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Register.com Loses Class action Lawsuit

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the and-nelson-laughs dept.

The Courts 454

Anonymous Blowhard writes "I found out today I am a member of a class that just beat register.com in New York Supreme Court!! The suit was filed by Michael Zurakov because register.com pointed his newly registered domain(s) to 'coming soon' web pages. Mr. Zurakov receives $12,500 for the harm caused by register.com while members of the class can look forward to a settlement of $5 off their next domain renewals. Register.com will also pay 'reasonable Class Counsel attorneys' fees and costs in an amount not to exceed $642,500.00, subject to Court approval.' If you want to exclude yourself from the class, giving up any settlement and not being bound by its terms, you have to opt-out."

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register.com, the e-rag? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919633)


register.com, the e-rag? huh?

<---- I'm with stupid

Re:register.com, the e-rag? (0, Informative)

Ambient Sheep (458624) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919656)

Understandable mistake, but that would be www.theregister.co.uk [theregister.co.uk] , I think.

Re:register.com, the e-rag? (-1, Flamebait)

mrnad (575583) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919701)

Do you even read the stories before replying?!

Re:register.com, the e-rag? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919711)


It's down the hall, first door on the right.

Re:register.com, the e-rag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919758)

> Do you even read the stories before replying?!

Um yes, which is why I was pointing out the parent poster's mistake. Perhaps YOU didn't read THAT, as it's now been modded down to -1 Offtopic. Since I've been modded down once already the same way for pointing out his mistake, I obviously shouldn't have bothered. I didn't realise it was Offtopic to get confused about URLs, still less to be informative about the situation. [rolls eyes]

Re:register.com, the e-rag? (0)

mrnad (575583) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919789)

Good point, well presented... if anyone needs me I'll be out playing in the traffic. d'oh

Re:register.com, the e-rag? (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919831)

Do you even read the stories before replying?!

Of course we do. And I for one welcome our new.. er, in Soviet Russia... nope, that's not it. Screw the RIA... er.. SCO.. Microsoft.. hang on. Sorry - what was the article about again?

I won this class action lawsuit... (5, Funny)

Jonny Royale (62364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919637)

...and all I got was a $5 off coupon.

$650,000 in court fees, huh? Guess we know who the lawyers were fighting for.

Re:I won this class action lawsuit... (3, Insightful)

the_bahua (411625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919657)

In one of the most recently settled tobacco company CA suits, the lawyers fees alone were in the billions. Class action lawyers are working in the honeypot of litigative law.

Re:I won this class action lawsuit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919721)

In one of the most recently settled tobacco company CA suits, the lawyers fees alone were in the billions. Class action lawyers are working in the honeypot of litigative law.

Hey, people have to eat. Lawyers pay for it with frivilous lawsuits, tobacco executives pay for it by killing people. It's all good.

In other news... (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919729)

...and all I got was a $5 off coupon.

Register.com today announced their fees are increasing by $5 for new domain registrations and renewals.

Coming Soon page is common for new domains? (2, Insightful)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919638)

Isn't a Coming Soon page pretty common for most new domains?

Re:Coming Soon page is common for new domains? (2, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919699)

In other words, doen't this apply to any small ISP that also starts a new user's domain hosting service with a Coming Soon page?

btw, that Register Coming Soon page was awful, with a flood of popups. Suprisingly un-pro thing to do.

Re:Coming Soon page is common for new domains? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919812)

I think the decision is right, but not that it had to be reached in this way. Domain registrations should result in the minimally required DNS-records, unless stated otherwise. If I want a domain for emails, I don't want to find out that someone has put up a webpage which most likely doesn't represent me. These announcements may get into search engines before I get around to putting my pages up. If there are links to the provider on the announcement page, they get free page-rank and my name becomes associated with content which I did not choose to link to. More severe consequences are not unthinkable.

damages? (3, Insightful)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919641)

$12.5K for that? How was he harmed? He had tools to point it elsewhere.

Re:damages? (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919672)

My idea exactly. Sound pretty frivolous to me.

Next, we get complaints that laptops have a protective piece of plastic on the touchpad when you get them, which has to be removed before use.

Re:damages? (4, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919722)

$12.5K for that? How was he harmed? He had tools to point it elsewhere.

Technically, the $12.5K is for his services in representing the class. Otherwise, he likely would only get $5 as well. Still, what a completely frivolous lawsuit. It doesn't say in the article, but did he at least try to negotiate up-front first before wasting over half a million dollars in legal expenses?

People are Still using register dot com? (2, Interesting)

the_bahua (411625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919643)

I regged my first domain with them, when I didn't know any better, and quickly moved it to addresscreation when I saw the alternatives. Are there any advantages to paying the premium registration charge for rdc?

