Filed Under: Soft Drinks Trial Lawyers

First, They Came For The Dodgeballs

Desperately mining the pits of legal theory in search of support for his next lawsuit, George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf recently produced another gem. Last month he wrote to school boards throughout the country, warning them that in the event of a lawsuit against soft drink makers over soda in schools, “[s]chool boards — and in some cases even individual school board members — could be sued and potentially held liable under a variety of legal theories.”

And just what theories are these? Without taking Banzhaf’s “Legal Activism” seminar (which teaches “principles” like “making money from public interest law”), it’s hard to judge them perfectly, but read this example from Banzhaf’s letter and decide for yourself:

After all, if a court can conclude, in view of supposedly widely recognized dangers of dodge ball, that it was negligent for a school to permit young children to play the game at school, it can even more easily conclude that, in view of the more clearly known dangers of sugary soft drinks, it is negligent to serve them in schools.

Banzhaf goes on to cite an actual case where a court ruled that allowing dodgeball in school was “negligent.”

Here’s a lawsuit idea: sue trial lawyers for malpractice. If the “dodgeball” theory of negligence has actually worked, then they’ve made the judicial system seriously ill.

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