Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the first thing you do is sue somebody

While in Austin this past week, a guy who was totally fed up with the fucked up system of taxes in this country, the protection of the richest 10% of the population by the government at the expense of everyone else and about to lose everything (again) decided to put a permanent end to the screwing he's been getting by flying his small plane into the IRS building. Before his fatal connection with said building, he posted his assessment on his website and while I don't agree with his final solution (the poor slobs who work in that building were not at fault), his essay or 'suicide note' as the authorities termed it is in no way an unintelligible rant. In fact it is quite lucid. The powers that be had it removed promptly, of course. God forbid that anyone should read this man's writing that so well points out the extreme inequity in this country that the government continues to support (and I don't mean either political party here or rather I mean both). Before it could be shut down, however, it was archived on the smoking gun website. I encourage everyone to read it.

So now, the widow of the one person who died in the attack on the building has decided to sue the widow of the perpetrator. Really? She's going to sue someone who had nothing to do with it, was totally shocked at what her husband did, whose life is totally destroyed because of it. How is it even possible that widow A can be allowed to sue widow B? Her (widow A) reasoning is this...widow B should have warned people about her husband's state of mind. I'm thinking widow B had no idea her husband was about to commit suicide by flying his plane into the IRS building. I think that's a pretty safe assumption. So what was she supposed to do? Take out an ad in the paper that her husband was a little depressed, that he was angry about his situation? Has widow A warned everyone every time her husband has been depressed, stressed out or angry? The saddest part about all this is that widow A will be allowed to pursue this lawsuit, will probably win because in this country, nothing just happens. Someone is always at fault and it is always someone else's fault. And that someone needs to pay. If that person isn't available to sue, then sue everyone who knew that person.  Never mind that widow B was not at fault and her life is in shambles around her. She hasn't quite been ground completely into the dust yet.

This, the system that will allow widow A to grind widow B into the dust, is just one more example of what's wrong in this country, the very reason widow B's husband chose to die in such a dramatic way. To try to get people to think and act and refuse, instead of being sheep.

The thing that really outrages me though is not that widow A will be allowed to pursue her lawsuit, but that she thinks she should, that her sense of entitlement is such that it even occurred to her to do it. Really, widow A? Will it really help you, or anyone, to further destroy widow B's life? Isn't she just as much a victim of her husband's actions as you are?

We, the people, wonder why this country is circling the drain. Well, I don't wonder at all. I think it's pretty damn clear.


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  2. Greed makes people do crazy things and misuse systems that have been put in place to right wrongs.

    Did you know that the USA is a much more litigeous country than Canada, Britain, Australia, for example?

    We don't have ads on television by lawyers soliciting clients promising to sue anyone who may have ever violated their boundaries. Nor do we have 'ambulance chasers' as you call them. Interesting phenomenon.

  3. I just don't understand (besides everything else that cannot be understood) how a person, having just lost a dear one, thinks of a lawyer first. What about mourning? Grief? I mean.. LAWYER??! And ... MONEY? For a person I loved and I am now missing... I can't imagine myself thinking like that.

  4. We run a small motorcycle salvage shop in Canada, and ship parts all over the world, including the USA.
    We were just told by our liability insurance carrier that they no longer will cover us, because we ship to the USA. In other words - someone may install one of our parts in their motorcycle, have an accident, and sue us. There's no problem with us shipping to other parts of the world - only the USA. Now we have to find someone to cover us, or just decide not to ship to the USA. That's a lot of business to lose. Sad, isn't it?

  5. It all sounds like a movie. A black comedy.

  6. We live in such a litigious society that you only have to look at someone wrong to get slapped with a law suite.

    I am so completely one hundred percent in agreement with you on this post, Ellen.

    Torte reform from the bottom up!

    And PS: Widow A can go piss up a rope.

  7. Two things:

    Here Here

    And, as someone once told me, when I was bemoaning something similarly, it's because we live in a free country that widow A thinks she can sue widow B.


  8. Nothing really surprises me anymore. How sad for both widows, but unfortunately it'll only get worse now.

  9. Ellen, there is a lot of anger out there at everybody and anybody. Instead of coming together for solution, we want vengeance and retribution. Ouch!

  10. Ellen, the pilot's diatribe was on the Austin American Statesman website & is probably still there. It was a rampage, coherent to some extent, but also discombobulated. No mater what the problems are with our system this was no way to solve it. It was a madman run amok.

    I was shocked that Widow B is suing Widow A. Widow A may have insurance money, but her madman husband burned down the house they lived in. I don't know what, if anything, Widow A could have done to prevent this.

    Like you said this is one more example of the anger that is raging through our country like a wildfire. From the female professor who killed her colleagues in Alabama, to this suicide attack by an angry taxpayer, to the shooting that took place today in a school in Colorado it is insanity.

  11. Our "favorite" thing is when the suer says "It isn't about the money, we just want to make sure it never happens again." YEAH, right. Whole lot of "would never be happening again" if lawsuits worked that way - they don't - it IS about the money and the fact the person suing wants to feel better and thinks money wil do it.

