Who do you think pays for frivolous law suits? The insurance company? The manufacturer? No. All consumers of the product. When a frivolous law suit is filed the insurance company raises its rates and imposes onerous underwriting requirements which cost the plaintiff. These costs are just added to the cost of the product. Plaintiff may also take steps to idiot proof his product or take it off the market. All the cost is borne by the consumer. Examples. The cost of liability insurance in the propane industry, which is especially plagued with frivolous suits, tripled in the 1990-s. The cost of liability insurance for small aircraft went from $50/unit in the 1960-s to $100,000/unit in the 1980-s. These costs are just added in to the cost of the product.
Consumers are also harmed when the product is idiot proofed because it lessens the utility of the product. Cutting the grass and want to stop and wipe your brow? Don't let go of the handle or the engine stops. By the way, you paid extra for the stop handle. Filling your 20# bottle of propane and the inspection date is current? Too bad, you don't have an OPD valve, or maybe you do but it was built prior to the rules being finalized and does not meet the spec. Just buy a new bottle. After all you can afford it.
As to McDonalds. What if you like your coffee hot? Don't you as a consumer have a right to buy hot coffee? Coffee is made by boiling the water. What person besides this woman would think that pouring hot coffee in her lap would be safe? Does anybody think the plaintiff goes out of her way to make safe coffee in her home? Why should dome greedy lawyer decide how I should purchase my coffee?
Modern society has many conveniences, many of which are hazardous. This requires that consumers have enough brains, common sense and are responsible enough to use these products. To make products too costly, too unusable, or not available at all because of one idiot or greedy lawyer hurts all of society. We need to get past this notion that just because we are harmed, no matter how or why, we are entitled to compensation and it's never our fault.
Not only do I favor loser pay but the courts ought to return to the doctrine of negligence instead of the current strict liability.
If a loss in court affected plaintiffs as well defendants the world would be a better place.People would have to be sure they were in the right. Maybe falling out of a car over a low impact collision holding ones neck isn't as appealing. The thought of paying Mickey D's counsel may make a person accept spilling the coffee was on them. People would no longer look at court cases as meal tickets. If you step in a hole and break your leg it's your fault. Don't sue the property owner, dog who dug it , and the person you were txting. Own it!!! My daughter recently walk into a pole and her nose exploded. Her sister and I chuckle after asking of she was ok of course. This is something we expose removed often on her 9 years on the planet. The manager of the grocery store rushed over in a panic . He ask a million questions as we walk to the pharmacy, where two nice women cleaned her up without hesitation. The manager asked are you going to sue? Huh? She walked into a pole the pole did not attack her. Astounded by this we walked away refusing to sign a waiver or accepting a gift card. How pathetic is society that we blame others for our slips and falls ? It's not about falling its how fast you get up. Unfortunately for many it's how long I can lay up to collect a check. These leeches should have to pay up! Everyone else is insurance, taxes, and even groceries are more expensive because thieves refuse to be accountable for themselves.
Most people site frivolous lawsuits as the issue but what we are really looking at is media manipulation to push an agenda of tort reform on the public. The media often distorts civil cases to make them seem ridiculous or disturbing in an attempt to rouse support for legislation that makes it much more difficult than it already is to file a lawsuit against major corporations.
First off, in many jurisdictions people who bring frivolous suits do end up with judgments against them for the defendants attorneys fees, so this already happens. One problem is that in many cases actually collecting on the award is more expensive then just eating the legal costs. As far as your crack about McDonald's coffee, that case (Liebeck v McDonalds) is one of the most lied about cases in history. The coffee on that case was served hot enough to instantly destroy skin, Ms liebeck suffered life threatening injuries injuries requiring skin grafts. Burn experts testified it was the worst case of no oil liquid burns they'd ever seen. McDonalds sent a corporate officer to the trial who testified they knew th coffee could do that. The idea of frivilous lawsuits in this country is overblown. Very few frivolous suits ever make it beyond an initial hearing