4 December 2002
Waving it in the wind
Even if you've never heard of Bonzi Software, you've seen their ads: they look like half-assed (maybe quarter-assed) imitations of Windows dialog boxes, usually titled "Message Alert" or something comparably absurd. You're too smart to click on those silly things? Then you're not part of the class-action suit filed against Bonzi by a Pacific Northwest legal firm.
While I personally wouldn't mind seeing Bonzi and its imitators forced to gargle with ground glass, I'm not quite sure that litigation is the answer, and I'm reasonably certain that the outcome of this suit will be a windfall for the lawyers and little or nothing for anyone else. And right now, the people I really want to see disemboweled with a slotted spoon are the ones who, when you close their popup ad, ask if you'd like to change your start page to their sleazy site. Not even Bonzi does that yet. Posted at 8:36 PM to PEBKAC
I hate pop-up ads, too. But has anyone noticed the guy (Philip J. Carstens) who is suing Bonzi Software also sued his "former employer" after he sustained an "injury" of a "traumatic nature" when he bit into a piece of "Halloween Candy" taken from a dish located on the reception desk of his employer and "broke loose a dental crown."
It's kind of like the story about the burglar who sued for being trapped for 8 days in a garage of a house that he burgled -- with "nothing" to survive on, except a case of soft drinks and a bag of dry dog food.
You should read his legal argument: "The candy was either furnished by Mr. Carstens' employer, or by the receptionist employed by Mr. Carstens' employer, with full knowledge of the company's management and because the injury occurred in the course of his employment, Mr. Carstens had clearly sustained an injury compensable under the Industrial Insurance Act."
Compensable? What does that word mean? Do they mean like... as in... compensation? Do they mean like... M-O-N-E-Y?
But the really shocking thing is: HE WON THE CANDY LAWSUIT AND ACTUALLY GOT MONEY FOR HIS "TRAUMATIC INJURIES"! You can read all the "traumatic" details of that fateful day at: http://www.wa.gov/biia/890723.htm
Unbelievable… The "employer" that Mr. Carstens sued after he sustained an "injury" of a "traumatic nature" when he bit into a piece of "Halloween Candy" was none-other-than the law firm of "Ludkins & Annis" -- that's right, the same law firm who is now suing Bonzi Software on Mr. Carstens' behalf.
SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. YOU HAVE A LAWYER -- WHO SUED HIS OWN LAW FIRM FOR BEING "TRAUMATICLY INJURED" BY A PIECE OF HALOWEEN CANDY -- AND NOW THIS SAME GUY HAS BEEN "INJURED" BY INTERNET POP-UP ADS TOO?
The poor guy. I guess some people just have all the bad luck.
Somehow this starts to look like a bad David E. Kelley lawyer show.
"You're going to earn back that three grand you cost us for your effing dental work back in 1987."
"That was 1988, sir."
"Shut up. Now sit here and surf the Web and find us something that's actionable, and don't get up until you do."
"Yes, sir. Am I allowed a snack?"
Look closer at the earlier lawsuit. He didn't sue his employer, he was suing the Dept. of Labor and Industries because he was injured while he was on the job. He was not seeking awards from his employer, rather, he was seeking an award from the State, and he received it. Ultimately, it was decided that he was on the job when the candy he ate caused his crown to fall out. He felt that the claim should be handled by L&I, and eventually so did the State.
If you do a Google search on "Carstens lawsuit candy" you'll notice that this response about the Carstens lawsuit has been posted everywhere that the original Bonzi article was posted, all by the same individual.