Re:People are Still using register dot com? (2, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919918)

Well, they offer a toll free (1800) tech support line, and you can just call that whenever and they'll make any changes to your domain name for you. This saves time and grief for those less-experienced users. Also, if you register several yrs you get a good discount. Add to that the fact that you can actually negotiate with them about the registration price, and you end up getting the better service etc at no additional charge.

morons smell victory vs. unprecedented evile.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919649)

aka georgewellian fuddite corepirate nazis, aka the walking dead.

mynuts won, again, & couNTing DOWn?

morons' project combines planet/population rescue, (Score:-1, Flamebait)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, @06:30AM (#6919518)

with disempowerment of unprecedented evile, aka georgewellian fuddite corepirate nazis, aka the walking dead.

that's right. if the phonIE greed/fear based ?pr? ?firm? stock markup execrable is not addressed, then the penguin clubbing will continue, until there's only won left?

we're building a vessel that floats on almost any suBStance.

as to the newclear power/planet/population rescue initiative:

it's all free (as in survival), & available immediately to you/all of US.

as you can maybe already see, yOUR survival/success is not the least bit dependent on the gadgets/combinations of the greed/fear based corepirate nazis, & their phonIE ?pr? ?firm? buyassed /.puppets.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. more breathing. vote with yOUR wallet (somtimes that means not buying anything, a notion previously unmentioned buy the greed/fear/war mongers). seek others of non-aggressive/positive behaviours/intentions. stop wasting anything/being frivolous. that's the spirit.

investigate the newclear power plan. J. Public et AL has yet to become involved in open/honest 'net communications/commerce in a meaningful way. that's mostly due to the MiSinformation suppLIEd buy phonIE ?pr? ?firm?/stock markup FraUD execrable, etc...

truth is, there's no better/more affordable/effective way that we know of, for J. to reach other J.'s &/or their respective markets.

the overbullowned greed/fear based phonIE marketeers are self eliminating by their owned greed/fear/ego based evile MiSintentions. they must deny the existence of the power that is dissolving their ability to continue their self-centered evile behaviours.

as the lights continue to come up, you'll see what we mean. meanwhile, there are plenty of challenges, not the least of which is the planet/population rescue (from the corepirate nazi/walking dead contingent) initiative.

EVERYTHING is going to change, despite the lameNT of the evile wons. you can bet your .asp on that. when the lights come up, there'll be no going back, & no where to hide.

we weren't planted here to facilitate/perpetuate the excesses of a handful of Godless felons. you already know that? yOUR ONLY purpose here is to help one another. any other pretense is totally false.

pay attention (to yOUR environment, for example). that's quite affordable, & leads to insights on preserving life as it should/could/will be again. everything's ALL about yOUR motives.

take care, we're here for you.

phew, finally.... (5, Funny)

andih8u (639841) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919662)

Now I can sue apache for that horrible advertising page that informs me I've successfully installed the apache server and welcomes me to my new home in cyberspace.

Re:phew, finally.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919798)

...and we'll give you a coupon worth $0.00 off your next purchase of any Apache Software Foundation product.

Re:phew, finally.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919917)

Hey, that page is rumoured to be the only piece of html on the internet that is fully HTML 1.4 compliant!

Harm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919663)

What exactly is the harm in a coming soon website? Looks to me like its just more people trying to scam the American Taxpayer. How many times do I have to tell the slashdot crowd... GET A JOB!!

Re:Harm? (5, Insightful)

sirius_bbr (562544) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919684)

What exactly is the harm in a coming soon website?

I think the harm is that register.com can use these coming-soon-websites to get advertising revenue by putting adds on 'property' (the domain) they don't own.

Re:Harm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919719)

And that was harmful to this guy BECAUSE....?

Re:Harm? (2, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919739)

I think the harm is that register.com can use these coming-soon-websites to get advertising revenue by putting adds on 'property' (the domain) they don't own.

So does this mean that once a house is sold, the realtor must immediately take down their sign rather than leaving it up for a week advertising their name with the "SOLD" sticker across it? Now *there's* a class action waiting to happen!

Re:Harm? (1)

evil_roy (241455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919856)

It's in the contract with the real estate agent. It is usually a set period that the sign must remain up. Usually there are also other clauses to allow use of images etc for future marketing purposes. The real problem with signs in yards should be commercial advertising in a residential zone.

Re:Harm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919762)

by putting adds on 'property' (the domain) they don't own

But does someone actually "own" a domain, a phone number, or driver's license? Aren't you paying for the benefit of using them over a certain amount of time and the original issuer may revoke your rights if you go against the agreement?

