock punitive damages of $28 billion.

$28 Billion dollars. Not $28 million, which would be absurd enough. Not a class action. $28 billion for one person – more than the gross national product of many small countries. How long would it take an average American to earn $28 billion dollars? Over 933 THOUSAND years! A mind boggling, inconceivable amount.

(For those Outraged readers without a law degree: compensatory damages are given to, as the name implies, compensate the plaintiff for losses or suffering. If the jury does not feel that the compensatory damages are adequate to persuade the guilty party to desist from such actions in the future, they may, in some cases, award additional punitive damages. Although the plaintiff has been made whole by the compensatory damages, they also receive the punitive damages, as a sort of legal bonus. Some legal authorities believe that punitive damages should never be more than 3 or 4 times the amount of the compensatory damages – in this case they were 33,000 times greater. Liability cases such as this are almost always instigated by lawyers working on contingency fees ranging from 25-40% of the total award.)

Want to eradicate an industry? No need to go to the trouble of lobbying Congress and passing a law. Find a few trial lawyers – they’ll be glad to help – and some jurors from the seemingly limitless number of fools in America. Asbestos litigation has already made millions for lawyers and ruined companies like Johns Manville. People who choose to smoke now pay more for cigarettes in order to fund legal fees and settlements to smokers. If you like to drink, or eat fattening foods, or smoke cigars, or engage in any other activity which could be considered harmful – and what can’t? – you’ll soon be paying much more for your pleasure in order to fund the lavish lifestyles of trial lawyers and their plaintiff accomplices.

Of course, outrageous jury awards are just one of the many examples of lost reason. Abandoned and impoverished children in South American cities are killed by police because the children are a nuisance. Terrorists kill and maim innocent people in the name of God. Housing prices rise to the stratosphere, as stock prices fall and layoffs mount.

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0 thoughts on “$28 BILLION FOR SMOKER!

  1. The legal system in the US is crooked and perverted. One only need look at the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the election in NJ to be subverted to realize that the system does not function.

    To correct the system I would:
    1. Institute a loser pays system.

    2. A lawyer must pay if his client losses.

    3. Abolish class action lawsuits.

    4. The first 12 people selected at random will serve but only nine votes will convict.

    5. All evidence must be presented to the jury, not just what a magistrate approves.

    6. The government must pay ten times the legal costs plus any penalties the jury approves if it brings false charges against a citizen.

    6. The government can only charge an individual on two charges not an endless laundry list designed to bankrupt or force him into submission.

    6. Judges are limited to a single five year term.

    7. The Constutition may not be overturned by any judge. Shuold any judge attempt this he will immediately be removed from the bench. Failure to do so will allow the opposition party to immediately name a replacement of its choice to replace him.

    8. A constitional convention will be convened every twenty years and up to five changes to the constitution can be proposed. These must be voted on ten years before the convention and then ratified by two thirds of the States (in a referundum vote) after being proposed by the Convention. The proposed issues must be proposed in the same manner and approved by referendum also.

    9. The Supreme Court should be composed of ten justices, each limited to ten years. A vote of seven is necessary to render a verdict. Failure to obtain this will result in an automatic national referundum.

    10. Lawyers are limited to more than 2% of any award and are prohibited from making political contributions, seeking office, or serving on any political active interest group.

  2. Just like Shakesphere said,
    “Frist we must Kill all the Attorneys”.

    Wake up people, it’s all a big money power and political game ! Time for that “good ol”

  3. Another case of greed and avarice gone wild. As I understand it the lady, Mrs. Bullock is in such bad health she will never see any of the payoff, so that’s even worse , the lawyers will end up with their part most likely. As for the exceedingly high amount, well it’s a little like the stock market. It went up to some ridiculous highs a while back, and reality came around and fixed that. Just because some half crazed jury somewhere makes a decision like this doesn’t mean it will ever see the light of day. There are many issues at stake here. The right of the attorneys to go the limit, and the rights of the jury to go the limits, and the rights of an American company to sell its product on the open market without fear of reprisal or government interference. The rights of the victim to persue the addiction she obviously has to cigarettes. I mean this is America the land of the free, home of the depraved. And to cap it off , just think how proud parents are when they can announce that their son or daughter has passed the bar exam and will be entering into the profession of law, adding another lecherous individual to the rolls. Take the glory out of being a lawyer and start to see less people go for that vocation. I have always thought is was a profession for the shameless anyway. Seems like a good time for some lawyer jokes to circulate.

