View Full Version : Litigation Gone Mad

28th Nov 2004, 05:30
In the same vane as pc gone mad.
Prolly done a thousand times before. Oh well.

I heard about a case today where a woman had a heart attack in a shopping centre. The ambos turned up and in the process of doing their stuff with the paddles and everything they exposed her breast. Woman was unconscious and knew nothing of it. Nice touchy feely ending as the ambos saved her life. They were rewarded by the woman trying to sue them for embarrassing her by exposing her body in public.(someone who knew her and saw the event) Thankfully stupid woman didn't win the case. God some people are idiots.

Although in contrast, I have heard of an equally great story by a wonderful human being. Kiwi guy who was seriously inujured in an a Dash 8 crash . Over survivors tried to get him to add weight to their to their court case by getting him to join in the litigation process. After much consideration he decided that it wasn't right for him to sue. I can't remember his exact words, but it was in the vane, that he knew it wasn't a deliberate accident, it wasn't gone to mend his legs and he felt it wasn't right for him.

Oh wow I can think of one more case - young guy in the NT (OZ) becomes a quad after accident on his mountain bike. He was advised he could sue for alot of money. He wasn't interested as he said it was his decision to go mountain biking, he knew there were risks involved. It would also probably end up in the closure of the particulalry mountain bike trail.

Not to say that there isn't room and reason for people to take others to court, but in this age where people are so greedy and quick to sue, it is refreshing to come across people who have a different perspective.

I think i need to change the title of this thread to 'inspiring people'.:p

Feeton Terrafirma
28th Nov 2004, 07:02
Sounds to be exactly like political correctness to me........ one aspect of which is to take responsibility for your own actions, and hand in hand with that apoint blame only where it is truely due, not just because you need someone else to blame for your own mistakes.

Lon More
28th Nov 2004, 11:38
Read somewhere years ago about a student pilot, who rolled up drunk with six buddies at an FBO, managed to open the door of a C172 and then start it without the key. Buddies all pile in, nobody wearing a harness. Of course, shortly after T/O the inevitable occurs :sad:

Relatives of the deceased then try to sue Cessna as it was too easy to gain access to their products.

As a result of similar cases I believe about 10% of the purchase price of anything in the States is to cover litigation

Vox Populi
28th Nov 2004, 11:44
You have to be careful about using unsucessful cases as examples of litigation gone mad.

Anyone can sue for anything - that must be the basis for a open justice system.

Newspapers are usualy very quick to splash a trumped up court case, while barely reporting the fact that it was thrown out or lost days later.

Eg: You may remember prisoners suing the authorities over the quality of their lunch...but do you remember it being comprehensively thrown out of court?

28th Nov 2004, 13:37
Possible similarity with the original. Did a first aid course, lot of years ago. The doctor teaching us the cardiac massage told us that is we were doing it hard enough we would probably break some of the patients ribs. His woeds were:-

"One of two things will happen. They will recover or they will die. If they die there's no problem. If they recover they will be grateful enough to ignore the broken ribs".

Not so sure these days.

28th Nov 2004, 13:59
Not so long ago when the British tabloid papers were on another of their moral crusades, they published a photograph of a perfectly innocent local man, and named him with the identity of convicted child molester.
Not suprisingly, the poor chap had some very unpleasant experiences after his photo' was published, even though his real name was not that published - local people just assumed he'd been living under a false name.

He sued the papers involved using a local solicitor, and was offered a settlement of around 45K plus costs, plus apologies and written rectification of the facts in the local and national press.

He didn't think that was sufficiant, so he engaged Messer's Carter - :mad:uck, who took the case to the high court in London.
The judge ruled that he should still be awared the same settlement.

But because he used the High court instead of the County court, and a law firm who are probably the most expensive in the UK instead of the original local lawyers (who advised him the outcome would still be as per the original ruling), the judge awarded costs against him.

He got his 45K, but he also got a legal bill of approximately 55K.

I admit that 45K doesn't seem much for the hell he endured, but that's what the original solicitors and court advised him would be awarded, together with all costs and a very public apology.

I can't help thinking that this tale should be mandatory reading for all litigants.

Feeton Terrafirma
29th Nov 2004, 09:07
There was a case in Sydney recently, and without remembering all the details, a bloke ran down the beach, dived into the water, broke his neck, had permanent disabilty as a result, and then decided the local council was to blame for not posting a warning of shallow water at the edge of the beach. :confused:

The case was thrown out because the Judge saw common sense and decided that it was entirely the blokes own behaviour which was to blame, and I agree 100%. Should be more accountability for ones own actions:ok:

29th Nov 2004, 10:45
Sounds to be exactly like political correctness to me........