Just wondering?

I found out I was not eligible for the class (0)

OpenSourcerer (515213) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919668)

The register page was covered with WhenU pop-ups for other registars.

Lawyer Spam! (4, Insightful)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919670)

You have to opt out to exclude yourself from a class action suit? - What a world!

This was a stupid lawsuit. (4, Insightful)

CrazyJoel (146417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919673)

Just stupid. I've got several sites registered on register.com. I don't see what is so offensive about having a Coming Soon page until it switches to your DNS. That's like 2 days?

What an idiot!

Now, he's costing them $600,000. Which ain't pocket change. I hope they can handle it. They've done pretty good. Customer service is okay. A little slow, but they answer their phones.

Re:This was a stupid lawsuit. (4, Interesting)

delcielo (217760) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919750)

Agreed. I opted out and sent an e-mail to the plaintiff's lawyers protesting.

This is the sort of litigious bull**** that we could do without. If the guy didn't know better than to submit his domain without name servers, or didn't know that these things don't get organized immediately, then he should sue whoever told him how to set up a website. Or better yet, he should just chock it up to learning the new forms of business in the internet age.

And class action my butt. It implies that he was doing this for all those people who were wronged by the defendant. If there were serious damages done, we'd have heard more about it from the enraged masses, and the settlement would have been something real or substantial. This was just a way to "lawyer up."

Re:This was a stupid lawsuit. (2, Informative)

spydir31 (312329) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919794)

I think the advertisments plastered all over your new domain may be the issue, though I might be wrong
here's [register.com] the coming soon page, if anyone cares (I've seen far worse, tho)

Re:This was a stupid lawsuit. (5, Insightful)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919890)

That was terrible! Ads on the page, pop-under ads, and pop-away ads (which pop up when you leave the site). I'm feeling a little less sympathy for Register.com now.

Re:This was a stupid lawsuit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919940)

I counted 4 popups. Well acutally my spiffy new Google toolbar made 3 ticking sounds indicating 3 popups were blocked. Then one more tick when I left. Lets see, $1 for each pop-up and one for that awful page full of ads. Where do I sign up?

If you haven't done it already get google toobar.
http://toolbar.google.com

$5 off your next domain!! (2)

fuckfuck101 (699067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919681)

wow, now you only need 4 more coupons and then what you have left is the average price of a DNS from a company that doesn't rip it's customers off.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

gclef (96311) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919682)

He didn't win. It was a settlement. Register decided to settle, rather than fight this stupid lawsuit. Note: the lawyer made more money than anyone else in this stupid little charade.

Is it obvious that I'm not exactly impressed with this? Register initially pointed his domain to a "coming soon" page when he registered his domain, and they should have put that they would do this in their contract, fair enough. Is that worthy of a lawsuit? Hell no. Is that worthy of hundreds of thousands of dollars in "damages"? Hell no.

Re:Sigh (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919709)

Is that worthy of a lawsuit? Hell no.
This guy probably saw this as a way to make some easy money. Yup, his free $12,5k is costing the company over $600k. Guess who will pay for all that in the end?

Now ISPs will either remove these 'under construction' pages or be more specific about them in their contracts. Watch for the next leech who sues his ISP for not providing an 'under construction' page resulting in a DNS error message. Sigh. I am beginning to appreciate my own country's legal system more and more... over here, you have to provide (shock! gasp!) actual proof of damages or you get nothing.

Re:Sigh (-1, Troll)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919767)

Guess who will pay for all that in the end?
A company that overcharges for its services? And provides subpar customer support? A company that 3 years later still spams me even though I repeatedly attempt to get of their crappy mailing list?

Sounds about right to me.

"NY Supreme Court" can be misleading (4, Informative)

restive (542491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919691)

NY is different than most states because the title of their trial court is the "Supreme Court", which is what most people think is the title for the highest court in the state.

Re:"NY Supreme Court" can be misleading (2, Informative)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919900)


If that is the case, what are the names for the appeal and "supreme" courts in NY?

i really don't mean to be anti-us (3, Insightful)

fuckfuck101 (699067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919692)

But this is the kind of stuff we here in the UK hear about Americans, if they trip over because they're drunk they sue their shoe companies, or the council who made the pavement.

This is a real turn-off, it portrays Americans in a really bad light, I know your corporates are all like this but do you the people need to be to?

