Demand for $38 quadrillion, cont’d

by Walter Olson on August 27, 2010

Kevin at Lowering the Bar points out that the suit we reported on yesterday doesn’t actually carry the highest damages demand ever; it is topped by one man’s suit last year against Bank of America for 1.7 septillion dollars. In third place — maybe — is “a claim for three quadrillion and change filed by someone against the federal government after Hurricane Katrina.”

Meanwhile, the story of the $38 quadrillion lawsuit moves Adam Freedman at Ricochet to consider some perhaps drastic legal reform remedies.

{ 4 comments }

1 Eric T. 08.27.10 at 8:17 am

There is no reform in the world that will stop a nut job from making a nutty claim.

The ones that will be impacted will be those with legititimate claims.

2 GregS 08.27.10 at 9:37 am

Friedman’s suggestion that jury trials be abolished in civil cases is unnecessary. If the U.S. instituted a “loser pays” rule and abolished contingency fees, most of the frivolous cases we marvel over would disappear. The prospect of actually having to pay your lawyer to represent you, and of having to pay the other party’s legal fees if you lose, would cause potential plaintiffs to think long and hard before they sue. And without the opportunity for a huge jackpot payout at the end, lawyers would be less likely to agree to take on these kinds of far-fetched cases.

3 Eric T. 08.27.10 at 11:04 am

If the U.S. instituted a “loser pays” rule and abolished contingency fees, most of the frivolous cases we marvel over would disappear.

Probably not. A significant percentage of the cases you marvel at, such as this one for $38 quadrillion, are filed by people with a few screws loose, and done so without lawyers.

Neither logic nor law would dissuade such filings.

4 Tom P. 08.28.10 at 1:39 am

I feel somewhat special. Had someone file a third party counterclaim against me for “$9,750,000 billion dollars” or $9,750,000,000,000,000.00. Roughly 238 times the gross world product.

Not sure if that makes me the winner.

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