When a $54 Million Lawsuit Goes Poof…..

By May 2, 2008Briefly Legal

The news coverage goes poof, too. Our post on the dismissal of Raelyn Campbell’s $54 million lawsuit against Best Buy for a lost laptop garnered minimum notice by the news media.

The estimable Marc Fisher wrote an entry at his Washington Post blog, “Raw Fisher,” commenting, “[Just] because the plaintiff was smart enough to glom onto the enormous worldwide publicity that the District’s favorite administrative law judge, Roy Pearson, won in his case last year against his neighborhood dry cleaner does not mean–thank goodness–that her lawsuit was going to be taken seriously by the court.”

Covering a hometown company, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune also took note in a news brief, as did the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

And that’s it, so far and too bad. One of the factors that should discourage the filing of frivolous lawsuits is negative publicity, even ridicule. Campbell had a brief moment in the spotlight based on her snort-inducing $54 million demand — look at all the news and blog references — but when the suit was dismissed, she mostly escaped media attention and the useful opprobrium it might have generated.

In the future, some publicity-hungry, offended consumer might look at Campbell’s experience and say to himself, “Well, I’ll lose, but at least I’ll be on TV. It’s worth it to me.”

P.S. In other Best Buy chicanery, that is, chicanery against Best Buy, we have this Montgomery County man’s crime spree. Buying computers, taking them home, removing their inner workings, and then returning them to the store. And he used his own credit card to make the purchases.

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