US not what we were/could/should be again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919726)

yeah, sorry for the appearance of greed/fear/selfishness that we exude now. it's mostly just poor training of/from/buy whoreable greed/fear based excrable, aka corepirate nazis, aka the walking dead.

they've made almost everything into some sort of litigatory moneysuck, now that their payper liesense stock markup fraudfest is dissolving into coolapps. last gaspers at best, but they definitely make US (of which, around 99.9% of us are just honest/hard working po' folk) look like (we support) the corepirate nazi execrable they are.

sorry for the continued MiSrepresentation buy phonIE foulcurrs who represent the opposite of most of US.

Re:US not what we were/could/should be again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919738)

Try posting in english you 1d10t

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919728)

Yes

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (5, Interesting)

ratpack91 (698171) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919733)

I know exactly what you mean but your example doesn't hold very well because I remember a few years ago loads of people were suing Manchester council for ... tripping over the pavement and 'breaking' their ankles. The trouble with America is that (bastard) lawyers come along and tell people they could make loadsa money if they sue company x for something that happened to them even if they hadn't thought about it seriously before.

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919743)

"The trouble with America is that (bastard) lawyers come along and tell people they could make loadsa money if they sue company x for something that happened to them even if they hadn't thought about it seriously before."

That's the lawyers fault? Funny, I make that the fault of the people for allowing such a law to exist. Change it if you don't like it.

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (1)

Barnoid (263111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919783)

Maybe the lawyers come along and tell these people they can get easy money, but still it is their decision whether to join the lawsuit or not.

Btw, I just read that United, American & Boeing are going to be sued by victims of the 9/11 attacks. That's exactly that kind of stuff that makes the rest of the world laugh about the US.

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (3, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919751)

Well, I guess the general population takes it's cues for behaviour from the rest of the population.

If all they see in society and the media is spin, profit over ethics and threats (I'll sue you). Where the amount of money you have is generally the only relevent measure of somebody's value or 'worth'. Where everything you ever see, hear or read is distorted in some manner by these forces.

How do you expect people to behave differently?

Here in the UK things are nearly as bad. I personally reckon the BBC is probably the only thing that has stopped us decending to the unfortunate state the US has found itself in.

So next time you hear of a little thieving toe-rag (oops, sorry, I meant underprivaleged young man who has fallen to peer-pressure) coming out with the usual excuses ('I brought it off a man in a pub', 'I was threatened by the way the old man ran away from me so I kicked his head in' etc..) blame the spin doctors and barristers.. The criminaly are just learning from the masters.

Our lives are now nothing more than manipulation, external and internal.

who modded this troll up? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919769)

I wonder how your troll got modded up so high. I could say the exact same thing about all the drunk English people screaming at their kids and each othere I saw when I went on vacation to Spain. I mean, I know Tony Blair is a loudmouthed nincompoop, but do you guys have to be as well?

I'm sure there's never been a case of the UK not getting something they wanted and starting a war over it (get the hint?)

By the way, if "you" are going to be so damn anal about your language, you should learn how to spell properly and to use correct grammar.

Re:who modded this troll up? (1)

ananiasanom (704770) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919845)

I could say the exact same thing about all the drunk English people screaming at their kids and each othere I saw when I went on vacation to Spain

And you'd have a good point, if the topic was drunk holidaymakers. It's not particularly relevant to this lawsuit, though.

Is it now not allowed to notice certain cultural trends? England really does have a lot of people who get drunk and cause trouble on holiday in Spain. America really does have more lawyers than the rest of the world put together. Occasionally one or the other of these observations might be relevant to a slashdot discussion.

(Possibly the parent was making a bad comparison - he thought he was jumping to an unfair conclusion and didn't realise he was seeing a symptom of something which is common knowledge througout Europe)

Re:who modded this troll up? (1)

fuckfuck101 (699067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919862)

Not getting what we wanted and starting a war?

Yeah, I hate living in a country that is prepared to fight to the death for the ideals it's own foundations are based upon. I hate how we oppose vicious dictators and are prepared to take it to the battlefield to stand up for our fellow human beings.

Oh, and: "...people screaming at their kids and each othere ..."

Nice spelling yourself, mate.

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (0, Funny)

RestiffBard (110729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919771)

my most humble apologies on behalf of all Americans. A great many of us, sadly, are twits.

We're also responsible for labels on hair dryers warning that you not use them in the shower.

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (1, Funny)

Gr00ve (30611) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919793)

I agree. This is truly ridiculous.

They should be suing whoever sold them the alcohol.

I bet there wasn't even a warning sticker saying "Caution: Drinking alcohol may cause accidental horizonalism".

Re:i really don't mean to be anti-us (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919877)

> They should be suing whoever sold them the alcohol.

INCORRECT. They have noone to blame but themselves for getting drunk and tripping. PERIOD. FUCKING. DOT.

Stupid lawsuits by the few... (3, Interesting)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919801)

There are a few things you need to understand about stupid American lawsuits...

