Tag Archives: Lawsuits

Heartless Star Reader Boldly Predicts Thing That Happened Six Years Ago

probablyshouldhaveknownaboutthishannahratliffEmpathy rarely finds a home in the Star‘s Unfettered Letters blog, where reason and understanding go to die. Such is the case again today with a letter from Lexington MO’s Hannah Ratliff, who responds to a story about a woman’s lawsuit against tobacco companies with a harsh, overly Randian letter. But in the interest of levity, Ratliff decides to work in a little comedic line about what other crazy things people might sue you for:

I do not want to speak negatively about the deceased, but this whole scenario to me is frightening and disappointing. I have personally smoked cigarettes, but I also knew before lighting my first one what the consequences could be. If I didn’t have common sense or even education of what tobacco can do to my body, there are warning labels on the package.

What’s next? Are we going to have an overweight person sue McDonald’s because it’s McDonald’s fault they are overweight?

Hey-o! Watch out, local comedians: Hannah Ratliff is well on her way to stealing your gigs. The problem, however, is this: as we assumed everyone knew, such a thing has already happened.

NEW YORK (CNN) – A lawsuit alleging food from McDonald’s restaurants is responsible for making people obese got thrown out by a federal judge Wednesday.

The landmark legal action was the first of its kind against a fast-food chain to make its way into a U.S. courtroom.

McDonald’s spokesman Walt Riker said that common sense had prevailed in the suit. “We said from the beginning that this was a frivolous lawsuit. Today’s ruling confirms that fact.”

We appreciate the effort at humor, Miss Ratliff, but five seconds of Googling sometimes makes a huge difference in research. Might want to check it out before your next letter.


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Filed under Food, Law, Media

In Strathman v. Franklin, Flaxen-Haired Reporter Emerges Victorious

strathmanvchadfranklinmetaphorWe follow with great interest the goings-on at KSHB when it comes to investigative stories — mostly because the robotic and super-creepy Russ Ptacek never blinks — and the latest shot across the bow of would-be evildoers did not disappoint. Our friend John over at Bottomline Communications details the doubtless victory of one Jenn Strathman over Ur-salesman Chad Franklin, who operated a Suzuki dealership/Ponzi scheme in the Sunflower State.

When the lawsuit was filed in August 2008 (thanks to numerous stories by Strathman dating back a year earlier), it was alleged Chad Franklin Suzuki aired advertisements that “concealed, omitted, or misrepresented a material fact of the advertised promotion, specifically that the promotion would last for a duration of time, when in truth, the terms of the promotion would end before that specified duration.”

You may recall Chad Franklin as the well-coiffed car salesman who promised buyers some crazy deal involving perenially gratis cars or impossibly low payments. Thankfully, Strathman et al. have put this hairdo’d gentleman out to pasture. Well done, KSHB.

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Filed under Crime, Economics, Transportation, Travel

De finibus bonorum et malorum: Ruth Bates Hits The Mammygate Jackpot

mayorfunkhouserlookingprettygrim… and so our long citywide nightmare is over. The Mammygate scandal, which has been consuming Kansas City for roughly 37 years, and which featured a rotating cast of political personalities, leaked diaries, and laughable incidents, may at long last be concluding. The local media world is abuzz with the news that the City Council has settled in the matter of Professional Litigant Bates v. Professional Crazy Person Squitiro. And the sum is pretty staggering: $550,000. Joke’s on you, Ruth Bates: enjoy your health care surtax!

Just one day before jury selection was to begin, the council approved paying former mayoral aide Ruth Bates to drop all her claims against the city and Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

But the vote was close — 7-3, with 7 votes required. Funkhouser abstained.

“I’m disappointed. I was ready to go to trial,” Funkhouser said outside council chambers after the settlement vote. “And I believe I would have been vindicated.”

When asked how taxpayers might react to such a large settlement amount, Funkhouser said: “I’m not going to discuss it any more than I have.”

Wait, so now you and the Missus are going to keep quiet about all this? Um… maybe that should have been the strategy from the beginning. Of course, Gloria can always make this a fun installment in the diary of Tom Marvolo Riddle.

So is this it? Can we officially close the book on this dark era? With Funkhouser, you can never be too sure that something is actually over. Somehow, he’ll find a way to keep this going. It’s sad, really, when potentially capable leaders are sidelined by a fatal flaw; in this case, that flaw is a blind devotion to a lost cause — which can really ruin pretty much everything.

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Filed under City Government, Funkhouser, In the News, Law, Media