Hoosiers sue Mercedes

By The West Virginia Record | May 7, 2010

It may be an occupational hazard. Since suing is what plaintiffs' attorneys do, maybe over time it becomes a default position and they just can't help themselves.

While an ordinary person simply might ask for redress of a grievance or rectification of a problem, a compulsive plaintiffs' attorney would automatically file suit.

The cashier didn't make proper change. Lawsuit! The kid at the drive-up window left out an order of fries. Lawsuit! The dry cleaner didn't use starch. Lawsuit!

The compulsion to sue seems to intensify when the client is a wife and also an attorney.

Take the case of Adrian Hoosier of Hurricane, who recently represented his wife and fellow attorney, Michelle Hoosier, in a suit against Mercedes-Benz.

Mrs. Hoosier purchased a new R350 Mercedes-Benz from Smith Company Motor Cars in September 2008 and allegedly had to have it serviced three or more times during the course of a year.

What do you think? Maybe the matter could have been settled out of court, right?

But that's not the Hoosier way. Mr. Hoosier has a habit of representing aptly named clients with far-fetched complaints. In 2007, he notoriously went to court on behalf of a Mr. Bias, the victim of a hot gravy-laden biscuit taken from the microwave at Nitro Speedway. He burned his tongue, it was alleged.

This time, the Hoosiers filed suit against Mercedes-Benz in Kanawha Circuit Court, seeking a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle and the cost of repairs, plus damages for loss of use, annoyance and aggravation, and other alleged travesties.

Mercedes-Benz denied the car had "any non-conformity/defect existing at the time of the manufacture or sale" and pointed out the Hoosiers filed suit before informing the company of the car's alleged defects or allowing the vehicle to be serviced.

Sue first, ask questions later, one might conclude.

Mercedes-Benz got the case moved to federal court, and the Hoosiers quickly reached an agreement to drop the case. That's after the automaker asked the court to dismiss the case and make the Hoosiers pay legal fees and costs, surely in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Taxpayers pay a price for needless litigation that wastes the court system resources. It would be better if the perpetrators had to foot the bill.

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