Wanna Get Rich in Richardson? Have You Tried Suing?

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RICHARDSON -- It seems there's a way to get rich that's pretty popular in Richardson lately.  We're talking lawsuits.

Hey, it worked for Russell Bowman!  The Irving attorney might not have won the lottery, but he is in for a big payday from a winning ticket:  the ticket he says he never received from one of Richardson's red-light cameras.

It was two years later that he says he got his first notice of the violation - when it was time to renew his car's registration.

"I got what they called a scofflaw notice in the mail," Bowman told NewsFix. "It says the renewal on your vehicle registration's gonna be withheld."

But Bowman says he wasn't driving in Richardson when the ticket claims he was.  So he decided to fight the ticket.  He ended up suing the city, and he won!  A judge ordered Richardson to pay $27,500 - enough to pay for all the lawyering it took to build Bowman's case.

The city says its red-light camera systems are legit and aren't going anywhere.  But if they appeal the court's decision, they may have to defend their constitutionality in court.  And if they can't...

"Then it'll create what (we) lawyer types call 'binding precedent,'" Bowman said.

Yeah, with that precedent, it could be lights out for Richardson's auto-ticketing policies.

Meanwhile, Richardson's W.W. Fairfield's is facing a million dollar lawsuit from a man who claims the bar served him too much alcohol while he was there, causing him to crash his car when he tried to drive home.

We'll have to wait and see what the judge says in that case. But if someone can get drunk, crash their car, and then get paid a million bucks for it, what kind of precedent does that set??