Nineteen-time Emmy-winning news correspondent John Stossel recently penned a column to remind us that we, and we alone, are responsible for the food we eat. Especially after last week’s hearty Thanksgiving meal — and a few days to recover — hopefully you’ll agree.
The problem, Stossel writes, is that trial lawyers can make big bucks pretending you’re not free to choose what you put in your mouth. It’s not that they ignore the notion of responsibility altogether. Instead, they claim that while individuals can’t be held responsible for their actions, groups of individuals somehow acquire that same responsibility. Stossel writes:
Why is a big corporation responsible for its decisions but an individual not responsible for his? Because lawyers can make big money by pretending not to see the obvious.
For his column, Stossel interviewed George Washington University law professor and trial lawyer John “Sue the Bastards” Banzhaf (whose absurd agenda we’ve exposed here, here, and here). In a trial lawyer’s world, food companies need to be beaten like piñatas until their money spills out. Stossel continues:
Banzhaf may have bad ideas that most people reject, but because people don’t have a choice about getting sued, the lawyers almost always win. Not at first — but eventually. They just keep suing until they do; they lost 700 lawsuits before they started winning against the cigarette makers. Banzhaf told me the food business is “the next tobacco.”
Just because Banzhaf and his ilk haven’t won yet doesn’t mean the threat has passed — even one successful suit may mean waivers in triplicate before you can enjoy your cheeseburger in peace. Remember, the lawyers are in it for the long haul. As Banzhaf insists: “Somewhere there is going to be a judge and a jury that will buy this, and once we get the first verdict, as we did with tobacco, it will open the floodgates.“