Through all of the healthcare "debate" I've seen a few common things. One of those is tort reform. These days, the American people sue over anything. If we want to bring the price of healthcare down, we need to stop suing our doctors over everything, especially for MILLIONS. Oops, your dentist did your root canal wrong. Sue 'em for 15 million.
Or this one. Suing a comedian because she tells mother in law jokes? Ya gotta be jokin'...(pun intended)...
LOS ANGELES -- Veteran comedian Sunda Croonquist has had a lot of success with her "mother-in-law" jokes, but her mother-in-law isn't laughing.In fact, she's suing the comic for making her the butt of too many jokes.The lawsuit was filed by Ruth Zafrin, her daughter, Shelley Edelman, and Shelley's husband, Neil.
They're accusing Croonquist of spreading false, defamatory and racist lies with her in-law jokes that have become a staple of her routine in nightclubs and on television channels like Comedy Central.
Croonquist knows all too well about culture clashes -- she's half-black, half-Swedish, grew up Roman Catholic and married into a Jewish family. She has joked about her first visit to her mother-in-law's house, saying: "I walk in, I say, 'Thank you so much for having me here, Ruthie.' She says, 'The pleasure's all mine, have a seat."' Then, in a loud aside, 'Harriet, put my pocketbook away."'Then there's the one about her mother-in-law's reaction to news she was pregnant with her first child: "OK, now that we know you're having a little girl I want to know what you're naming that little tchotchke. Now we don't want a name that's difficult to pronounce like Shaniqua. We're thinking a name short but delicious.Like Hadassah or Goldie."
Croonquist said there was a time when her in-laws would laugh with everyone else at the black-member-of-a-Jewish-family jokes."They played my tape at Passover one year, and they loved it!" she said.But things changed after the comedian posted information on her Web site, promoting upcoming gigs in New Jersey.
According to her in-laws, the information allowed pretty much anyone to figure out their identities.They sued in April in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, where they live.The action seeks unspecified damages and demands that Croonquist remove any offensive statements from her Web site, routines and recordings.Croonquist says she would drop any language her family finds offensive, but refuses to pay any settlement.Her lawyer has filed a motion to have the suit dismissed, and a judge is scheduled to hear it on Sept. 8.
Croonquist, who lives in Beverly Hills, is being represented by her husband's law firm.She says it should be obvious to her in-laws that she's not anti-Jewish since she converted to Judaism before she met her husband and keeps a kosher house.Attorney Gary L. Bostwick, an expert in First Amendment law who isn't involved in the case, said suing a comedian is often difficult because courts tend to rule that it should be obvious they are joking.
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