by Michael Fox
Whether settling one lawsuit will set off a rash of others is one of the imponderables that face employers when trying to decide whether to settle a case for less than it might cost to try, assuming (or perhaps) hoping that it won't result in other suits. This question would seem to be a tailor made dissertation topic for an enterprising want to be PhD in business. but I am not aware of any such research. I do know from my personal experience that it can happen, but it would be nice to see some serious research.
And sometimes cases reported in the press may spawn others as well. For example, this recent headline at the Detroit News website, Worker sues over co-worker's perfume, refers to the earlier well publicized suit, also in Detroit, where a female disk jockey convinced a jury that her perfume allergy was worth $10+ million dollars. See my report on that case here.
A copycat case? I would be shocked if the new plaintiff hadn't at least heard the story.