It is a tiny minority of Americans that file stupid lawsuits.

Americans laugh at these idiots too.

Frequently, the media portrays the lawsuits as idiotic, but when you dig into the details and hear the other side it is not so idiotic. Case in point, the famous case of the old women suing McDonald's for the hot coffee spilled on her. Stupid lawsuit until you read the full story behind it. That McDonald's coffee was the hottest in the industry. That McDonald's coffee temperature was on the "knee of the curve" where a few degrees made the difference between a minor burn and a 3rd degree burn. The women received 3rd degree burns and had to go to a hospital. By pushing their coffee temperature to an extreme, well beyond industry practice, McDonald's created a hazard. The lawsuit is not so stupid in that context.

The case sited in this story does sound stupid, but I would like to hear the whole story before I judge.

why to sue? (3, Insightful)

jlemmerer (242376) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919693)

I think that register.com wanted to offer a service, because maybe in their eyes a "coming soon" page is better than a 404 page. It would have been better (in my opinion) to just write them that you don't want to have this "service" than to suing them. But you can see this as you want...

Won the law suit? (5, Insightful)

eadz (412417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919694)

You get $5
Lawyer gets : $642,500 ... so who really won?

Re:Won the law suit? (1, Funny)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919859)

*uh* ... *thinks* ... that's a catch question ... right? *sweats* ..errr

*ducks*

both?

Now if you would have included register.com into that question, it would have been _really_ tricky...

Re:Won the law suit? (2)

anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919882)

You don't even get $5.00

You get $5.00 off your next domain registration with them. Since they charge $35.00 a year for a .com registration, you're still getting taken. Compare that to Godaddy.com 's 8.95 registration fee.

Register.com didn't settle out of court. They paid off the other sides lawyers to make them go away. I've got a feeling that when settlement negotiations started, the main bone of contention was how much register.com was going to pay in legal fees. Neither side cared about the consumers who were supposedly wronged. So $5.00 off makes it look like the plaintiffs lawyers actually did something to earn their money, lets register.com continue to charge inflated prices and rack up the profits. Consumers get ripped off again, but nobody really cares about that.

Re:Won the law suit? (1, Insightful)

geschild (43455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919924)

Blockquote:

You get $5
Lawyer gets : $642,500 ... so who really won?
Not that I approve of the legalistic way in which many things seem to work in the US, but consider this: At least the lawyers did real work to earn the money. All that most of the others did was 'board' a pre-existing suit out of opportunistic reasons.

The lawyers' fee does seem extravagant, but again, they take the burden and the risk. My point being: don't complain about the opportunistic behaviour of others, they are merely human too. (Yeah yeah, go on, make the obligatory lawyer jokes if you really must)

Locking innovation down... (3, Interesting)

locarecords.com (601843) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919695)

Petty actions like this can have unforeseen consequences on the entire technology sector as they can be a disincentive to try out new technologies and methods of making new products and services. I think it is reasonable to ask that *actual* harm is being caused by this linking.

Presumably all the company will do is add a clause to their terms and conditions that allows them to explicitly do this anyway.. But tying up every new attempt to use the technology in clauses and legalese is hardly going to free people to experiment...

Re:Locking innovation down... (1)

damian (2473) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919755)

Not being based in the US helps a lot too.

And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919696)

This really puts the icing on the cake, doesn't it?

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (3, Informative)

phoxix (161744) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919745)

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane

The woman sued because the coffee was simply too hot. It was hot enough to instantaneously destory skin, flesh and muscle.

The woman who spilt it was hospitalized for 8 days and suffered 3rd degree burns on 6 percent of her body.

Sunny Dubey

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919785)

Dammit, stop letting the truth get in the way of a good story.
Next you'll be saying Slashdotters should read the article before posting.

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (3, Funny)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919820)

So, let's suggest I purchase some acid. This company, they screw up, I purchased 10% acid (enough to burn through my skin in 1 minute) but they packed in 100% acid (enough to burn through my skin in 10 seconds).

I decide to carry this dangerous item using my genitalia. Being a moron, I crush the relatively fragile carrier with my thighs and spill this acid all over myself. Rather than being able to wash this stuff off and avoiding sexual pleasure for a week, I have to be hospitalized.

Do I get to sue also? No, I clearly misused a product that, either way, wasn't labelled to be used in that manner. If it were labelled "Please spread this item on your genetalia", I'd have a pretty good case. But it wasn't.

If she sued because the correct usage of the product harmed her, THAT'S FINE. She could sue for 3rd degree mouth burns. That would be fine with me.

