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anartist's avatar

Lawyers please answer -- when someone sues someone else [of modest means] for $10 million dollars over a nuisance claim, is that a rather rough invitation to SETTLE some beef?

Asked by anartist (14730 points ) July 27th, 2012

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. I countersued for, among other things, “abuse of process.”

The damn bloody thing lasted 5 years and 2 more on appeal. I felt I had to do what I did, because plaintiff [IMHO] had already taken something de facto and was trying to claim it de juris. And so I did what I did.

But is the usual meaning of such an action an invitation to surrender something in a settlement?

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3 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

Well, here’s what happens: It first goes to mediation, then to jury. If either party has ten million dollars, they are adjudicated to the appropriate court action, which could take years. And at least three hundred thousand dollars. So, usually, you will be heavily encouraged to mediate. A ‘nuisance’ claim’ in the high thousands let alone millions is usually considered ‘frivolous’ and thrown out. I am not a solicitor.

anartist's avatar

It was not thrown out. Mediation was a waste as stuff at issue had already been appropriated by plaintiff. I was too silly to see anything except regaining what was taken from me. 7 years of litigation.* sigh *

But the average Joe should read that as a warning. “Kiss the complainants’ ass, unless you have the bucks to fight.” Right? I didn’t know the rules. I survived in spite of all because I had a heroic lawyer.

wundayatta's avatar

SOmetimes it isn’t worth fighting something even though you are right. Sometimes it is better to settle rather than to drag the case out for years. It’ll suck you dry and you’ll spend far more than you could ever win.

Most people can’t give up, though, because they are stuck on the unfairness of the situation. They are stuck because they are right. It just sticks in their craw to let the other person steal something from them. So they fight and fight for justice, not realizing until much later that their fight for justice has cost them so much more than they realized: time. And they may not win, anyway.

I’m a big believer in the idea that the world isn’t fair. Sometimes, it’s more important to get on with life that to fight for truth, justice and the American Way. Sometimes, it’s better just to settle. Or even just give up. I have helped people do this in life, and I suspect they are happier for it, although no one ever said so.

Although in one case, the guy we gave in to was mentally ill and violent. I figured it was better to pay him to go away, now than to follow the normal legal processes, which could take years, and risk getting killed during that time. It cost ten thousand, and I think it was worth it. Got rid of a bad tenant for my brother, and kept my brother alive. So what if he was a jerk and in the wrong. He had already beaten my brother up once. I did not want my brother to be in the same building as that guy any longer than he had to. For 10K, he was gone in two weeks.

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