The Wall Street Journal reports today that a New York City judge has thrown out a case brought against a Greenwich pub. The lawsuit was filed by a New Jersey man, Alan Berger, who was struck by a car after playing “beer pong” at the pub for three and a half hours. His suit claims the bar should have been watching the players to make sure they were not getting visibly drunk.
Thankfully, the judge found that Berger was responsible for his own actions when he signed up for the drinking game and “consumed alcohol to the point of diminished capacity.” But for every crazy suit that gets tossed there is another that makes it through.
Personal responsibility is hard to come by these days, and it is far too easy to place the blame on someone else and sue – too often people play the “lawsuit lottery” in the hopes of winning a big settlement. It is easy to laugh at ridiculous lawsuits, but to the small business owners who must spend their own time and money defending themselves it’s no joke. Sadly, it is often cheaper to settle nuisance suits than to win in court – and don’t think for a second that personal injury lawyers don’t know that.
It’s time for common sense to make a comeback. We need real sanctions for lawyers that file junk lawsuits to stop the “lawsuit lottery” and restore the public’s faith in our civil justice system – not to mention save New York taxpayers millions each year.