One of the great joys – or even great disasters, depending which end of the process you’re on – of the American civil law system is that you can sue anyone you want for whatever and claim anything at all as damages. What’s a little less certain is that you’re going to win and that you’ll get your claim if you do.
So it is with this suit for $500 billion against the actresses Loughlin and Hoffman. Sure, it is alleged that they made use of the scam entrance scheme. They’re also not alleged to have been the masterminds – come, seriously, middle aged actresses do not mastermind criminal schemes, looks and the ability to emote are not a great training ground for that – nor the only people who used it. But, the case for $500 billion is against them and ain’t the American legal system great?
A US mother has filed a $500bn (£375bn) lawsuit against the people charged in a university admissions scandal, claiming her son was unfairly denied placement.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Jennifer Kay Toy cited the “despicable actions” of the alleged conspirators as the reason her child was not admitted to some universities he had applied to.[/perfectpullquote]
Umm, OK. The harm does, to succeed, have to be pretty direct. Is it?[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] In her filing to a San Francisco court on Wednesday, Ms Toy said that her son Joshua applied to some of the schools mentioned in the US Department of Justice complaint “but did not make the cut for some undisclosed reason”. “I’m now outraged and hurt because I feel that my son, my only child, was denied access to a college, not because he failed to work and study hard enough, but because wealthy individuals felt it was OK to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children’s way into a good college,” her civil suit states. [/perfectpullquote]
Hmm. That’s really pretty indirect. There’re in the range of 4 to 5 million entering college each year – the inaccuracy depends on exactly what you call a college. So, in order to show direct harm she’s got to show that these two mothers, pushing their own two children and only them, were the cause of her son not gaining a place at an elite college. Effectively, that he was going to be in except for two people jumping the queue.
That’s going to be a tough one to prove, isn’t it? And as to whether, even if it did happen, he requires $500 billion to make him whole….on the other hand, what a joy in the American legal system that this can happen.