Lawsuits gone mad

OK, I admit it, I just don’t get it.

A trial is due to start soon in Reno where 4 men are suing Walgreens because they were racially abused by a store clerk.

The following extract is taken from an article in the Las Vegas Sun:

[Bruce] Johnson, 43, and three other African Americans from Houston filed the suit against the Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen Co. in June 2003 after they say they were discriminated against at a store in downtown Reno.

The men said that after they complained about the quality of a photograph processed at the store in February 2003, the clerk shouted a racial slur, slammed a door and refused service. The trial scheduled for Feb. 5 is expected to last two weeks.

“I am here today to tell Walgreens we are ready for trial. We are ready for the truth to finally come out,” Johnson said.

Johnson said earlier each of the men were seeking $2.5 million in damages, but the civil complaint does not specify an amount and his lawyer, Ian Silverberg, said he could not discuss that.

OK – I understand that racism is unacceptable, no-one should be discriminated against just because of the color of their skin but what I don’t understand is this:

2.5 Million Dollars – EACH!

Fire the employee, apologize profusely, give them free film processing in compensation. That sounds like a reasonable response from the company. Maybe they could even promise to give all their staff more training in acceptable conduct but why, oh why, would they need to pay the guys 10 Million Dollars?

Where does 10 Million Dollars become a punishment which fits the crime?

Why would you even think to ask for 10 Million Dollars? What justification can there be for that amount of money?

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. Please someone – explain to me how you can justify that amount of money in ‘compensation’.