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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 1, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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February 1, 2012

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 5B Frivolous, ill-conceived lawsuits seek deep pockets LEGAL MUSINGS STEVE BRENNEMAN avoid liability. If he prevails against the county, child pro- tective agencies everywhere may be required to monitor all families within their juris- dictions. Talk about Big Brother! Most frivolous lawsuits are filed by much less sympathet- ic characters. Remember the name Robert Rizzo? How about the city of Bell, Calif.? As the city manager of Bell, Rizzo was paid salary and benefits totaling nearly $1.5 million a year until the citi- zens found out and forced the City Council to fire him. Well, Rizzo has now sued the city for breach of contract. That&apos;s some serious chutz- pah. As a public servant my- self, I have a serious problem with any government employ- ee being paid more than twice the salary of the president of the United States. Yes, I've heard the arguments about how it takes this type of salary to attract the best and brightest. Bull crap! Actually, Rizzo's claim is not as bogus as it might seem. He has a contract with the city for a particular salary and claims the city breached that contract by refusing to pay him, despite his willing- ness to continue working. If it's ultimately determined the contract was not part of some fraudulent scheme, it may well be enforceable. You can't blame a guy for taking what he's freely offered. But I suspect it will instead be proven the employment agreement was not an arms- S.. U....M._M......!.. T.. BUSINESS ADVISORS Mark Smith CExP, CBI CA LIC#01525569 Plumas & Lassen Counties 0nly Licensed & Certified Business Broker Locally Owned • Confidential Fn 530-836-1570 ° Graeagle February is Sl,a),/Neuter Month .lbr H,,meh'ss A,imals Please help I have made no secret of my dislike for frivolous lawsuits, especially in these times of se- vere budget cuts that have made court resources ever more scarce. There are, of course, some disputes' that simply can't be resolved any other way. But because of baseless claims, the litigants in these more meritorious cases must endure longer and longer waits for a courtroom. Some ill-conceived lawsuits involve unfortunate situa- tions and heart-wrenching facts. But because, for what- ever reason, the injured party can't sue the one truly at fault, he or she seeks out some deep pocket instead. In upstate New York, three children drowned when their mother drove her minivan in- to the Hudson River. The fa- ther of those children has now filed a lawsuit against the city of Newburgh alleging the city permitted a danger- ous condition of property to exist at its waterfront boat ramp, where the incident oc- curred. In other words, the city built and maintained a boat ramp for the purpose of allow- ing people to back their boats into the water with their vehi- cles. And now the city is guilty of the deaths because the mother used the boat ramp to drive her van into the water. The father is also suing the county, whose Department of Child Protective Services al- legedly failed to monitor the mother's activities. The fa- ther apparently believes the department had a general obligation to monitor all par- ents and protect all children within'its julis'ffttton. ' It's easy tJympathize with the father. But if he prevails against the city, this could re- sult in all boat ramps every- where being closed in order to H/gh S/erra Anvna/Rescue Support the cause by becoming a homeless animal's Valentine. You can sponsor the S/N of a rescue animal for only $50! Simply send us a photo to with a brief "message" or come into the shelter during our business hours of 10-4 Monday through Saturday and we'll take your photo. Your photo will be displayed on our bulletin board of love. Pets are welcome! For more information or questions, call 832-4727. Please call ahead, if possible. Diagnostics and Inspections are FREE, We thrive on giving quality service, parts, and being fair as well as affordable. Towing is available upon request. We can match most prices in town. We are a family owned and operated business for over 25 years! We have HUNDREDS of Transmissions in stock!! Come on by and check us out or call us!l NEVADA TRANSMISSION EXCHANGE Carson (775) 883-7472 Reno (775) 824-9595 North Valley (775) 673-5015 length transaction between Rizzo and the city and that Rizzo conspired with the council (whose members were being paid $100,000 a year to meet once a month) to bilk the city and its residents. Rizzo is therefore adding insult to in- jury by making the city spend even more money to defend a frivolous lawsuit. The Eighth Circle of Dante's Inferno is re- served for such people. And then there's the fugi- tive who took a Kansas cou- ple hostage in their home and later sued them for breach of contract. The man claims he offered the couple money to keep him hidden from au- thorities and they breached their promise to do so by es- caping and turning him in. He is seeking to recover for injuries suffered during his attempt to escape after the