In our "Real Life Question and Answer" Series we present actual questions that have been posed by real people and the answers we've provided. In this case, a consumer wonders whether a lawsuit can be brought after work gloves are found in a new box of plastic spoons. The consumer had questions. We offered an answer, although it may not have been what the consumer wanted.

REAL LIFE QUESTION FROM A REAL PERSON:

I recently purchased a box of plastic spoons and inside of the box there was a pair of cloth work gloves that had all types of stains on them like whoever was working at the factory just said im gonna put these in the book. Can i sue for anything?

ANSWER FROM PURCHASE & GEORGE:

You don't indicate that you were injured as a result of those work gloves and so I presume you were not injured.

The answer to your question is that you can sue for whatever you'd like. Your suit will not be successful, however, unless you can demonstrate that you were harmed.

Frankly, the question deeply bothers me. It suggests that lawsuits are about windfalls for people lucky enough to have caught someone else in a mistake. The truth is that the vast majority of people who bring injury lawsuits are unlucky. These people are the genuinely injured who have to fight to obtain some measure of imperfect relief for their harms and losses. The difficulties faced by the genuinely injured are only made worse by the persistence of the wrong headed notion that the civil justice system is some sort of lottery for the litigious.