Almost Lawsuit Heaven, West Virginia

By August 20, 2007Briefly Legal

Why is it that so many of these stories about ridiculous lawsuits start out with, “A West Virginia man …”?

Or, as in this case, “A Morgantown man, his mother and his friend are suing McDonald’s for $10 million. The man says he bit into a hamburger and had a severe allergic reaction to the cheese melted on it.” As Timothy Houston, the Morgantown lawyer representing Jeremy Jackson, avers, “By my count, he took at least five independent steps to make sure that thing had no cheese on it…” EXCEPT look at the darn thing!

His mom and a buddy are parties to the lawsuit because they supposedly risked their lives rushing Jeremy to the hospital. Expect pedestrians and bystanders to get into the game.

Meanwhile, in other West Virginia McDonalds litigation news, it’s the old soiled bandage in the breakfast biscuit story. (With cheese or without?)

And although it may seem gratuitious to comment on West Virginia’s prominence in these lawsuit stories, the sad truth is that the legal climate in the state had encouraged excessive litigation. West Virginia led the nation as a “Judicial Hellhole” according to a 2006 report by the American Tort Reform Association. Even as some in the state pursue reform, a culture remains — one that will be hard to weed out.

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