You do NOT get to sue, in my books, for ANY unintended usage of a product that turns out to be dangerous. Otherwise what happens when one of my $29.99 power supplies gets used in a heart monitor? Do I get sued for it failing at the wrong time and KILLING a patient?

Certainly not. That's misuse of the product. And at least in that case, it was doing something related to proper use of the product. In this lady's case, the item in question wasn't even NEAR where it belonged. This woman assumed the coffee would only cause some burning if she crushed the cup, not a lot. If she assumed none, then honestly, she's really dumber than some of the unfortunate bedridden, braindead people waiting for death at various hospitals not visited by Dr. Kevorkian. At least their natural reactions cause them to shy away from hot items.

Jesus, how can you be so stupid to take a risk of even some burning?

"Damn, lost my ring in with the boiling carrots. Well, I think they've only been on for a minute, I'll just reach in there and get it." "Oh, shit, I burned myself because this stove heats up faster than my usual one. I HAD BETTER SUE FRIGIDAIRE FOR MILLIONS RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE I'M KING DUMBSHIT! Or should I phone emergency... so hard to decide."

>The woman who spilt it was hospitalized for 8 days and suffered 3rd degree burns on 6 percent of her body

I'm sorry she's an idiot and drinks beverages (hot, cold, lukewarm, of any type really) with her vagina. However, someone that stupid really needs hospitalization for something; I'm just glad they caught her before she did more serious damage to herself.

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (1)

pcassidy (556905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919883)

yea, but how can coffee be too hot?? When I make coffee I use boiling water...

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919887)

She also required skin grafts.

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (1)

spinozaq (409589) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919752)

Grrrrr. When will people get over this myth. The McDonalds coffee suit was a completely valid suit. McDonalds was serving coffee at 180 degree F. Which caused THIRD DEGREE burns on this women. You go get third degree burns on your dick because of some companies greed and tell me you don't think you need compensation. Go read the facts, quit spouting off at the mouth. God I hate people.

http://www.vanfirm.com/mcdonalds-coffee-lawsuit. ht m

The result of the suit was McDonalds lowering the temperature of their coffee to reasonable levels ( on par with all other major restaurants ) Which is IMHO a very important part of any law suit. To change the world for the better. Unlike this law suit, which IMHO is retarded, maybe if the pop up put his eye out or something.. but no.

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (1)

moyet (148706) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919833)

The result of the suit was McDonalds lowering the temperature of their coffee to reasonable levels ( on par with all other major restaurants ) Which is IMHO a very important part of any law suit. To change the world for the better.

I maybe stupid, but isn't coffee susposed to be hot. The result of this lawsuit is cold coffee.

Damm, can I sue, those who sued McDonalds, becaused my coffe is now cold?

Re:And I thought suing for spilt coffee was insane (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919861)

>http://www.vanfirm.com/mcdonalds-coffee-lawsuit.h t m

Been there, done that. I don't consider misuse of a product a valid basis for a lawsuit.

If placing an already dangerous item even at the "standard" temperature in front of your genetalia isn't misuse, well, I guess I just don't know what is.

I wouldn't give a crap if she died because of it. Misuse of products can do that to you. How about the crazy people that hook their stereo systems up to their genitals for shits and giggles? Can they sue if it renders them sterile?

"Oh, but this stereo is 300 watts. It's really supposed to be 150 watts, so I didn't expect to fry the hell out of my dick! It's all Harman/Kardon's fault! Blame them! Sue them! My dick hurts!"

idiot (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919953)

So if Macdonalds sold a drink that if you spilled it on yourself, it was lethal, you wouldn't see anything wrong in that? You're an idiot.

Entirely Frivolous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919926)

The suit was entirely frivolous. The customers like the coffee that hot. Everyone knows the use caution around hot liquids: if you spill it yourself, it is your fault.

"You go get third degree burns on your dick because of some companies greed and tell me you don't think you need compensation. "

If you pour coffee on your dick, it is your own fault.

Probably a good idea to exclude yourself.. (2)

wfberg (24378) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919700)

Class Members will also agree that they remain bound by the terms of Register.com's Services Agreement, as it is amended from time to time.

Yes! Let's agree to agree on things you never agreed on in the first place! Not that this is NOT worded in quite the same way as their current services agreement words it (which includes a 30 day period in which you can up and leave if they change the services agreement); it would seem that this class action settlement overrides such common sense provisions. Nasty!

The remedy seems worse than the disease.

