Editorial: Lawsuits R US: Pandemic plaintiffs

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Column By Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin

The paint on the wall is not dry as of yet, and already we have lawsuit-loving Americans lining up for litigation. Planet pandemic is passing through, but people continue to daily die. All the while, the piranhas and parasites plot for plundering with class-action lawsuits and personal injury lawsuits.       

And scurrying out of the woodwork or from under rocks, we have the eager ambulance-chasing attorneys. “Plaintiffs, pay your pesos — then sign the dotted line” or “Petitioners, pay nothing until we win — then I’ll ride off into the sunset with most of the gold.” Just contact the law offices of ‘Leech, McGreedy, and Bloodsucker.’ Operators are standing by to take your calls. The first thousand fools receive a free consultation, but you must pay for parking and doughnuts — cash only. One cup of coffee per person. Bring your own cream and sugar. 

Why, oh, why? The green of greed is at the forefront. Unscrupulous individuals prey upon any opportunity for the possibility of easy-sleazy money. Another reason is entitlement — how dare the government or anyone interrupt my life (me, myself, and I). God bless us four and no more. Who cares about COVID-19 and humanity? It’s not my problem! Revenge is another motive — the courtroom fight is on. Financial survival either brings out the best or the worst in people. Fueled by fear, individuals search for any solution. And panicked persons join together to proceed with lawsuits. 

“Workers are suing companies. Businesses are suing insurers. Prison inmates and migrants in detention, abortion providers and gun shop owners are suing federal and state governments.

Colleges, cruise lines, and even China have been among the targets of lawsuits seeking damages for the COVID-19 calamity. And the nation’s notoriously litigious society is just getting started,” according to a recent article in USA Today.

“Schulmerich Bells, a Hatfield, Pennsylvania maker of handbells for musicians, filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the way the state imposed its closure orders is wrongly taking away business and wages — and it’s happening during the 85-year-old company’s most important time of year… The orchestral-quality bell maker is suing, along with two laid-off workers, who say they have specialized skills that may not transfer to other lines of work. The company, which is the world’s largest producer of handbells, had to lay off nine of its 20 workers,” according to a recent article at www.marketwatch.com

Ring-a-ding-ding. The people that died from COVID-19 cannot hear the bells in caskets. Breathing humans need to be grateful. 

Here’s an idea. Can we bring a class-action lawsuit against the animals that transmitted the coronavirus to humans? Or should these animals sue humans for encroaching on their habitats? Should Earth sue humans for chopping down trees in the Amazon or for polluting the land, sea, and air? Should God sue humans for destroying the planet?

Here’s another idea. Should the federal government sue voters for electing the politicians who made disagreeable decisions during the declared disaster? Or should voters sue representatives for their responses to the coronavirus calamity? 

Hmm, I didn’t run short on toilet paper, so I can’t sue Walmart, the makers of Charmin, or some factory in China that produces toilet tissue. “Judge, I am suing myself for not having enough hand sanitizer in storage. I plead guilty to the charge of negligence against myself.” Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Here is one last idea. Should humans sue other humans for being ignorant, clueless, or stupid during the pandemic? Only opinion or hearsay would be allowed in the witness box. The plaintiffs’ and defendants’ drawings would be accepted as evidence. 

And once again, big government will be forced to step in to settle the legal chaos. And once again, Americans will give more of their power away to Uncle Sam. 

Yes, allegations of fraud and egregious reports of misconduct during the coronavirus crisis need to be investigated with appropriate lawsuits filed. Attorneys with integrity need to champion civil rights and civil liberty violations. Wrongdoers need consequences. Scammers need punishment.

Americans, what say you?

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.