double-cross. In addition to the obvious problem of a criminal suing his victims for injuries he brought about himself as a result of his criminal activi- ty, the man is suing on an un- enforceable contract. It should come as no surprise to anyone except the fugitive (and perhaps his attorney) that a contract entered into at knifepoint is not enforce- able (except perhaps by Rocko the Knuckle Breaker). A contract, entered into un- der duress is referred to un- der the law as an uncon- scionable contract. Courts will not enforce it. How about the lawsuit filed in Illinois by two children against their mother for bad parenting? Now we've all seen or heard about bad parenting. There are the toddlers who are left in a car while their parents spend time in a casi- no or live in filth because their parents are crack ad- dicts. But, in the Illinois case, the children are suing their moth- er for having insisted they be FEATURE OF THE WEEK: We have great Valentines gift ideas! this ad and receive 10% off all gifts Excludes stoves and stove supplies. home by midnight, "haggling" with them about party dress attire and sending them birthday cards with no mon- ey inside. The horror! Not surprisingly, the children are being represented by their at- torney father, who is di- vorced from their mother. Way to set a good example for the kids, Dad. And then there are the law- suits that are just absurd. A Texas woman who was arrest- ed for a traffic violation has sued the police for handcuff- ing her to a patrol car and forcing her to listen to Rush Limbaugh on the car radio while they went about their business. I guess her claim is "Rush abuse." A Michigan woman has sued the movie studio that distributed the movie "Drive" claiming she was misled by movie trailers into thinking it was a "Fast and Furious" type car-chase movie when in fact there was very little driving involved. The old bait and switch. And last but certainly not least, an Illinois woman is su- ing the estate of a man who was killed by a train because she was allegedly hit by flying body parts. How careless and insensitive of him. It's not that these cases have no merit whatsoever. Being hit by a flying body part can hurt both physically and emo- tionally. But geezI Not all of life's unfortunate incidents are an occasion for a lawsuit. Under the American Rule, each party to a lawsuit has to • pay his or her own attorney fees, win or lose. There are some exceptions, like where a contract contains a clause re- quiring the loser to pay the winner's attorney fees or where a state or federal law includes an attorney fee pro- vision. It may be time to rethink our allegiance to the Ameri- can Rule. OLD COIN COLLECTIONS... Pre-1965 Silver Coins, Proof Sets, Old Currency, Pre-1936 Silver Dollars, Gold, All Gold Coins FREE APPRAISALS Cash Paid • We come to you • References available • Over 20 years in coin business Call 530-589-3585 leave message or 530-370-0101 for ap Spring Forward with these Spring'Community Education Classes! Adventures in NatureJournaling Session 1: February 4--March 17 Session 2: March 24--May 5 Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. FRC Campus Center • Course Fee: $75.00/session Beginning Waltz February 29--March 14 Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.--7:45 p.m. Feather River Fitness -- Mirror Room • $75.00/couple (couples only) Community Wood Shop February 14--April 10 Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Quincy High School Wood Shop • Course Fee: $100 Introduction to Japanese Culture & Language February 23--April 12 Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.--7:30 p.m. Room 606, FRC Campus • Course Fee: $10 Using Digital Tools for NON-Digital ART: LetYour Computer Aid Your Hand-Made Art Saturday, February 25 10:00 a.m.-- 2:00 p.m. Voc 101, FRC Campus • Course Fee: $25.00 Beginning Swing Dance March 1 -- 15 Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.--7:45 p.m. Feather River Fitness -- Mirror Room • $75.00/couple (couples only) Art and Science of Sport Fishing March 3 -- May 15 Saturdays, 12:00 p.m. -- 4:00 p.m. Room 101, FRC Science Bldg. • No Course Fee Basic Computers March 5--26 Mondays, 4:00 p.m.-- 5:00 p.m. Loyalton Career Center • Course Fee: $65.00 . I ..... i i::::: Dish Soap Mono Printing & Watercolor March 7--21 Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.--7:30 p.m. FRC Cafeteria • Course Fee: $40.00 Basic Guitar March 14--April 18 Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m.-- 8:30 p.m. Room 239, FRC Campus • Course Fee: $75.00 Accordion Book April 4-- 18 Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.--7:30 p.m. FRC Cafeteria ° Course Fee: $40.00 Digital Photography April 19, 25 & May 3--24 Thursdays (one Wednesday 4/25), 6:00 p.m.-- 8:00 p.m. Rm 600, FRC Campus • Course Fee: $75.00 Kayak Rolling Techniques May 2--9 Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m.-- 5:30 p.m. ORL Equipment Room • Course Fee: $10.00 Beginning Blues Guitar June 26--July 31 Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.-- 9:00 p.m. Location TBD • Course Fee: $75.00 Feather River College For Registration Info call 283-0202, Ext. 317 : @i < ::i@ B, REAK • ..and so much more is just 1 CLICK AWAY i !