Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall

Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Q: When is a frivolous lawsuit not frivolous? A: When it's filed by a corporation.

One complaint about plaintiff's lawyers is that they file frivolous lawsuits against big corporations to try and make a few bucks by settling.  Many people believe that this purported behavior is so bad that we need to reform the legal system.

So why is it OK when corporations behave the same way?  Monster Cable has been filing shakedown suits against anyone who uses the word Monster in their business, such as:

  • Monster.com
  • Monster Garage
  • Disney, because of Monsters, Inc.
  • Monster Cable is even trying to squash small businesses that dare to use the word "Monster." 

The suits are supposedly brought because Monster Cable is afraid that consumers will think that Monster Cable is associated with anyone else who uses the word Monster in its business.  I'm pretty sure that no one said, "Hey, Monster Cable just hired Pixar to make an awesome movie about Monsters.  Let's go see it NOW!" 

Maybe Monster Cable will sue me for telling the truth about their product: It's not worth the price premium over regular brands of cable. Here's an excerpt from a great article at Forbes about Monster Cable:

TO ENCOURAGE audio salesmen to push its costly stereo cables, 12 times a year Monster Cable flies a dozen or so top producers from stores around the country to all-expenses-paid weekends at places like the Napa Valley, Hawaii and Germany.

Founder, chairman and sole owner Noel Lee even lets the star salespeople zoom around in his 13 sports cars, including a $200,000 Ferrari.

Lee needs good salespeople because his product requires lots and lots of selling. Buy a $400 stereo from the Good Guys in California and chances are you'll also walk out with $50 worth of Monster cables. Buy a $1,000 Marantz amplifier from Ken Crane's Home Entertainment in California and you'll get sold on a $100 connecting cable.

This reveals one of the great hypocrisies about tort reform: Business wants limits, caps, and restrictions on personal injury cases, where they're usually the defendants, but they want no limits, caps, or restrictions on financial injury cases, where they're often the plaintiffs.

My latest thought on the Monster Cable Lawsuits is here.  Or go here and find out why what Monster Cable is doing would make a great episode of The Sopranos.

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