A group of convicted criminals in Idaho is suing major liquor companies, blaming them for their crimes and incarceration. The inmates claim that their alcohol use and addiction – caused by the companies’ marketing practices – made them commit crimes that they otherwise would not have committed. The inmates say that the alcohol companies should have warned consumers that their products are addictive.
I can agree that alcohol is addictive, and even that alcohol companies should be required to disclose that fact. I also can agree that alcoholism is a serious problem. But it’s a ridiculous stretch to argue that a man convicted of manslaughter pulled the trigger because the beer company didn’t tell him he could get addicted to beer. It’s a connection that ignores so many other factors.
On one hand, the lawsuit is similar to the tobacco lawsuits of the ’90s, specifically the argument that makers of harmful substances should warn consumers about the harm. On the other hand, it’s much more disconnected. They aren’t saying that booze made them get ill, they are saying it made them act like idiots.
It’s a frivolous lawsuit, but seeing as the inmates don’t have an attorney, you can’t blame them the lawyers for this one. It sounds like one of these legal geniuses in jail came up with this brilliant idea on their own and it led to the lawsuit. They probably tried to find an attorney to take the case and couldn’t.
The inmates are asking for $500 million in damages. They should have asked for $500 billion instead because they have the same chance as getting that as they do $500 million.
This case is going nowhere and will probably be dismissed soon. And if not, I’m going to testify for the defense on all of the good things booze can do, such as give me the courage to dance and make me absolutely hilarious, charming and good looking.
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