If you don’t already know it, Judge Judy’s husband (Judge Jerry) has been replaced on the television show “The People’s Court” by a young vibrant Latino Judge Milian. She hails from Florida with just as much fire as Judge Judy.
However I recently viewed an episode in which I think she was completely wrong. It was her second aired episode and it featured a woman who was a passenger in a friend’s car. She was suing her friend because they were involved in an auto accident in which the friend was not at fault.
Judge Milian proceeded to lambaste the woman for suing her good friend, and directed that she sue the person at fault.
Here is where the good Judge was wrong: There are such things as “no fault” states. In these states the driver of the car pays for his passenger’s injuries regardless of fault. This accident occurred in New York where I believe no fault insurance is the law.
She had no alternative but to sue her friend for her injuries. That is the way no fault works. She can’t sue the person at fault, because of New York’s no fault law. So now she is SOL.
Being from Miami Florida, Judge Milian is probably unaware of the laws of other states. Still you would think that “The People’s Court” would do some research for her before she makes a judgement (or indeed before she tries a case).
The real kicker is that even if the Judge was dead wrong and misapplied the law, it is unlikely that the passenger can sue People’s Court. Basically the show is binding arbitration and both parties agree to abide by the Judge’s decision, even if said Judge’s decision is wrong (in accordance with the law).
Even though I am a fan of various court programs, I think one would have to be exceptionally stupid to trust a television judge for a fair and impartial hearing. Better to trust a judge who knows the laws in your state.