A Really Dumb Lawsuit


This story from Variety proves that we all have too much time on our hands. And gives all of us yet one more reason to hate high school teachers.

High school teacher Miriam Fisch wants those four minutes of her life back—and she thinks Loews Cineplex ought to pay for their alleged theft.

In a class-action lawsuit filed in Illinois state court on behalf of all Loews patrons, the Chicago-area English teacher claims the theater circuit's policy of playing pre-film product commercials amounts to a deceptive business practice because the ads begin at the time advertised as the start of a feature movie.

The legal action reflects the reaction of many moviegoers jarred by the increasing prominence of onscreen advertising in theaters industrywide. In fact, the succession of such pre-movie ads now often lasts up to 10 minutes or longer in many venues.

Even many proponents of the trend say cinema advertising is best limited to a few minutes prior to the advertised showtime, but that often isn't the case. Part of the problem involves the time required to clean theaters between showtimes, which can leave too little time to present commercials before the advertised movie time.

"It is completely ludicrous to have moviegoers pay good money to watch commercials," said attorney Douglas Litowitz, who is representing Fisch in her suit. "They can do that at home for free."

The suit seeks "lost time" damages of up to $75 per plaintiff covered under a class action, as well as an injunction to force Loews to stipulate separately when its onscreen ads will run and when movies will play.

Read the whole account here.

Ms. Fisch likely would get more buy-in on a class action lawsuit against Hollywood for its movies.