McJackpot Justice

You get a three-piece at KFC. Or make a sandwich at home. Have a bowl of beef vegetable soup. Or, dare we suggest, happen a double-checking glance, just in case, at the burger you ordered from that fast food giant whose unofficial "mayor" is named for a popular ingredient that can kill you.

But when you're so allergic to cheese that even a single taste can prove life-threatening, you don't do what Jeromy Jackson did.

You don't eat at McDonald's, where they sell slices by the truckload, unless you're really, really careful. And you never play Russian Roulette with the drive-through bag -- blindly grabbing, opening and biting into a burger, when you know that if the teenage order clerk didn't get your order dead-on (because they always do), you soon will be making beeline for the ER.

By his account, Mr. Jackson had a scare. But save the standard "mental anguish" we all suffer after we do something really stupid -- Jackson says he "was only moments from death and/or seriously debilitation (sic) injury when hospital staff intervened" -- he seems to have survived the wayward cheese slice without any long-term effects. That's our reading of his complaint, anyway, in which the Clarksburg man is demanding $10 million in compensation for his troubles.

You read that figure correctly. In a lawsuit filed late last month in Monongalia Circuit Court, Jackson wants McDonald's to pay him a whopping $10 million because it served him, on accident, a quarter pounder with cheese.

Mayor McCheese, if he were still running things beneath the golden arches, would be shocked and outraged.

"Mr. Jackson repeatedly asked as to the status of his food and whether it had no cheese," reads the lawsuit. "(He) took multiple preventive steps to assure his food did not contain cheese."

That's except the most obvious one, or actually looking at the burger he was about to eat before he put his life in danger by taking a bite.

Jackson, as lawyers like to say, was himself negligent. Even if you believe this story on its face -- and no doubt, many of you don't -- this drama was his fault. He put his own life in danger with his own general carelessness.

It shows an incredible disrespect for the concept of personal responsibility that he's now asking our courts to find otherwise, making Jackson and his attorney (of course) filthy rich in the process.

This case should be dismissed in short order. Our civil justice system exists to protect us from one another, not from ourselves.

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