Reply to Wile E. Coyote v. ACME Company suit

[My brother, Stephen Menard, is a litigation attorney at a defense firm in
Philadelphia. He wrote this reply to the Wile E. Coyote sues ACME post which
appeared here a few weeks ago. Any errors in this post were introduced by me.


Plaintiff :
v. : CIVIL ACTION NO. B19294
Defendant :


By Mr. Fuddle:

Ladies and Gentleman of the jury: the opening statement you have just
heard from Mr. Schoff on behalf of the plaintiff, Wile E. Coyote, paints an
incomplete picture of what occurred on the occasions when Mr. Coyote claims he
was injured by ACME products.

The evidence will clearly show that my client, ACME Products Corp., a
Division of Dangerously Innovative Products and Patents Incorporated (or
DIPPI) is not at fault in this matter, and that any injuries sustained by the
plaintiff were clearly caused by his own negligence, assumption of the risk
and/or misuse of the products.

Now, we have all seen the footage on television of the plaintiff
withstanding various injuries which appear to be caused by ACMEs products.
You have seen over and over the tape of a hapless coyote being bludgeoned by a
boulder as he is helplessly trapped by his ACME Spring Loaded Shoes. We have
all seen the photographs taken at Warner Memorial Hospital of Mr. Coyote in a
very small incubator, on life support, as his doctors attempt to straighten out
the accordion-like folds from his body. We have all seen the gruesome images
of the operation in which Dr. Tazmanian D. Devil whirls like a dervish,
obscuring his features and creating a starry, dust cloud effect, while
numerous limbs holding various surgical instruments swiftly repair the nerve
damage to Mr. Coyotes extremities.

It is normal for any human being to feel pity, horror, and even anger
at such images. I want you to put those images aside for the moment, because
they paint an incomplete picture. What the media has not disclosed to you, and
what you will see in this courtroom, are various attempts at murder committed
by the plaintiff – attempts which, fortunately, failed – while using my
clients products. As the plaintiff readily admits, he is a predator, and his
sole function in life is to track down and kill an innocent, highway traversing

You see, ladies and gentleman, while the plaintiff is a natural
predator, he is not a very good one. His own skills were inadequate to
complete the task at hand, so he chose to seek the aid of various devices to
effectuate his diabolical schemes. He looked in a catalogue, saw my clients
products, and ordered them in the hope that they would assist him in killing
his prey.

But ladies and gentleman, ACMEs products are not meant to cause
intentional harm to anyone. The plaintiff has taken what were designed as
amusements, toys for the young and feebleminded, and has twisted their use to
his own purposes.

But I digress. Let us examine the plaintiffs claims and how the
evidence clearly refutes the proposition that ACME is responsible for any harm
sustained by the plaintiff.

Mr. Coyote states that on December 13 he received an ACME Rocked Sled,
that he attempted to use said rocket sled to pursue his prey, and that, upon
igniting the sled, it accelerated with sudden and precipitate force as to
stretch Mr. Coyotes forelimbs to a length of fifty feet.

There are several reasons why ACME cannot be held responsible for any
injuries caused by this incident. First, the warning label attached
conspicuously to the inside of the left front tire of the sled clearly stated,
TO SIXTY FEET, OR MAY CAUSE DEATH. That the plaintiff suffered so little as a
result of his carelessness can be attributed only to Providence.

Second, Arizona law is clear on this point: a plaintiff who is found to
be violating any law whose purpose is safety at the time of his injury is
contributorily negligent *per se*. There is ample evidence that Mr. Coyote was
violating both the laws of gravity and inertia at the time of this incident,
and thus he is responsible for his own woes.

I could list many more examples of Mr. Coyotes negligent conduct in
connection with his use of ACMEs products, but you will hear all about them as
the trial goes on. You will also hear the following evidence:

You will hear the plaintiff himself testify that, prior to the injuries
complained of in this accident, he has suffered numerous injuries. As
an example, on one occasion prior to the use of any ACME product, the
plaintiff cornered his prey on the edge of a rather thin precipice.
Taking an ordinary saw, the plaintiff began cutting away so that the
edge of the cliff, with his prey on it, would drop some 1500 feet to a
jagged, rocky destruction. Instead, by some inexplicable twist of fate
the edge of the cliff remained standing while the whole mountain, on
which the plaintiff was standing, plummeted to the bottom of the
ravine, causing numerous injuries which affect the plaintiff to this
On another occasion, Mr. Coyote was chasing his prey and followed it
off of the edge of a cliff onto thin air, not realizing until too late
that his prey, a bird, could remain in the air almost indefinitely
while he, a canine, could not. As a result, he fell yet again,
suffering even further severe and debilitating injuries which predate
the injuries complained of in this action.
You will also hear the testimony of Mr. Road Runner, the plaintiffs
prey and the true victim in this tragedy. Mr. Runner has been forced
to live a nomadic lifestyle as a result of Mr. Coyotes unwanted
attention, preventing him from forming any type of long term
relationships. Numerous restraining orders had no effect. Mr. Runner
has also suffered numerous psychological problems as a result of Mr.
Coyotes actions, including but not limited to an inability to trust
anyone who provides him with bird seed, a necessary ingredient in his
daily nutritional schedule.
You will also hear from a witness to many of the incidents alleged in
plaintiffs complaint, a colorful local prospector with red hair and
moustache who has been known to proclaim: No rootin tootin coyote
can outsmart Yosemite Sam on any day of the week! Dont be fooled by
his gruff manner and twin pearl-handled six-shooters, hes a pussycat.
Customer service records of defendant ACME, which we were forced to
produce in this matter, clearly show that none of the complaints
registered by ACMEs customers nation-wide have ever resulted in
criminal convictions of the officers of the corporation.
Finally, videotape evidence will demonstrate that plaintiff faked many
of his injuries, setting out to create performances especially for a
jury such as yourself. On numerous occasions he would mug for the
camera, as if he was well aware beforehand that he was being taped.
For instance, during the Rocked Sled incident, as his forelimbs were
stretched out ahead of him and his body remained behind, he looked
straight into the camera with a forlorn, tired expression, as if to
say: look at how terrible my situation is, can you guess whats going
to happen to me now. This jury is too smart to fall for such petty

In summary, ladies and gentlemen, it will be clear to you from the
evidence that ACMEs products, if used properly, will cause only minimal
injuries to a user and his loved ones. The plaintiff in this case has brought
his troubles upon himself by adopting his carnivorous lifestyle. As others
have so adequately uttered: Live by the Super Slick Jet Propulsion Automated
Explosive Metal-Shearing Heat-Seeking Laser-Guided Razor-Edged Boomerang, die
by the Super Slick, etc.

I ask you, on behalf of my client, to dismiss the plaintiffs claims
against it.

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