Step right up! Everyone's a plaintiff!

The SE Texas Record Jul. 25, 2011, 4:12am

I'm a Plaintiff, he's a Plaintiff,
She's a Plaintiff, we're a Plaintiff,
Wouldn't you like to be a Plaintiff, too?

When you struggle with accepting responsibility for things that go wrong in your life, it helps to have a whipping boy – a patsy, a fall guy, a scapegoat, someone to blame.

Hurricanes have always made great boogeymen. But in the storm's aftermath, a number of insurance claims turn out to be false or inflated as greedy citizens succumb to the temptation to milk the disaster for damages it didn't cause.

That was before the Gulf Oil Spill.

The Spill now is the big boogeyman, and some Texans can't resist blaming it for everything bad that's happened in their lives ever since.

Put on weight. Blame the Spill! Got divorced. Blame the Spill! Picnic plans rained out. Blame the Spill!

Not that the Spill lacks legitimate victims. Individuals and companies harmed by it certainly deserve to be compensated by BP, rig owner Transocean, or any of the other responsible parties. But the number and nature of some of the claims strain credulity.

It also impedes the ability of legitimate victims to obtain full compensation for their losses.

Attorney Mikal Watts of Watts Guerra in San Antonio represents 44,510 clients with Spill-related claims. That's 44,510!

Some of those claimants, however, seem to be unaware of the representation. Some, according to a New York Times report, deny knowing the man.

And some of the claims border on the absurd. One, for instance, involves a woman who listed a home for sale before the explosion and sold it afterwards for less than her original asking price. She evidently believes that BP owes her the difference.

Maybe everyone in Texas should contact Mikal Watts and get on board the plaintiff bandwagon.

Wouldn't you like to be a Plaintiff, too?

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