Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome to California, the Land of Litigation...

I was reminded the other day of a serious flaw in the laws of our fine country. It went a little something like this:

A bad guy climbed up onto the roof of a house with the intent of breaking in. So, Sparky finds a skylight on the roof and thinks this will be a good way to enter the house. Bright Star tries to kick the skylight in but is not successful. If you can't kick the skylight in, you do what anyone would do right? You jump up and down on said skylight. I'm sure you can see where this is going.

So, Einstein is jumping on the skylight, and the skylight shatters, sending our genius down through empty space and into the dining room of the house. Our Wonder Brain lands on the dining room table fifteen feet below and is basically cut to shreds by the knives and glasses set out on the table. Needless to say, our knucklehead goes to jail for burglary. Then it gets utterly stupid.

While our friend is in prison, he decides to civilly sue the owners of the house for negligence. His reasoning? If the homeowners had not left their table set, with knives and glasses, he would have never been injured. WTF? How about if he hadn't broken into the house in the first place? The phrase "Look before you leap" comes to mind.

The problem is this. If our litigious knucklehead was injured while he was committing a crime, he should not be allowed to sue his victim for his injuries. Make sense? Similarly, if someone is injured as the result of a crash, caused by the pursuit they started by running from the police, they should not be able to sue the police department. Similarly, if they are killed in the same situation, the family should not be able to sue for wrongful death. The idiot caused his own demise by running from the police. I didn't make him run.

This issue manifests itself in other ways as well. For instance, the woman who sued McDonald's because she was burned when she spilled hot coffee on her lap. It says HOT COFFEE on the cup Bright Star! Soooooo, you want them to serve you COLD coffee? Maybe lukewarm? Perhaps you should consider drinking your coffee before you drive instead of while you're driving. As a result of this lawsuit, McDonald's no longer sells hot tea. Go figure. And then there is the warning printed on the coffee cups. Warning, contents may be hot. No shit! How many attorneys did it take to figure that one out?


USAincognito said...

"No shit!" is right. I swear, the bad guys have more rights than we do nowadays. One of my officer friends is going thru a lawsuit right now - a car fled from him after the officer noticed him swerving/speeding all over the road in a school zone area, pursuit ensues, vehicles end up in ditch, officer approaches van to arrest drunk/high man, dumbass turns van on officer, officer shoots man in head just as he is being hit with van, man loses eye, man sues officer for loss of eye. HOW DUMB is our judicial system at times?!?!? Argh!!!

5150Wife said...

I worked for State Farm for 10 years. We had a policyholder whose home was broken into while they were not home. The family's trusty doberman did not take kindly to the intruder. Chased him through the house, out the back door, across the back yard. The intruder jumped up on the 6ft. block wall as the dog was leaping up to bite him. Intruder jumped down to neighboring yard and fled on foot.

Intruder was never touched by the dog.

Intruder sued our policyholder for dog fright.

Yes, you got that right. Dog Fright!

Officer "Smith" said...

Oh, for fuck's sake! Dog Fright?

5150Wife said...

Yep, I'm afraid so.

I forgot to mention in that comment that this was back when we lived in So.Cal.

The lawsuit was thrown out of court, of course. But up until that point, State Farm did spend plenty of $$ for their attorneys to work on the case.