Friday, May 25, 2007

Blame everyone except your son

So your son is drunk and has a fatal car accident:

Authorities said the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cell phone and wasn't wearing a seat belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found in the SUV.

And so you are now going to sue the bar he was drinking at before hand, the tow truck he crashed into, and the stalled vehicle on the highway who was being helped by the tow truck driver? Why don't you also sue the girlfriend of the stalled car's driver, because she made him go out for milk, and if not for her, he would have been on the road that night. (The last bit is my ficticious creation).

Let's take another scenario: if the son had killed some other people, but survived, would the dad still be suing the bar for giving his son too much to drink?

What is it with our country and people not wanting to take personal responsibility...everyone is a victim!

So sad...want to go start my own country now....more and more often...


Blogger airforcewife said...

I have wanted to start my own tin-pot dictatorship several times now. Think about it - hubby could be the colonel in charge (because every tin pot dictatorship has to be led by a colonel) and I could be the power behind the throne.

Our national food could be fajitas, with our national appetizer being Spanikopita. It would be illegal for people not to wear deoderant, and people would have to prove that their college degrees translate to the real world (mine doesn't, so I'd be back in the uneducated camp). Oooh! and if someone's political beliefs fit on a bumper sticker with a witty little rhyme, they would be subject to deportation.

It still needs some tweaking, but I think I might actively start looking for an island somewhere.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Yeah I agree...I still remember the lady who sued McDonalds for making her coffee HOT, which was the reason that she burned her legs when she spilled it on herself. Just reading the disclaimer, "This beverage is HOT" on the Mickey D's cups is testiment to our total lack of personal responsiblity.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Let's find a place and all move out there and start our own country... sounds like a plan.

I feel very sorry for the father. It sounds like he is totally unable to cope with his son's death. (not surprising) and he is so ashamed he has to try and pass the blame to someone else. *sigh*

Sadly we have a system that allows this. So, people make intense efforts to shift blame to someone else. I think most people see it for what it is. I wish the man peace - although I don't know if he'll find it or not.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Butterfly Wife said...

There are a couple of missing facts that would help out. First, St. Louis City Circuit Court has a reputation as a very liberal (i.e., the judges tend to error in favor of plaintiffs). In my personal experience as a defense attorney working in that very court, there is some merit to the reputation. So that could be part of the reason for being eager to file suit. But remember that ultimately, it is the JURORS (i.e., individuals, citizens, dare I say people like you and me) that decide if and how much the plaintiff gets.

Second, the bar in question is the real defendant here. The allegations suggest that the bar staff continued to serve alcohol to a obviously intoxicated person. The crux of the lawsuit will center around that issue and the level of personal responsibility of the driver. The reason to sue the tow truck driver and the stalled vehicle operator is to investigate whether they were negligent in being where they were. (You might be surprised to learn what stupid people do on the freeways here, like stop in the fast lane and get out of their cars. Just remember that those lines painted on the ground aren't magical barriers.)

As for the elderly lady who received 3rd degree burns from her HOT McDonald's coffee. . . I too would sue the company for serving a product that caused 3rd degree burns to my crotch, requiring skin grafts. She admitted her responsibility. McDonald's would not, especially when the company, and that particular McDonald's location, had a history of complaints of burns from the coffee being too HOT. There is a big difference between "This beverage is HOT" and "This beverage may caused 3rd degree burns".

Both the McDonald's burn case and the intoxicated pitcher case are about some level of personal responsibility. The law does take that into consideration and the jury can apportion fault to the plaintiff (in the pitcher case, the decedent) and each defendant.

In my personal practice, I did come across a lot of plaintiffs who could not deal with the death of a loved one. The lawsuit only worsens that in my opinion. There is no moving on.

As usual there is more to the story (and the law) than the media reports. Isn't that what us milbloggers are always complaining about?

Just my two cents worth.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Butterfly Wife -- I just KNEW you were in StL. I won't tell anybody else though :)

4:53 PM  
Blogger MQ said...

butterfly wife - I'm glad you provided more details on the McDonald's case, since I was about to write the same :) Also, MCD was brewing the coffee at hotter temperature's to save money, and they initially refused to pay that woman's medical bills, which was all she asked for when the coffee burned through her clothing and seared her skin, so I have to say MCD and the woman should have shared responsibility for that one. But about this DD case; I'm sorry, the fault lies on the drinker. I agree that this paintbrush suing is more attributed to pain in losing his son than anything else. It's a terribly sad waste of life and a lesson that Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and their ilk, along with everyday Americans haven't learned yet.

11:27 PM  

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