  4. I agree with TJ Jackson completely, but unfortunately this will never happen because the lawyers make the rules. Reminds me of the time Dan Quale was booed when he talked about tort reform at a meeting of the trial lawyers. Just think–a bunch of grown, intelligent, supposedly mature men booing the VP of the USA. As far as the $28 billion given to the smoker in California, I agree with Mr. Davis in that Ms. Bullock will never see any of this money, but the scum-sucking lawyers will relish in it. As I remember, warning labels appeared on cigarettes in 1963 (I think). That was almost 40 years ago. And as a physician, I preach to every smoker that I see as to the horrible side effects of cigarettes. No one wants to listen. And as far as the huge jury award? Just another example of no one wanting to be responsible for their actions, always wanting to blame someone else for their ignorance. God Bless the USA, as screwed up as it is.

  5. this is a good example of the “dumbing down of America”
    this jury should be put in isolation and pschoanalyzed to find out if their brains are functioning. Our country is going down the tubes and people like this are allowed to judge cases of no substance.

  6. This is another example of the complete “dumbing Down” of America. No one with any concept of personal responsibilty would have found against the tobacco companies. We are now entering into a world where a citizen does not want to be judged by a jury of their peers. Because these ” peers” are totally stupid. The chances of an entity being given fair judgement has been totally diminished.

  7. Everything that is of an enjoyable nature including sex and even skateboarding or even bicycle riding has been announced as a crime, there are signs right down the street that state no bike riding etc. in the parking lot of the Vons grocery store, they can give you a ticket for violating the law for riding a bike.

  8. This fabulous country seems to be barely balancing at the edge of various insanities. Something somewhere is going to break. I hope we’re strong enough to rebuild a better version of what we have now.
    Hopefully we avoid a society of ‘Everybody for them selves’.
    Perhaps juries should be held responsible for the actions they take, at least in some way.

  9. No , the legal system is beyond the point of no return, as for the immigrant terrorist problem, and the US has a life span of no more than 20 yrs, perhaps ten, depending how this war on terrorism goes. I love my country but it is the only outcast here, we are made of people from all over, except for the true white pilgrim settlers like myself. Good job, Land of the corrupt, home of the greedy.

  10. Nothing that the citizens of California do makes sense. I mean, what’s with $28 billion? Why didn’t they round it off to $30 billion?! And I don’t know about California, but in Georgia punitive damages go to the State, not to the plaintiff OR the attorney. It’s meant to be a punishment directed at the defendant, not an additional award for the plaintiff. So Betty’s lawyer will only get 33-50% of her measley $850,000. And even though people always get all up in arms whenever a case like this hits the news, these huge awards as often as not don’t get much further than the front page of your newspaper. These big cases can hang around in the appeals courts for years. Also, regardless of what a jury may award, sometimes the attorneys, who’ve been negotiating back and forth ad nauseum, will agree between themselves on a “high/low” settlement figure before the case goes to trial, meaning if the plaintiff loses, he gets at least the lowest agreed figure, and if he wins, he doesn’t get more than the highest agreed figure. Also, only a small percentage of cases actually GO to trial–maybe about 5% of filed cases–the rest of course settle out of court. Generally for reasonable amounts, since there’s no JURY OF NITWITS involved. There’s the problem with our legal system–stupid citizens. And most trial attorneys aren’t millionaire bloodsucking moneymongers, either. Every occupation pretty much has the same share of lousy, dishonest, jerks as any other. I mean, if you really want to feel used, abused, jerked around and ripped off, just take your car in for service or hire a contractor to do a little home remodeling for you. They’ll take ALL your money–at least attorneys leave you with something!

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