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Posted Monday, March 3, 2008 4:04 PM


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I agree as well that the settlements in today's lawsuits are, in many cases, unconscionable. However, many businesses will not settle unless you get a lawyer and many lawyers will not even take a case unless they know they are going to get a chunk of money from it. The U.S. has become so litigious that the really good lawyers can always get a different case with a much higher monetary return.

I like the concept of arbitration rather than lawsuits, but it, too, has become somewhat deceptive due to "favorable" arbitors.

Post #463484
Posted Monday, March 3, 2008 6:03 PM
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Damage awards seem totally outrageous mostly because the media coverage of the subject is typically very one-sided, and VERY shallow. Just saying the same thing over and over doesn't make it true - but it does make lots of people THINK it is.

Chris summarized the case very well in his post. How much of that detail do you think the average person knows? For that matter, how many really stop to consider that a jury made that award - 12 citizens who tend to reflect the same hostility to these cases and judgments that are held by the public at large? How many know the difference between compensatory and punitive damages - and the reasons for each. How many realize, as Chris pointed out, that blame is often apportioned, and compensatory damages decreased as a result?

Why do the media fail to report both sides of this case, and continue to refer to the "million dollar damages", when the judge decreased the award to a fraction of that, as Chris mentioned? Maybe because referring to millions gets better ratings?

How many people realize that, for a corporation like McDonalds, even punitive damages in the millions of dollars aren't much punishment? (I've heard that the jury in this case determined punitive damages by deciding that McDonalds should pay 2 days coffee receipts as punishment - seems pretty reasonable when stated that way, right?)

The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the guilty party, not enrich the person who receives it. Tough to get any big company's attention unless it's "real money". Punitive damages are also the only incentive for lawyers to pursue such cases at all - if they don't win, they get zip. Most of us don't have deep enough pockets for lawyers if we had to pay them ourselves for this stuff.

Like a lot of things in life, you really don't get the information to make an informed decision on these issues unless you do some digging on your own. The web helps a lot (though you have to be careful, there's lots of misinformation there, too). If you rely only on the TV news and other mass media, you're handicapping yourself.

There's plenty of people taking advantage on both sides of these cases. Juries are supposed to be how we sort them out. But there are plenty of justifiable awards, too, and using a product liability case that's justifiable as the poster child for abuse is flat wrong.

Just calling yourself "fair and balanced" doesn't make you a journalist (let alone fair and balanced). Perpetuating the conventional wisdom doesn't help much, either.
Post #463508
Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2008 6:58 AM

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frank.ress (3/3/2008)
... Just saying the same thing over and over doesn't make it true - but it does make lots of people THINK it is.

Ooh, good point. I seem to remember pictures of some little man with glasses in a dark uniform. Something about a twisted cross.


Charles Kincaid

Post #463742
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2008 3:13 AM


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dglane (3/3/2008)
I have been using the online backup service offered by Mozy ( There have been some minor glitches but overall I have been satisfied. There are other comparable services that get strong reviews. The price (around $50 / year) for most of these services is a steal.

I use mozy also. it's a great service and the price is OK.
Post #467240
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:02 AM


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Campbell said she offered to drop the suit, if the company paid her for her expenses and time and addressed "the shortcomings in its property and privacy protection practices." Best Buy hasn't responded, according to Campbell, and the next court hearing is set for Feb. 22.

The only compensation Campbell has received from Best Buy is $1,110.35 that was transferred into her credit card account in late October without her consent, the plaintiff said.

I don't think she is asking for enough. These companies make how much per year and then turn around and treat customers like crap. The suit could have been avoided if Best Buy informed the lady properly. They have no clue what she stored on her laptop and what precautions she might need to take in regards to acting on it getting into others hands.

I won't even get into the Mcdonalds coffee incident since someone already posted on it.
Post #475597
Posted Monday, December 24, 2012 2:24 AM


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It is interesting seeing these old posts from a viewpoint 4 years on.

The Big Data phenomenum is really putting a value on data and therefore data loss. In the past 4 years there have also been a few cases where high placed military personnel have had their laptops stolen. Even though those laptops will have been encrypted the secrets contained within could cost someone their life.

As to how much a lap-top is worth. Let us suppose that I am sent on a business trip and the lap-top is lost at the start of the trip. As an IT person this could hamper or even negate the purpose of the entire trip. So that is my worth to the organisation per day x the number of days, plus the cost of the hardware.

If the laptop is lost at the end of the trip then it is a case of how much of the intellectual capital gained during the trip was lost with that machine. As for backing up the machine, with ever increasing security concerns can you actually use a USB drive with your company lap-top?

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