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Monday, October 22, 2007

Pants suits, wedding flowers and the civil justice system

The Wall Street Journal blog has visited and revisited the story of the lawyer bride who is suing her florist for messing up the floral arrangement for her wedding. For those of you who missed the story in the news, the bride ordered $27,435 worth of flowers that, when they were delivered on her wedding day, she thought were not up to snuff. The peeved bride, alleging that the gaffe made her Big Day somewhat less than perfect, is seeking $400,000 in damages. One of the owners of the floral shop reportedly said: “My father used to tell me, ‘Don’t deal with lawyers.’ Maybe he was right, God bless his soul.”

Is it a case of a bridzilla running amok with the justice system or a legitimate grievance? Most of the posts on the original WSJ took the former view. The second WSJ item on the subject included excerpts of a comment received in favor of the bride, which led to 109 more comments, again mostly lashing out at the bride.

I have no idea of the relative merits of the bride's suit. However, when the story made the rounds on the Web as just "another frivolous lawsuit," it put me in mind of an Oct. 1 letter that Minnesota Association for Justice Executive Director Tim Adams wrote to the Star Tribune. The letter, penned as a response to an earlier commentary that the Strib published on the infamous "pants suit" against the Washington, DC., dry cleaners, decried the use of such suits to make it appear that our civil justice system doesn't work.

"Should this case have gone to court? No. But should going to court remain an option for those who are hurt through no fault of their own or to address wrongdoings by large corporations? Yes," Adams wrote. (Click here for the full text of the letter, which had the brief bit of celebrity of being the Strib's "letter of the day.")

If lawsuits like the pants suit are de rigeur in our justice system, why would that one silly case from Washington, D.C., have gotten so much press nationwide? The truth is that cases like that get so much attention not because they are common, but because they are so rare. They do occasionally happen though, and, no doubt, will continue to do so. As the lawyer bride discovered when her wedding flowers arrived, it's an imperfect world we live in. To quote the '80s rock ballad by Poison, "every rose has its thorn."


theysaywordscanbleed said...

This has been all over the media lately, almost all of the blogs that I visit has this as a feature story. It actually got my Poulsbo florist peeved.

Leroy said...

We are a local Minneapolis florist, and from what I have read concerning this case, I going to have to side with the bride. Apparently the florist did not have her sign a contract. They then ignored her emails, thereby peeving the bride off so much she filed the suit. They provided the wrong color of Hydrangeas. Color is important, it they were not able to get the correct color, they should have called her before the wedding. No, it should NOT have gone to court, Yes there were probably wrongs on both the florists side and the bride, but
that florist did not sound like they were being completely professional in my opinion.

Chez Bloom Florist