Re:Probably a good idea to exclude yourself.. (1)

watzinaneihm (627119) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919838)

Well that is all the more reason not to take that 5 dollars.
By taking 5 dollars, you are being party to an unnecessary and frivolos (sp?) lawsuit, I would not take that cash.Feels like taking stolen money.This opt-out thing is painful though, I would have preferred an opt-in. And on top of that you have to agree to their new all inclusive service agreement (though I don't know how legal such a contract is ).
Funniest thing is that this person posted it on slashdot. Boy he does have an axe to grind against register.com .Its like bragging that you managed to con somebody and asking others to join in the fun

Can we say frivalent lawsuit? (1)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919704)

The Justice System working for us...no doubt.

If you're so stupid you can't identify a "Free Parking" page, or read the FAQs, that doesn't entitle you to a retarded lawsuit does it?

I mean really...

Re:Can we say frivalent lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919813)

No entry found for frivalent.

Did you mean frivolous?

$5 and waive all rights, or keep the rights? (5, Interesting)

bo0ork (698470) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919705)

Seems to me it would be a no-brainer to opt out of a $5 class settlement. Why waive all future claims against a measly $5??

Regiser.com DNS service (1)

vvdd2 (703532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919708)

Regiser.com has a good service (especially DNS service), but they started looking a little bit expensive.

Is there a cheaper alternative to Regiser.com which provide similar level of service (DNS & etc.).

Sue the Lawyers! (4, Insightful)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919723)

I mean, come on now. I read a post a while back here from some guy defending lawyers... and it made some sense. But then you get this kind of nonsense, which is quite obviously a frivolous lawsuit -- and noone really gets anything but the damn lawyers involved...

And the lawyers wonder why we want the vast majority of them boiled in oil?

Oooohhhh Ahhhhhh my domain name pointed to a shitty "coming soon" page for two days!! The humanity!! I want to go bitch slap that guy.

Object to the Attorney's Fees (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919730)

This case was just a shakedown. To prevent it from happening again, members of the class can object to the attorney's fees awarded in the settlement.

See Sec. VII (C) of the linked document for reference.

RDC actually sends me coupons for more than $5 to entice me to keep using their service. This is pretty much the same thing. So they're effectively paying me nothing, paying the plaintiff $12.5K and paying the lawyers $650K.

I Object!

Re:Object to the Attorney's Fees - Mod Up (4, Informative)

koancomputers (319632) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919893)

That's what I'll be doing - here's the linked section:

C. IF YOU WANT TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT, BUT STILL BE A PART OF THE SETTLEMENT CLASS.
If you do not request exclusion from the Settlement Class, you may object to any aspect of the proposed Settlement, including the fairness of the settlement, the attorneys' fees and costs or the adequacy of Plaintiff or Class Counsel or Notice, by filing and serving a written objection. Your written objection must state the case name and number ((Zurakov v. Register.com, Case No. 01-600703), the grounds for your objection and your full name and address, and your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Court, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY, 10007 with a copy to Counsel. SUCH OBJECTIONS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 14, 2003. If you mail an objection to the Settlement, then you bear the risk of any problems with the mails. Such objections will be considered at the Settlement Hearing (see section VIII below), at which you may appear if you wish.

The Cost (5, Informative)

Techen (705895) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919734)

I used to work for Register.com. They sell domains to people that have less computer knowledge then your average AOL user. Once people have a clue about domains they tend to shift to other Registrars. Register.com domains are costly because of the support given. Guys that don't even realize what a domain is or how it is used tend to be the client base for RCOM. As for the issue with the coming soon page I think the fella was doing a money grab.

Re:The Cost (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919840)

I have my domains with register.com, even though I have at least five sd more computer knowledge than your average AOL user. The cost is completely insignificant to me, basically equivalent to being free, so there's no monetary incentive not to, even though other registrars may be cheaper. One of the reasons I used them originally was because I thought a popular and widely used registrar would be less likely to engage in monkey business if someone else wanted to slip them a few thousand dollars to find some kind of imaginary flaw in my renewal. I don't really know if this is a concern, although I do have one domain that people would be happy to steal. My unfounded intuition is that register.com has more of a business to protect than some of the cheaper registrars.

New kind of Customer-binding / SPAM? (1)

lemmen (48986) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919744)

I also received a PDF document with this case explained. I read the document and when my eyes hit the $5 coupon line, it all makes senses to me. People will get a $5 discount on the next renewel, which is a great commercial action by Register.com (they won't lose a customer for another year).

The fun, I never registered a Register.com domain.

Anybody else heard of this kind of customer-binding/spam actions by companies?

Corporate Justice? (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919747)

From the page:
On or about March 6, 2001, Register.com revised its Services Agreement to expressly refer to the use of the Coming Soon Page.

Not sure ... was the lawsuit submitted before they revised the SA? If that's the case then the fellow (and the rest of plaintiffs in this class action) does have point in his suit.