    And JC I have to disagree - knowing what her husband is thinking/going to do is not the same as carrying your daughter on your car insurance. You allowed your daughter to drive, while insured by you/your company, and you are [or should be] well aware of her capabilities as a driver. Since she is on your insurance you have a responsibility to make sure she is a good driver. No offense I am a parent too and I understand.

    I hope ins. covers it and you aren't sued.

  12. That's right, I forgot he burned his house down too. His wife won't get a penny of insurance money. No insurer is going to come across when you burn your own house down and life insurance doesn't pay out for suicide either.

    I agree that flying your plane into a building or shooting up your place of employment doesn't solve the problem. It just ruins more lives. But when people try to do the right thing, try to follow the rules and laws and still get screwed while people who don't need support get it in spades, well, that's just wrong. The moral compass has been lost in this country when big business is protected from any loss while individuals lose their jobs and their homes, their health and lives (no access to healthcare) through no fault of their own. When big business head honchos run their companies into the ground and they get bailed out and the CEOs get huge bonuses, when the insurance companies squeeze you for every penny but when it's time for them to pay out it's like trying to get blood from a turnip, when the health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have a stranglehold on health care so that even the middle class can't get care (even to the point of getting laws passed making it illegal to get medicines cheaper across the border), when someone gets hurt through their own stupidity or just accidentally (yes, sometimes stuff happens and it's no one's fault) and they refuse to take responsibility for themselves and sue everyone even remotely connected (see Kathryn's comment), well, that's just wrong. Greed is rampant in this country. I don't know what the solution is or even if there is a solution. We may have to crash and burn and hopefully rise from the ashes like the phoenix. No one is really interested in changing the status quo because those who have the power to change it are the ones that don't want it to change. Those on the top want to stay there, they want to protect what they have and those underneath want to be on top and they think the status quo is the way to get there. Give them half a chance and the abused will become the abuser.

  13. I think the problem with the U.S. is how EXTREME we always feel we have to be. The idea of being able to sue for injustice is a great concept, but we overuse it all the time. One of my friends who is a great lawyer says that originally, the law was meant to be the last resort, where you turned after you had tried every other method to bring balance to system of unjustice. But we've turned it upside down, so now the law is where we turn first.

    It's a big mistake, but so is the idea that suicide is the answer to anything. It's TOO extreme!

    Oy vey.

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  15. In my opinion most tort reform fails because the majority of the ones elected to office are lawyers.

  16. Most of our politicians are lawyers. We now have thousands of lobbyists feasting on the carrion of our once great nation. Tort reform is one thing that needs to be fixed, but getting the lobbyists out of Washington seems even more important. Absolutely nothing will change until we do.

  17. It's easy to blame the lawyers and yes, there are too many lawyers eager and willing to file any and all frivolous lawsuits but I think the real problem is deeper and lies with the general population. Greed. Just because you can file a lawsuit does not mean that it is the right and moral thing to do and that lies in the heart of the american people. The people, however encouraged by lawyers, will not say 'NO, that is not the right thing to do, what will it accomplish besides bring more pain and misery and hatefulness into the world.' That is the problem.

  18. I agree that it is not right to sue just because we can sue. I was married to a lawyer for well over 20 years and have never sued anyone. Odd. I don't think in that way. Of course, it's not to say I'll never file suit against someone. I think lawyers have a definite place in our society because some (maybe most) do the right thing. They represent us when we need representation.

    But I don't like the idea of suing for the sake of suing. I don't for one minute believe that Widow B suing Widow A will have any impact on stopping the carnage! It just sounds like more anger (which she is entitled to feel), but why take it out on someone who is already beat down to the bottom?

  19. I think lawsuits are now an accepted way to raise funds and conclude business, which is a shame. My ex-mother-in-law used to regularly drive an elderly neighbor to the store since she couldn't drive herself. On one such trip, just as MIL was backing out of the driveway, a car rear-ended them. There wasn't much damage, nobody was hurt, the drivers quickly exchanged insurance info and MIL thought that was that.

    About a week later, a courier delivered legal papers--the neighbor was suing her for damages, pain and suffering, something like a couple hundred thousand dollars. She claimed neck and back injuries and the suit mentioned MIL's callous disregard for the victim's frailty.

    MIL was, naturally, upset, even more so when the neighbor called later that morning and asked if MIL could take her to the store? MIL asked her if she was crazy, etc., etc. and the old lady was astonished. "Oh, that's just between the lawyers. My son reminded me that we need to remodel the kitchen and we could use the money, that's all. It certainly has nothing to do with our friendship!"

  20. I hope your MIL told her it certainly had everything to do with their friendship which was now terminated and she could find someone else to drive her around and sue. It's never just between the lawyers especially if your MIL is forced to sell her house to pay the judgement (assuming of course that the neighbor won). At the very least it would cause her insurance premiums to go up or be canceled altogether.

    This is exactly what I am talking about. No moral compass.

  21. People in this country feel a huge sense of entitlement. And let's face it...the world revolves around money.

    It's a sad state, no doubt about it.


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