|lawsuit lotto (Photo credit: Shira Golding)|
The Great Subway Debate
For those of you who missed our lively debate of last Friday about the inch short Subway Footlongs, you missed a good one. You might want to go back and read through the great comments that ensued. As is frequently the case with the topics I toss out to you readers, I was met with views from both sides and some excellent comments that got my brain working. As the discussion progressed, I was inspired with my idea of how the fast food restaurants might avoid future lawsuits and legal issues.
Some of you upon hearing my suggestion might immediately think it absurd. But even in the greatest absurdities can sometimes be found some basis of truth. I think I make a good point no matter how nonsensical it may appear on the surface. And even if the point is hidden somewhere in the twilight zone of fanciful imagination there might be that glimmer of something that works. So let me explain my idea and you can give me your thoughts.
My Maybe-Not-Totally-Wacky Solution
Fast food restaurants have had more than a few lawsuits over the past couple of decades. We've seen people suing over hot coffee, mystery meat, and freaky additives. The stories are sometimes horrifying and at other times outrageously absurd. Sometimes they have been totally faked like the famous finger in the chili story. Whatever the story has been, the desired and often attained outcome is lucrative monetary wins for the litigant and in a bigger way for the lawyers.
I suggest that firstly all disclosures of product contents and potential liabilities that could be incurred by the customer in entering and patronizing an establishment be prominently displayed at each entrance so that each customer has been presented a legally binding warning whether or not they have chosen to read it. This is actually done to some extent in most national chains, especially where it comes to telling customers about nutritional values and things like measurements such as precooked meat weights and such. The difference in the presentation I'm suggesting is that it becomes so prominent that it's hard to miss by any customer entering through the doors of an establishment.
Next, as part of the ordering process the customer is presented a legal document with all previous disclosures presented a second time with an accompanying statement releasing the business from any liabilities that have been described in said document, including such things as hot beverages, choking hazards, and foreign objects found in the food. Before receiving the meal the customer would have to sign the document. This exchange might also have to be witnessed and stamped by someone such as a notary public.
The restaurant would be staffed by lawyers, paralegals, and law students. Now not only would these establishments serve food, they could also contain storefront legal service operations so that diners could take care of other legal matters while there. Businessmen could draw up contracts while lunching at Boston Market, divorce arrangements could be made as you eat your Big Mac Combo, or you could dine at Taco Bell while consulting with your immigration attorney. The possibilities are limitless.
New law graduates, lawyers without a practice, and many others trained for the legal profession could be put to work in a situation that would provide rigorous and practical on the job training. Excess legal stupidity could be mediated in a surrounding of soup and salads and free up the court system to a greater degree. New jobs for more attorneys and a restaurant environment free of the lawsuit lottery leeches.
Sure, those leeches will move on, but so will the army of attorneys. Pretty soon every establishment could have their own individual attorney and no one could ever sue again. Oh, and besides the attorneys we can add armed guards. A safer world awaits us all.
Do you think my scheme will work? If you were hungry, would you be willing to sign a release in order to get your food? How much more would you be willing to pay for your favorite fast food item than you pay now? How stupid exactly is my idea?