This Notice is not an admission by Register.com or a finding by the Court that the claims asserted by Plaintiff in this case are valid.

As usual. We'll pay but we don't admit we did anything wrong.

Personally I don't see what the big deal is. Every domain (except NSI ones in the early days) always had a notice.

Which is nice.

Re:Corporate Justice? (1)

watzinaneihm (627119) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919872)

As usual. We'll pay but we don't admit we did anything wrong.
That makes sense especially in a case like this.If they don't put a note like that in there it means that somebody can use this settlement as a basis for further lawsuits, something along the lines of "they made a mistake , admitted it by settling but did not pay me enough" .That is definitely not OK , since the reason for settling is to avoid further lawsuits. The case really has no merit.

Are we missing something here? (3, Informative)

plumby (179557) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919763)

On the face of it, this seems absolutely stupid.
However, the article is published on register.com's own website, and I get a feeling that we're only getting one side of the story. Nowhere does it explain how he was possibly harmed by this redirecting. A quote on another site seems to point to something else going on -

Michael Zurakov, the lead plaintiff in the suit, which has yet to be certified as a class, claims it took him several months to stop his Web address -- Laborzionist.org -- from redirecting to the "Coming Soon" page.

No more details on why it took that long, but if it was the case that it took several months until he was actually able to use what he'd paid for then it might put a different slant on the story.

Re:Are we missing something here? (4, Informative)

spydir31 (312329) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919889)

You might as well link the law.com article [law.com]

Blame it on.... (-1, Flamebait)

snatchitup (466222) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919764)

Democrats!

They're in bed with the trial lawyers, and purveyors of frivolous lawsuits.

It's not unremarkable this happened in New York.

Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6919787)

This was a 100% frivolous lawsuit. What next, will people sue ISP hosts because there are 404/etc pages where the person forgot to put a page?

This is like that frivolous McDonald's lawsuit, where someone hurt themself by spelling hot coffee on their own lap in their own car: thanks to lawyers lying in the courtroom, the company that sold the coffee (McDonald's) was made to pay for something they never did.

Re:Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuit (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919836)

The McDonalds lawsuit wasn't that frivolous - they were selling coffee at a much higher temperature than it is possible to drink it at to people in moving vehicles. They had also consistently ignored the reports of people being seriously hurt by their coffee.

Sure, if you spill coffee on your lap you don't expect it to be pleasant, but you don't expect to get third degree burns requiring skin grafts either. McDonalds knew people were being hurt by coffee that was much hotter than would reasonably be expected and had done nothing about it.

Re:Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuit (1)

akiaki007 (148804) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919944)

Back to common sense. If you put coffee in your crotch area and then proceed to drive, if the coffee spills, you deserve it all. There is a complete lack of common sense now and people make up for it by sueing a company. Now you have to cater to stupidity and can't assume that people will realize that it is wrong or stupid to drink toxic substances or put hot coffee in your crotch.

Yes, they made a point with this case, but the sheer amount of money she got was ridiculous. And it also opened the gateway for thousands of people to do the same to other companies. Clearly the case was not frivilous, look at what it has done "for the consumers."

Re:Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuit (1)

Xrikcus (207545) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919949)

People always get annoyed with me if I serve coffee that isn't just off boiling. Are they supposed to let it cool before serving it then? If I spilt coffee on my lap I would expect the results of having boiling water spilt on my lap - exactly what would have happened.

Apart from any arguments about it being foolish to drink in a moving vehicle anyway.

The Land of Opportunity (3, Insightful)

akiaki007 (148804) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919790)

It used to be that the "American Dream" was owning a home. Now, it seems, it is to be able to find something that bothers you ever so slightly and then try to sue someone for it. The "American Dream" is to hire lawyers to take your case and to win a few bucks. If you do it right, you can get several million and invest it and retire at the age of 30. If you screw it up, like Sienfeld's Kramer, then you just keep on trying until you get that million bucks. That is the "American Dream." Screw buying a house. With a million bucks I can buy a mansion!

Letter of protest (1)

fdicostanzo (14394) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919804)

I have never bothered to send out a protest letter before but when I received this email, I felt compelled to send a letter to the clerk of court telling them how rediculous the whole thing is....

Perhaps there is a way to sue the lawyers?

What is interesting (1)

fasura (169795) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919807)

Is that the author of the article freely admits to being a law whore. Imagine how greedy you need to be to join a class action suit over something as trivial as that.

Opt Out? (2, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6919903)

What happened to the Opt In Class Action?

I think that would be a violation of your legal rights. So who's going door to door to see if anyone ever used register.com to allow them to opt out in case they wish to bring their own lawsuit?
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