Tuesday, March 01, 2005

(Lack of) Responsibilty

The latest evidence of a lack of personal responsibility in America is here.


Teens in Orlando are participating in "garage jumping". Participants vault themselves between private garages some eighty feet above the ground.

And surprise of surprises, someone fell. Fortunately, the teen--the fourth or fifth to fall--was not killed. Unfortunately, his family proceded to hire a lawyer.

Apparently, this is not the fault of the cretin who almost fell to his death. Instead, it's the fault of the owners of the private garages as well as the city of Orlando.

We live in a relatively free society. As such, there are ample oppurtunities to maim oneself however one chooses. It is not the government's role to protect us from ourselves. It is not the owner of the garage's repsonsibility to prevent kids from behaving as fools.

Yet, even though most would agree that this is an absurd and frivolous lawsuit, the garage owner will settle. Even though he is not in the wrong, it is cheaper to settle than to fight it out in court, even if he wins. Score one for the lawyers, again.

Here's an idea: let's find a way to dismiss frivolous lawsuits. Either allow the judge to toss them out, or provide a legal recourse. If the defendant is exonerated, he should be allowed to countersue the lawyer. Overly frivolous lawsuits should result in the loss of the ability to practice law.

Only drastic measures will stop this cultural abdication of personal responsibility.


Loyal Achates said...

Frivolous lawsuits are already dismissed about 95-99% percent of the time, and most of those that go through the courts just end of losing.

Just because there are some stupid legal cases doesn't mean we need to abolish victims' rights. This whole 'tort reform' scam is just an excuse to give corporations license to make unsafe products.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I'm not sure where you get your statistics, but if they are dismissed at the rate you say they are, I would say we don't have as big of a problem as I insinuated.

However, even if they (the plantiffs) end up losing, they still waste time and money.

And an 80 foot garage is not an "unsafe product". It is a garage.