Supreme Court rules against 'Penalli Pen Eight'

Today Chief Justice Ryan ruled against the eight Dublin men suing "Penalli Pens" for medical costs and false advertising. The case involved eight men who had received substantial lacerations to hand and arm in an attempt to re-create the 'pen through can' effect in the Penalli Pen advertisement.

In the advertisement a Penalli Pen can be seen being stabbed through a soup can. A voice over notes the strength of the pen, which uses iridium-tipped nibs, a pressurised refill system, and comes in a handy chequebook sized case.

The court heard evidence from one prosecution witness, Mr. Damien Dooley, who had purchased the pens for his daughter, who is about to start a course with Whitehall College. Shortly before the required 28 days delivery the pens arrived and Mr. Dooley immediately opened the package and reached for an unopened soup can.

He then "rammed it into the side of the can, like in the ad" but missed the can and stabbed himself in the arm requiring 27 stitches. Others of the prosecution claimed they had indeed hit the soup cans but the pen had failed to pierce the can. In four cases, the pen had broken and tiny pieces of titanium alloy had been lodged in the men's eyes.

Citing the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980, the prosecution described the Penalli commercial as "blatantly false advertising". Council for the defence rejected these claims, citing many other advertisements which also contained scenes which could only be recreated in a lab, such as the one where the Fiat Punto jumps into a river to save a drowning baby while 'More Than a Feeling' by Boston plays on the soundtrack.

In the end, the court ruled that the pens had been used for purposes other than their normal use. In summing up the case, Chief Justice Ryan stated that he had "never before seen such a waste of tax-payers money" and the court's time, before denouncing the eight men as "gobshites" and muttering to them to "get out of my court and may God help us all".

At a press conference later, Mr. Dooley said he was "gutted" but would be appealing to the European Court of Human Justice.

In another case before the Supreme Court, to be heard next week, a man accused of stalking and attacking a former girlfriend will cite advertisements for Cadburys Chocolate as his defence. Mr. Paul O' Callaghan insisted in the High Court last month that the "lady loves milk tray" and that an advertisement for Milk Tray guarantees you romantic favour and immunity from prosecution. Mr. O'Callaghan also claims that the advertisement implies that a man who breaks into a woman's house and leaves boxes of chocolate around her bedroom is 'significantly more likely' to enjoy sexual liason with the said woman.


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