Every now and then, I start thinking our overly litigious society might be taking a breather… and then something like this happens.
Austin Aitken, who is a paralegal from Cleveland, Ohio, filed a federal lawsuit against NBC for showing the partaking of dead rats on an episode of Fear Factor. According to Aitken, the rat-eating episode caused him and another person in the house to throw up. To make matters worse, Aitken says his blood pressure rose significantly, making him dizzy and light-headed and causing him to bump his head on a doorway.
Just what exactly are people expecting when they watch Fear Factor? Has it not been a known fact since the show’s debut in 2001 that most of the contestants end up having to eat something from the “gross out” menu at some point? I’m not sure what’s worse — the fact that a show is being sued for delivering exactly what it advertised, or the fact that Aitken won’t even discuss his lawsuit unless it’s a “paid-interview situation.”
What’s really scary is not only that lawsuits like this can be filed, but some of those plaintiffs actually win! And you can bet that with the national exposure, trial lawyers will be lining up for miles to represent Aitken. Is it any wonder that trial lawyers are generally held in such low regard?