Sunday, July 13, 2008

Frivolous lawsuits

All the stories you've heard about frivolous lawsuits in America are true.

Some may have seem like urban legends - they are not. The woman who burned her thighs on hot coffee from McDonalds is real, as are the burglars who sue homeowners after getting injured when breaking into their homes. Read more here.

I once lived with a family in Cheshire, Connecticut, for a summer. They had two pugs and a beautiful, large backyard. The yard was fenced in, and one day a child climbed over the 6-foot fence to retrieve a ball. One of the pugs attacked the boy - he was slightly injured.

The homeowners took the boy inside, patched him up, let him cry and called his mother who lived down the street. End of story...?

No. A few weeks later, the homeowners received a letter of intent to sue. The boy's mother apparently thought she had grounds for a suit after her son illegally trespassed in someone else's yard. I'm not sure what happened in this case, but I hope the suit eventually got dismissed.

Earlier this summer, a teenage boy played a game with his friends in Torrington. It was called "manhunt." It consisted of running back and forth at dusk across Route 8 - a divided four-lane highway - from the high school property that had a broken fence.

The boy was hit by a car, and his friends watched him die. No charges were filed against the driver - police determined there was nothing she could have done to prevent hitting the boy.

Late last month, the family of the boy filed a lawsuit against the city of Torrington, the principal of the high school, the superintendent of schools and the school board chairman. The suit claims the boy sustained his fatal injuries " a result of the negligence and carelessness of its officials, agents, servants and employees..."

As if a repaired fence would have stopped the kids from running across a dangerous road.

People nowadays just refuse to take any sort of responsibility for the actions of their children. "My son would never do that" is heard every day during parent-teacher conferences. Well, this son did do that, and now he's dead.

Perhaps the parents should dedicate their time (and money) to talking with other teens to prevent them from doing something so stupid.

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