Typo not worth $1.67 billion after all

by Walter Olson on November 10, 2009

Sorry, guys, no dice in spinning a drafter’s error into a gigantic ERISA suit against Verizon [Alison Frankel, American Lawyer]

{ 6 comments }

1 A.W. 11.10.09 at 4:14 pm

yeah, but golly you have to feel for the attorney who did that. bluntly even though they won, its still a colossal f— up, or more percisely a small f— up with a colossal price tag.

2 Patrick 11.10.09 at 4:28 pm

It’s a single typographical error in a 105 page ERISA plan. I don’t much sympathize with either inside or outside counsel (who were paid or were billing exorbitantly, among other things, just to catch such typos) but I understand.

The eyes glaze over after a certain amount of time on such a document.

3 A.W. 11.10.09 at 4:55 pm

It reminds me of a scene on the simpsons.

Burns is showing them around his mansion and he shows them a room where a hundred monkeys are typing on a hundred typewriters. “Soon they will produce the next great american novel.”

So then he reads one sheet and it says, “it was the best of times, it was the… BLURST of times!” And he starts yelling at the monkey for the typo.

4 Nobody Special 11.10.09 at 6:54 pm

“Everyone said we didn’t notice it,” plaintiffs counsel Arthur Susman said. “We did. The question wasn’t whether we noticed it, it was whether we asserted it.”

Sure….

5 VMS 11.11.09 at 2:58 pm

A.W. The last time I checked, Dickens was an English novelist!

Reformation is an equitible remedy. In order to convince a judge to reform the contract because of a “scrivener’s error,” the proponent of reformation must show by clear and convinvcing evidence that there was a mutual mistake as to the contents of the document and that it would be inequitible to enforce the contract as written.

6 William Nuesslein 11.13.09 at 9:39 am

“But you said” is what my wife claims when I help her with her homework. She is a Thai taking English as a second language.

“But what you wrote makes no sense.” I reply in exasperation. I have told her hundreds of time to ask herself if what she is writing makes sense – still she doesn’t.

Obviously multiplying a result by a normalizing factor would only be done once, twice makes no sense. Once you have converted kilo’s to pounds, you have converted kilo’s to pounds. Only one application of 2.2 pounds per kilo makes sense. Judges often drive me nuts as being so stupid.

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