November 14, 2009

This Week In Lawyerin' : A brief vacation

Writing this week's installment of This Week In Lawyerin' is as serendipitous and effortless as it gets. This week's installment is quite literally "low hanging fruit." A banana to be precise. (Probably a couple of plums in there, too, but that's not really the focus of the story)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Albert Freed, a man who has sued because his Hanes underwear allegedly injured his schlong. You see folks, it seems that Mr. and Mrs. Freed went on a Hawaiian vacation. To commemorate this most auspicious occasion, Mrs. Freed bought Mr. Freed a new pair of undies. The trouble was, the fly on that sucker apparently opened right up and little Albert was, indeed, Freed. This led to much chafing, to the point that Mr. Freed was in debilitating pain. Or just enough pain, anyway, that he complained about it only after gallavanting in Hawaii for two long weeks. Then sued Hanes for making defective drawers.

There was plenty about the plaintiff's case that one might find flummoxing. By Day 2 of the trip, Albert Freed says he was hurting something awful but didn't say anything because he didn't want to ruin the wifey's vacation and because he was excited about the vacation himself. (Excited about something, the evidence would show!)

There are a few different options available to somebody in such a predicament, including [a] putting on different underwear; [b] self-inspection to assess the problem; [c] inspection by another party to assess the problem; [d] adjusting oneself from time to time; [e] going commando in a grass skirt - remember, this is Hawaii.

Mr. Freed chose none of these options. It seems he and Mrs. Freed are rather shy around one another so he couldn't very well enlist her help (could lead to nudity...that, and they were both afraid the other might have cooties). It also seems Mr. Freed has an official medical diagnosis of Dickey-Do. That is, his gut sticks out farther than his dickey do, so he couldn't even look down to ascertain his own protrusion. Another option would have been looking in the mirror, which Freed said he declined to do "just 'cuz." That's a polite, coy way of explaining that if you deliberately look at yourself naked, then it would make you a gay.

Well, long story short, the court wasn't buyin' what Mr. Freed was sellin' and poured him out - which is legalese for telling a plaintiff he might want some cheese with that whine.Download decision here.

Pretty entertaining, huh? I really kinda feel like stopping here and not offering any legal commentary. Seems like it would just screw up the beauty of the story. Then again, I've got a word quota to meet. So here's your insightful expert legal analysis, rapid-fire style:
[1] This case is a real head-scratcher.
[2] Who was the expert witness, Inspector 12?
[3] Imagine showing up for jury duty and having to answer those kinds of questions in voir dire!
[4] Under common law principles of negligence, Hanes only owes a legal duty if the injury was reasonably foreskin- er, foreseeable.
[5] How awesome is it that the plaintiff is named Albert Freed and the case is about his johnson freeing itself ? Come on!
[6] If this case is appealed, there will be briefs about briefs (kinda phoned that one in, right?)
[7] The court's entire written opinion might be dismissed as mere dicta.
[8] How can the court rule on this case and not once cite the Penal Code ?!?

OK, that's enough on one case. Tune in next week. Or whenever there's more lawyerin' to write about.

Posted by hbalczak at November 14, 2009 03:23 PM

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