Budget solutions found in Jefferson lawsuit

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 16, 2002

The solution to Mississippi’s money woes may lie in JeffersonCounty. How we have all missed it all these years, I do not know,but lo and behold it has been there all this time.

With this revelation, Mississippi can wipe its financial slateclean; eliminate income taxes, sales taxes. Heck, if this idea issuccessful, we can probably eliminate the nasty five-letter wordfrom our vocabulary for we will have more money than the rest ofthe free world.

The revelation came in the form of a $6.5 billion lawsuit filedearlier this week in Jefferson County (no, it is not a misprint, weare talking billions not millions)! It seems that a couple offormer jurors felt they were irreparably harmed by the commentsmade during the broadcast of a segment of the “60 Minutes” newsshow. They feel that $597 million is due them for actual damageswith another $5.9 billion added as punitive damages just to makesure the defendants do not do it again.

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In their lawsuit, they say they believe they were slandered bythe comments made in the news program about the size and number oflawsuits being filed in the county. They specifically did not likethe comments that said jurors were getting kickbacks. Nor did theyappreciate the comments expressed by another regarding theeducational background and possible motives of jurors involved indifferent multi-million verdicts reached in the county. If I readtheir legal brief correctly, they felt the whole piece wasinsulting and derogatory about everyone in Jefferson County.

To set the record straight, the kickback comments have beenretracted as just a joke. Obviously, the plaintiffs in this suit donot see the humor – but we digress.

Anyway, as I read the lawsuit, it hit me. How many times hassomeone made a derogatory comment about our beloved state? How maytimes has Mississippi been the butt of a joke? How many times havethe good people of this state been placed in a bad light by someone who just does not like our great state and voiced an opinion?Shoot, just the last week with the Trent Lott controversy, peopleare saying all kinds of bad and insulting things aboutMississippians that are not completely accurate.

The way I figure it, with the 2.8 million of us who live in thestate and using the Jefferson County suit as the basis of thecalculation, we could sue the other 49 states for trillions inactual damages and gazillions in punitive damages! Shoot, we cansue England for another few billion ’cause they have made somedisparaging remarks in their claim that we owe them money for someconfederate bonds they bought back during the Civil War.

Personally, I was insulted several years back when I was inEngland when some British guy sneered at me. I know he was thinkingabout that bond money. It ruined my day, made me feel degraded andfearful when I rode by the Tower of London.

Anyway, the way I figure it, we have some of the richest andbrightest trial lawyers in the country. Heck after all, it wasMississippi trial lawyers that took down the tobacco companies

With their expertise, we can bring the rest of the country totheir knees! We can take away the Texas motto and make it our own -Don’t mess with Mississippi.

All that needs to be done is for Governor Ronnie Musgrove tocall on Attorney General Mike Moore to get the ball rolling. But hebetter move quickly, for after January 1 there is a $1,000 fine forfiling frivolous lawsuits.