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Friday, April 20, 2007

Here We Go Again

I got this e-mail yesterday. (see the hoax e-mail about Glade Plug-in’s below). You can read about it here:

And here:

There are several versions of this “Alert” out there, some signed and some not.

If you check the website of the “attorney” that supposedly signed it, Hunton & Williams are corporate lawyers defending the likes of TxU, Bank of America and Bell South FROM these kinds of lawsuits. Their pro bono work is largely environmental lawsuits. Someone stuck the phony signature on it after reading that a lack of signature was a dead giveaway that it was a phony e-mail (they probably read it on

Use a Glade Plug-in properly and your bathroom will smell just fine and is unlikely to burn down as a result. Of course, if your bathroom plugs are cracked and broken and your wiring inadequate, you could start a fire there, but that’s not the plug-in’s fault. Sounds like some unscrupulous lawyer (probably not Hunton & Williams) setting up the manufacturer for a lawsuit. By tainting potential jurors in advance with this word of mouth attack on Glade, an attorney has a better chance of winning a nice fat lawsuit. Maybe it was done by a rival manufacturer who wants to improve their sales of a similar product by besmirching Glade’s brand name. Whoever it was knew enough about attorneys to make a realistic looking signature for the note.

Shame on them.

Please understand that by passing this sort of stuff around without checking it, we all contribute to rising costs for the things we buy in the store and the goods and services we use.

There are more than one million lawyers in this country – at least one for every 250 of us. At an average salary of $75,000 (and that’s very modest – it’s likely much higher), that means you and I pay out an average of around $3400 per year to support lawyers. This cost is not just in direct fees, it’s hidden in every product we buy, every service we use, every thing we do.

How many things do you know of that you cannot do anymore because of the fear of lawsuits.

Been on a hayride recently?
Churches don’t do those anymore because their insurance won’t let them.

How about a nice program for seniors at your church?
Nope! Can’t do that without licensing and liability insurance out the wazoo – which you often cannot get at any price!

Take a group of kids out in your boat?
Not without signed waivers and proof that you have liability insurance.

Swimming pool in your yard?
Not without an ugly high fence and locks and a sign that says no trespassing (as required by your insurance company).

Had a fender bender and apologized to the other driver because you made a mistake.
Not without worrying for weeks afterward that the other driver was going to show up in court with a neckbrace and take your home from you?

Apologized and helped them up when a neighbor slipped and fell on your porch or stumbled over your kid’s tricycle?
Not without worrying whether such an apology was an “admission of guilt” and basis for a suit.

Offered a homeless person a job for a few days to help him out?
Not without wondering if you were being set up for a suit. Better to let those “homeless organizations” with good insurance do that.

When’s the last time your kids played baseball on a sandlot?
Not without waivers, proof of insurance by the sandlot’s owner and certified umpires and safety equipment.

When’s the last time the local band did a concert in the park for free?
Not unless someone paid for it, because there was the city’s insurance against lawsuit to consider. Somebody paid for the concert you can bet on it and somewhere a lawyer got some money, however indirectly.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy with what I’m getting for my $3400.

AND for every dollar that goes directly to an attorney, at least another goes to his support staff, court fees, filing fees, penalties and losses to companies which they recover by charging you more for goods and services.

Got mesothelioma, Parkinsons or Lyme disease?
Had a car wreck?
Mom in a nursing home?
Taken heart medication, pain or diet pills?
Got a rash from a bottle of lotion?

Looking for a quick pile of money?
Who ya’ gonna call?

Just watch daytime television for a few minutes. They’ll give you a number you can call.

There’s an old folk song that I heard once. I’d like to offer a revision to the last verse.

…And when I die and go to heaven,
There won’t be no lawyers there.

Just one man's opinion...


-----Original Message-----Subject: FW: House Fires...(please read)... VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!

House fires--please read!!!!!Received from a friend who is in the insurance property business. It is well worth reading.This is one of those e-mails that if you don't send it, rest assured someone on your list will suffer for not reading it. The original message was written by a lady whose brother and wife learned a hard lesson this past week.Their house burnt down.. nothing left but ashe s. They have good insurance so the house will be replaced and most of the contents. That is the good news.

However, they were sick when they found out the cause of the fire. The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master bathroom. He asked her sister-in-law what she had plugged inthe bathroom. She listed the normal things....curling iron, blow dryer. He kept saying to her, "No, this would be something that would disintegrate at high temperatures". Then her sister-in-lawremembered she had a Glade Plug-In, in the bathroom.The investigator had one of those "Aha" moments. He said that was the cause of the fire. He said he has seen more house fires started with the plug-in type room fresheners than anything else. He said the plastic they are made from is THIN. He also said that in every case there was nothing left to prove that it even existed. When the investigator looked in the wall plug, the two prongs left from the plug-in were still in there.
Her sister-in-law had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She said she had noticed that the light would dim and then finally go out. She would walk in to the bathroom a few hours later, and the light would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb. Once it cooled down it would come back on. That is a warning sign

The investigator said he personally wouldn't have any type of plug in fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many places that have been burned down due to them.


Charisse Cannon-Matthews
Litigation Paralegal
Hunton & Williams LLPRiverfront Plaza,
East Tower951 East Byrd Street,
1155Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 344-7957
Fax: (804) 343-4874

This communication is confidential and is intended to be privileged pursuant to applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify Hunton & Williams LLP immediately by telephone (877-374-4937) and by electronic mail to: and then delete this message and all copies and backups thereof.

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