Call me naïve, but why do some Americans threaten lawsuits as their ﬁrst move?
I dispatched with one rather readily earlier this year as she had no plausible cause of action. Or, rather, if she sued us, she would have to sue Google ﬁrst. Today, I received this one:
The following lucire article contains statements that are slanderous, damaging and untrue. If the article is not corrected and/or removed from the Internet, effective immediately, I will be forced to ﬁle a lawsuit against Lucire on behalf of [censored]. If you wish to discuss the matter with me please call me at [censored].
I think some ﬁrst-year law students can see a few problems here (not least the demanded immediacy, but ‘slanderous’ is rather humorous), but this prompts these reactions:
• some Americans today act out a stereotype, almost a cartoon version, of their true selves, by being so litigiously minded—what happened? When did they change into extras off LA Law and Boston Legal?;
• does the writer not realize that in an international business setting, this is not normal?;
• seriously, wouldn’t it have been better to outline the faults of the article and issue a response?;
• this makes me think that the company is actually guilty of the charges made in the article, but, in all fairness, I have offered its representative a chance to make her statements. Someone has to have integrity here. Prior to this message, I would have kept a more open mind;
• do I want to talk to this person, the vastly different time zones notwithstanding? Surely she has already made up her mind about what she wants to do—but then invites a dialogue? Why not just invite the dialogue as your ﬁrst reaction, and, if there is no resolution, then threaten to sue? Or has normal business practice deserted this corner of the United States?
Not to mention that threatening a lawsuit as your ﬁrst communication is frowned upon by the courts. I can’t imagine the US being any different, but American courts would not be involved here anyway.
We shall see how this plays out, but I am surprised that people do not understand how harmful their ill thought-out emails can be on their brands. If it escalates, of course the company will be named.
Maybe the writer simply wants an excuse to holiday in New Zealand and suing someone there means she can write it off as a business expense? Posted by Jack Yan, 23:22
Some of us would say it's worth *losing* the court case just to get to see New Zealand ... especially if it's deductible!
I think you are right, Ric! Instead of answering my question on what issue she had with the article, she has said she is referring the matter to her attorneys. So she is certainly acting as though she wants that vacation, because she’s certainly not doing anything to resolve the situation!
I think the quick jump to litigate is incredibly sad. Your comments on an alternative "first reaction" are right on. If only more people thought things through before they puffed their chests up and pranced around behind their attorneys...
It may also show insecurity on the part of the threatener, too. If she looked within and thought it through, and took some responsibility (her products do have an FDA warning), she might save herself a great deal of angst.Post a Comment
Even if she litigates, she is denying someone’s First Amendment rights. Our story was one woman’s journey and her use of these potentially hazardous products. Lucire merely provided a forum.
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