No is doesnt. This is a case of the creeping litigousness (I think that there is such a word), in which hords of ambulance chasing lawyers encourage people to sue because someone 'must' be responsible for something.

Political correctness is something quite different. Sorry its a bee I have in my bonnet when people blur the difference.

29th Nov 2004, 13:55
Thank you, yintsinmerite, I wasn't going to say anything but I agree with you entirely. There is an overlap between the two if a long bow is drawn, but more often it's a case of people railing against something and being happy to have other unrelated things drawn into the wake. Litigiousness and PC are basically unrelated, and the arguments against both are weakened by the attempted association.

Send Clowns
29th Nov 2004, 15:27
They are not exactly the same, I agree, but they are also not unrelated. They are symptoms of the culture where people are unaccountable and not responsible for their own actions. They are symptoms of a culture where rights are all and the related responsibility and duty are to be avoided at all cost, and where the perceived rights of the noisy, arrogant and (often) ignorant curtail the freedom of the rest of us. Where self-appointed guardians (or perhaps Guardian) of other people's sensibilities try to talk for them, and completely foul it up.

29th Nov 2004, 15:48
Political correctness is defined as

"conformity to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities should be eliminated"

To Sue is defined as

"to take legal proceedings in court"

Doesn't seem too much connected to me

As Binoculas says the arguments against both are weakened by the attempted association.

29th Nov 2004, 23:37
I know what you are getting at Clowns, but I think your attempted association comes under the heading of the long bow I mentioned. The fact that they are both symptoms of different facets of a society doesn't make them related, but that is semantics. It doesn't affect the fact, upon which I think we agree, that they both suck.

Like This - Do That
30th Nov 2004, 00:45
One other thing that hasn't been brought up ...

John Citizen trips on a buckled and broken footpath (for example) and he dislocates his shoulder (eg). Mr Citizen contacts the council to make them aware of the fault in the footpath and to ask if they'll assist with his out of pocket medical expenses. Herr Citizen might only be after some help with $500 or so but this automatically goes to the insurance company who get the council to 'lawyer up'.

The council's risk policies have automatically steered the case into litigation. No exceptions otherwise their insurance could be invalid.

Didn't the Oz High Court recently (~ 3 years ago?) rule on a malfeasance case involving local government and broken footpaths? Anyway, that's by the by.

We're pretty quick to blame people for suing at the drop of a hat. However people with legitimate grievences are often given no choice. Where do we draw the line? Spilling hot coffee on one's self is no reason to sue a fast food chain, but what of manhole cover missing or unsteady through which a punter falls and is crippled? Running like an idiot into the surf and breaking your neck mightn't be the council's fault, but is it so clear cut if the neck is broken swimming sensibly between the flags at a patrolled open beach?

We're so easily outraged by stories of flippant or vexatious litigation when our insurance premiums keep going up or when schools are no longer allowed to have fund raising events. I'm not a lawyer (perish the thought!) but I would argue in favour of an open mind and some balance when considering this.


30th Nov 2004, 05:35
The press had a story here last week about someone who tried to get compensation from the council for tripping over a protruding flagstone. The local CCTV camera caught it happening. It also caught him levering it up with a crowbar a few minutes earlier.... :rolleyes:

30th Nov 2004, 06:37
Many years ago my Son (about five at the time) went to the local Super Market (Penrith Plaza for those who know the area) with a friend of the wife. The little sod decided to play on the escalator (as kids do), and leaned over the top to watch the world go by. When he got to the top, he found there was a large perspex barricade designed to stop people getting around the top and falling down to the floor below.

The rubber strip happily pushed him into the barrier, and kept pushing, so he struggled, kicked, and eventualy got free. Ufortunately he also went over the rail and dropped the twenty or so feet to the floor below (on his back).

Needless to say, store management found a doctor in about thirty seconds, and an ambulance in a further thirty seconds and off to hospital he went.

No injuries were sustained apart from bruising (from the barrier) and a bit of a sore spot on the back of his head . I have no doubt that if I had wanted to I probably could have sued the store, and the woman he went with, but as Health Insurance covered everything and no lasting damage was done ( apart from a fear of department stores, women, escalators, stairs, ladders, heights and spiders) ( just joking, except for spiders) I felt no need to pursue the matter. As a kid I climbed things and fell down, and kids (big and small) are still falling down.

Sometimes things happen.

Come to think of it, I didnt even get offered a twenty dollar shopping voucher.

