American Museum of Tort Law

My fellow Americans,

To be a good citizen, even one like me with a loathing for politics, one at least needs to have a general awareness of the law and goings on in government.

Ralph Nader agrees (you know, that guy we used to vote for when we didn’t like any of the other presidential candidates… suppose he’s going to be on the ballot this time around? He might win now, if so!), so he set up the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF TORT LAW- 654 Main St., Winsted, CT 06098-1552

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You’ll notice I added the Zip+4 code to the address. It’s because you’ll need it! When I originally typed the address into my phone, I got this.

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The top one is the correct address. The bottom one leads you to some vague spot between a bridge and some house apartments seven miles away!

Plug in the Zip+4.

Ralph Nader was born and raised in Winsted, hence the placement of the museum in this town; it’s otherwise an oddball place for such a museum.

I’ll admit, before I went to the museum, I knew the term “tort law” but really did not know what it was, exactly. Though there is only so much to say about it, the museum helps you understand it better with exhibits, interactive displays, and film presentations.

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Tort law, by the way, is related to personal loss or harm unfairly inflicted by another individual or group.

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One of the most famous is Liebeck vs. McDonald’s Restaurants, otherwise known as the McDonald’s Coffee Case, from the mid 90s. Modern mythology has turned the case into a money-hungry idiot spilling hot coffee on herself while driving. The truth is this was an 82-year-old woman in a parked car who spilled coffee on herself while trying to take the lid off to add creamer and sugar. This resulted in third-degree burns to her legs and groin, which needed two years and several surgeries to heal. The courts did declare that there was indeed some negligence on her part, but this case brought to the light the multiple ignored complaints against McDonald’s that their coffee significantly exceeded the recommended temperature. Liebeck was awarded money to cover the extensive medical bills plus pain and suffering (which the court later reduced to a quarter of the original $2.7 million). Things like that, that’s tort law.

20160629_140446.jpgChevy Corvair, the car that started Nader’s interest in tort law. Look it up to find out how.

Or better yet, visit the museum to find out.

Until next time, dahlings…

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