A federal judge earlier this month dismissed a lawsuit accusing Starbucks of cheating its customers by underfilling lattes.
The California-based judge also took issue with the plaintiffs’ claim that milk foam should not be considered part of a latte or mocha, and that Starbucks uses foam to pad the volume of its beverages. People want and expect milk foam in these drinks, the judge pointed out.
Is this an example of a frivolous lawsuit? Absolutely. That’s why it was dismissed.
Unfortunately, a lot of people will see the headline and walk away with exactly the wrong idea – “We need to fix the system, so these kinds of lawsuits don’t happen…”
Do We Need Tort Reform in SC?
The Starbucks story proves that, in fact, the system is working exactly the way it’s supposed to – and it works the same in South Carolina and other state and federal courts nationwide.
A ridiculous lawsuit was filed. A judge recognized it as such and threw it out. That’s how the system is designed to work, and that’s how it almost always does.
You may not think your lawsuit is frivolous, and that is why there is (hopefully) an objective judge whose job it is to determine whether your case has merit.
Insurance companies, corporations, and chambers of commerce may think that your lawsuit is frivolous – of course they do, they are trying to hang on to their money and not make expensive changes for the sake of safety.
Again, this is why we have a system that includes a neutral and objective judge who determines if there is a cause of action and a jury system where ordinary citizens decide whether your case has merit.
What Is SC Tort Law?
At its simplest, tort law is about this general principle: People should use reasonable care not to hurt others.
This can be applied to parties of equal standing – when one driver’s negligence causes a wreck and another driver is injured, for example. But the importance of tort law becomes even clearer when there is a significant power imbalance among the parties involved – when a corporation’s negligence hurts people in the interest of profits.
When a big company puts its profits ahead of safety, individuals, families, and communities can get hurt. When that happens, class action lawsuits provide the only way for people to recover damages and force corporations to change their practices.
SC Personal Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC
The need for tort reform is a myth that has been perpetuated by millions of dollars invested in lobbying, political candidates, and public disinformation campaigns by America’s corporate interests and the insurance lobby. The truth is that tort law in our country has been and is working as intended.
If you have been injured by the actions of an individual or corporation in SC, we want to help you. Call a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.