30th Nov 2004, 06:57
Yes, my father was wandering around Hitchin (the cobbled market square if anyone is familiar with it), about 2 years ago. Not concentrating, he tripped and managed to break his arm. Off to hospital he went and was stuck back together. He got several phone calls from the local council asking as to his well being because we suspect the were worried that he would sue. He didn't though. As he put it 's*it happens'

30th Nov 2004, 09:11

I DON"T agree with you at all.

Your child is your responsibility, you should have been watching him.

Of course they can escape your view in a flash - but to even think about blaming the design of an escalator or a shopping centre for this incident gives me the proverbial sh**s.

It doesn't mean to say that consideration shouldn't be given with providing suitable barricades or the incident happened because someone was negligent - but it doesn't seem to be situation here.

Escalators aren't designed for kids to hang over the edge - your son shouldn't have been doing it and you should have stopped him.

Don't get sh*tty just cos I am sharing my opinion.:eek:

30th Nov 2004, 09:38
Gatfield, am I missing something here? Avtrician was saying shit happens, he accepted that the incident was nobody's fault, it was just one of those things. He was not interested in suing anybody. It appears to me we are all in heated agreement. ???

30th Nov 2004, 10:14

Yes I am rather heated at the moment, but not because of this thread, but cos it's been 42 degrees today.

The shopping centre shouldn't have give Av guy a shopping voucher - but one of those kiddy leashes

ps I knew someone would get the shi*ts

30th Nov 2004, 11:00
I wont get Sh!tty , I promise. I wont sue either.

I didnt put blame on the escalator design or the shopping centre, or the lady that was looking after my son.

I wasnt there, I was at work, but even if I was the little Begger probably would have done the same thing. I dont know if you have kids of your own, but if and when you do you will find that nothing happens when you watch, but as soon as you blink, they are gone.

I should have emphasised (a big word for this time of the day) that i am against all this litigation nonsense, and that people should accept responsibility for their own actions, or lack there of. As well as realising ( please note spelt with out a Z) that sometimes Sh!t happens.

By the way that happened about 12 years ago, abnd the little Begger is now a big Begger, and I still remind him of the day he did the high dive.

30th Nov 2004, 13:30
Er you may not believe this, but the tabloids in the UK are carrying the story of one Malcolm Wright who is suing the parents of the teenager he knocked down and killed.

Malcolm is a cabbie and is suffering from trauma after killing the lad.

I kid you not.

PS - I know the driver may not have been at fault....but come on

1st Dec 2004, 11:02
Here's one :mad: litigant (?) who deserves to be kneecapped:


He kills a woman in a road accident and then sues her husband for the trauma of seeing her die. Nice, eh?

A former policeman has been awarded almost 90,000 damages after suing a widower over the trauma of seeing the man's wife die in a crash with his speeding patrol car.
The judge at the Court of Session awarded a further 16,000 compensation to the motorist Alexander Barbour, whose wife Helen died, after he counter-claimed against the former officer.

Lord Reed ruled that ex-police constable George Gilfillan was driving "much too fast" and held that he should share equal blame for the fatal collision.

Mr Barbour, 64, and his wife of 36 years, were returning home after attending a concert in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall on 4 March 2000 when the crash happened.

That decision really does sum up the sad state British 'justice' these days. That case wouldn't even have got off the ground in the US.

1st Dec 2004, 13:36
But you have reported that in a similar vein to the way in which our beloved tabloids do - if you read the whole story, although his wife was killed as a result of the collision, the driver was also to blame as he had turned into the path of the police car, which he was aware was approaching. This was in conjuction with the fault placed on the police car - to a lesser extent - for inappropriate speed (with lights on attending to an emergency).

If it teaches anyone to stop and let emergency vehicles past it is worth it. Cases pass judgements that become case law to prevent further frivolous suits that could occur in the future - to get there you are bound to hear undesirable outcomes, that are in the long-run more desirable than the alternative (of having to legislate for absolutely everything).

The morals are however an entirely different matter...the emotion should not enter into the court case.

1st Dec 2004, 13:55
for inappropriate speed (with lights on attending to an emergency).
Sorry, but if the police car has it's lights etc. on, it can do whatever speed it likes.

1st Dec 2004, 17:30
And judgement goes out the window? The implication is a lack of judgement on his part as well - as judged by the court. Take it or leave it, but the point was whether the litigation should occur or not rather than the details of the case.

1st Dec 2004, 18:05
Sorry, but if the police car has it's lights etc. on, it can do whatever speed it likes.

Where do you find this?