This story was recently forwarded to me in an e-mail. Walter Olson had it up at weeks ago, but I missed it for some reason. So I had to re-post it as yet another example of why we need a “loser pays” law in this country.

Some upstanding Texas attorney named William Ogletree left his “expensive black leather coat” in a pizza joint a Dallas Airport. When he came back, the coat was gone. This wasn’t just any coat, though. It was an extra large POLO leather coat … with a plaid lining. Billy then got mad because the City of Houston, Continental Airlines, and the pizza joint didn’t “collect the coat and keep it in a secure place for a reasonable time.” So he sent the above places a letter threatening to sue them for $800 because they failed to properly “manage lost and found items.”  All of the prospective defendants are probably still quivering in their booties.

I was going to create an ad on eBay listing an “extra large black leather Polo coat with smarmy plaid lining found in Terminal C of the Houston Airport on December 30 containing several pairs of oversized lace panties and an unknown lubricant in the inside pockets” then forward it to his office e-mail, but then I thought that he might bid on it.

I don’t want to be the next victim of his poison pen …


  1. When I see posts like this, which have nothing to do with anything, they make me chuckle. Your industry just got nationalized, and one of the changes is a very steep cut in your pay, yet you’re more concerned about this. Well, this and screwing victims on behalf of your liability carrier.

  2. Whitecoat has written extensively on the travesty that is Obamacare. Why must he (or any person who opposes) make such opposition the sole focus of his life? Only fanatics become so obsessed. I think that this post shows that Whitecoat has a healthy perspective on life and its challenges and can still be amused by life’s absurdities…I would have rated your post but the site does not allow me to give you negative stars.

    • Maybe we have different definitions of extensive. As I said though, it makes me chuckle. I appreciate his diverse interests. I’m just a little sad that the people on the front lines of healthcare delivery have done such a poor job fighting a “reform” which pays for itself with a significant cut of their salaries. They’re more concerned about the bottom lines of their liability carriers in the hope of a few pennies coming their way.

      As a patient it’s too bad physicians didn’t help us more in this fight rather than have their largest lobbyist back it. But oh well, I guess letters from lawyers with too large egos are more interesting. Lord knows they never encounter such a thing among other physicians so it’s probably a real novelty.

      • Matt,

        I find it hard to believe that after all your time on this site you think the only motivation from our standpoint to limit liability is to make a few extra bucks.

        I would venture to say that it is also the pain of a suit or trial that we wish to avoid. Most Docs just don’t deal that well with being hassled. Caps, I’ll admit, are a poor solution to this but they do have that effect.

        Still everyone needs to lighten the mood now and again. I don’t see how this is any different than any other humorous story about somebody who is too stupid for words.

      • “I find it hard to believe that after all your time on this site you think the only motivation from our standpoint to limit liability is to make a few extra bucks.”

        When one looks at the results of 30 years of your “reform”, one can see no other reason. It doesn’t lower costs, it doesn’t increase access, it doesn’t do virtually any of the things you promise it will do. Those are the facts. So what else could it be?

      • ” I don’t see how this is any different than any other humorous story about somebody who is too stupid for words.”

        You’re probably right – probably an overreaction. Healthcare reform has just got me down I think and I’m really annoyed at seeing the political firepower physicians brought to bear against injured patients while they sat back on this.

        As an employer, it’s depressing to think about yet another tax to pay. It’s got me thinking of downsizing to just a very small firm with no payroll taxes but my own.

        I’ll try and lighten up.

      • I wrote to every national politician in my district and other national ones I donated to at least twice. But as I’m just a patient I don’t have the pull that a provider or providers lobbying group does. Although the largest physicians lobbying group signed on so maybe they are getting what they want after all.

      • Matt,

        The AMA does not represent even a third of practicing physicians in the US. If you remove the medical students from their rolls, the number is less than one quarter. The reality is that the AMA exists to sell the CPT code definitions. There is no overarching association that represents all physicians. Individual groups, such as the ACS, AAFP, ACP, ACEP, ASA, ACOG etc. are our lobbying groups. Most were against the plan – actively.

      • You may not like the fact that the AMA is your largest lobbying organization and in the public’s eye is your chief lobbying organization, but those are the facts. Maybe it will change, I don’t know. But that’s the situation as it exists today.

      • I am fairly sure that Matt just admitted that the public’s perception that the AMA represents what physicians think is all that matters. But in numerous posts, the perception of what physicians think about medical mal and defensive medicine is all foolishness and irrelevant.
        So when does perception matter?

      • I’m pretty sure that’s not what I said. In reality, physicians did not offer anything besides complaints. Show me the proposal from physicians to reform healthcare to revamp the payment system, which is the root of all this. Hell, show me any proposal for alternate “reform” from physicians that wasn’t drafted by their liability carriers.

        Perception DOES matter though – in politics. In the case of physicians against health reform, though, the perception and reality match up. At best, the reality is that you were whiny but unwilling to expend any real effort.

  3. WC, Matt just made it personal by attacking your treatment of your patients. Please just go ahead and ban him now. Block his IP. Personal attacks are wholly out of line.

    • Personal? How so? That’s what tort “reform” is-keeping people from recovering damages against insurers and large companies. If that’s the kind of thing you support there’s nothing personal about it. It’s just a fact.

      Stop whining. That’s like saying it’s personal if you suggest people who support this version of health care “reform” are being duped on the costs. Which, incidentally, they are.

  4. That’s ridiculous. He’s the loser who was careless enough to leave his coat behind and now he wants to sue someone else? This guy just sounds like an entitled a-hole who has zero sense of personal responsibility.

  5. “This guy just sounds like an entitled a-hole who has zero sense of personal responsibility.”

    In other words – a personal injury lawyer

  6. Come on, gentlemen, this is America, Land of Litigation. A bad thing happened, so it must be someone’s fault and someone has to pay. That’s the American way.

  7. What’s the craziest lawsuit you’ve heard of? When I was a resident a woman was awarded a large amount for losing her psychic ability when she got a CT scan.

  8. I don’t see how he can blame them ..when he left it and someone else stole it? How would the employees know it didn’t belong to the person who took it?


    Dave – It’s unbelievable she won money for that. Also ridiculous!

  9. Is this lawyer related to the DC judge who sued the dry cleaner for $54 million for losing his pants? Or are they just brothers in ridiculous litigiousness?

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