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Justin M. Stoddard

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Class Action Stupidity
February 6, 2004 — 10:45 pm

It was only a matter of time I guess:

A Tennessee woman has sued Janet Jackson and others involved in her breast-baring Super Bowl halftime show, saying millions of people are owed monetary damages for exposure to lewd conduct, court records showed on Friday.
The suit, filed earlier this week in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee, also names pop star Justin Timberlake, who performed with Jackson, CBS Broadcasting Inc., show producer MTV Networks Enterprises Inc., and the parent of those two companies, Viacom Inc.

The action seeks a court order to prevent anything like last Sunday’s stunt from being repeated on U.S. network television prior to 10 p.m. local time when children might be watching.

It also asks the court to declare the matter a class action for purposes of damages. No dollar figure is mentioned in the suit, but it estimates that over 80 million U.S. viewers might be due compensation. CBS has said the game drew an average viewership of just under 89.6 million people. Advertising during the game sold for more than $2 million a spot.

Here’s another angle to the same story:

A Knoxville woman filed a proposed class action lawsuit Wednesday against Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, MTV, CBS and Viacom, contending she and other viewers were injured by their lewd actions during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Terri Carlin filed her lawsuit “on behalf of all Americans who watched the halftime show” in federal court in Knoxville.

The lawsuit stems from Sunday’s now infamous exposure of one of Jackson’s breasts when Timberlake ripped off part of her costume during their performance on the CBS network.

Viacom International Inc. owns both CBS and MTV. MTV produced the show.

Carlin, who works at a Knoxville bank, said the exposure and “sexually explicit conduct” by other performers during the show injured viewers.

“As a direct and proximate result of the broadcast of the acts, (Carlin) and millions of others saw the acts and were caused to suffer outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury,” the lawsuit filed by Knoxville attorney Wayne A. Ritchie II states.

Did you get that America? Because Janet Jackson exposed herself on TV, you are entitled to some cold hard cash. Hey! If you can prove (or I just claim) that you were injured, offended or damaged by seeing an exposed breast, you can fleece anyone you damn well please!

This is beyond pathetic.

And oh yeah… Just how in the hell is this woman able to file a lawsuit “on behalf of all Americans who watched the halftime show”? I don’t recall making her my personal spokesperson. I wonder if I can file suit for false representation.


— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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