Insane Yank Lawsuits

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Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby FieldMarshalFry » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:19 pm

http://www.cracked.com/article_22268_5- ... orked.html

w-w-w-what? just... how? any lawyers here to explain HOW THE HELL THESE WORKED!?!??!
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby ShuaiGuy » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:40 pm

<Redacted>
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Askias » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:34 pm

Note: not a lawyer. Yet. And studying in Europe, specifically the Netherlands, with a very different civil law system. Do not and never take my word for anything. Correction is encouraged.

The first one is still something that boils my blood. I wouldn't even be so angry if the defense had sticked with ''He's 16, and they're idiots, and idiotic behavior had a worse consequence in this case than most.''. Not a excuse for four counts of negligent homocide, but one I'd expect to be brought out in this case and given a token ''Yeah but no'' dismissal. The inclusion of ''Well his parents were also terrible at parenting''... The mere idea is annoying, but defense lawyers do stuff like that, it's their job. The fact that this defense was accepted by a judge just fries a few fuses in my head. In case you forgot, your honor, you're supposed to uphold the law, and the law is fairly goddamn clear on quadrupple homocide. I have been to court as a spectator several times. I've seen people convicted on petty theft who came from backgrounds that would make this kid wet his pants, but that was no defense. Poor parenting is now a legal defense, but only for the rich.

Urg. I'll boil down the reasoning as I see it for non-lawyer though, since you asked. It is an accepted legal defense to prove that the person was in no state to consider the consequences of the actions taken. This is most commonly seen in arguing the defendant is a minor, and thus unable to think far enough ahead. As such, the person can't be said to have knowingly commited a criminal act. In this case, it was accepted that the extreme poor parenting left the accused in a state that, although he was of legal age, for all intents and purposes he couldn't be expected to think his actions through. As such, instead of punishing him, he was enlisted in mental care. Why did this consist of a 450,000 dollar per year facility? Because the USA legal system is fucked, I have no other explanation. Maybe a US citizen can clear that up, I'm on the same side of the pond as you.

I am still trying to untie the strings in #4. The case is someone who jumped in front of a train suing the train company. Yes, it is completely true that if you've been negligent, negligence of the other party is not a clear-all excuse. But I thought it well-established legal practise that in such a case you look at how bad negligence has been on both sides. One side lacked rails. The other jumped in front of a speeding train. A little perspective here.

But the reasoning again: If you've been negligent, you are responsible for the consequences thereof. You are not only held to take preclautions for completely reasonable people. You must also consider that a big part of the population is dumber than average and they might also walk in your station. So purely saying ''Well a smarter person would've known not to do X'' doesn't get you off the hook completely. In my own country that would lead to a percentile spread: Your negligence is for x% the cause of the trauma, the remaining Y% is the injured. So you must pay x% of the costs resulting (medical or otherwise). Given that ''jumping in front of a train'' seems to be 99% responsible for the result, I am baffled with the size of the verdict.

#3. Kids sued for bringing around cookies. Painful as it is to say, I see the point. Both girls were over 18, meaning they were responsible for their actions. Walking around at 10:30 PM to visit strangers isn't smart. In this case, the stars aligned and the consequences were much more severe than foreseeable, but that isn't a foolproof excuse. The lady in question seems to be rather insufferable though: she didn't just sue for medical bills, but also for pain and suffering, which is presumably why she chose to take the case to court after being offered to have her medical bills repaid (this wasn't mentioned in the article but I fished it from the source).

Reasoning... They're adults. Sneaking around late can cause people to panic, they should know that. So when their actions caused a panic attack (which the court decided they did), they were responsible for the costs thereof.

#2. I am hestitant to judge here. She was 'injured', I do not know how severe. I know the USA medical system can be a clusterfuck of bills. If the choice was between being a complete asshole and being financially ruined... I am aware I am adding details in her favor, but I don't know the case and I was already aware the american civil lawsuits are a class of their own in dickishness, so I wouldn't need that confirmed.

On a sidenote, my local paper reported on a truck driver who ended up in significant debt because someone killed himself by driving against his truck on the freeway at very high speed. Besides the trauma, his truck was wrecked. He ended up about 40.000 euros in debt because he was unwilling to sue the grieving family, who were in principle the only one he could sue. He said ''He couldn't do that''. American civil lawyers, take note and salute. PS, his sotry inspired a fundraiser which netted him 75.000 euros from the moved public. He is out of debt now.

Reasoning... If we count the 18-year old man's sudden death as an accident of his own doing, he can be held accountable for all resulting actions, including this one. I chalk this up to ''It sounds insane, but otherwise an innocent can be settled with a burden by accident without anyone to hold accountable''. In this case one might say ''Well so what?'', but that isn't how accountability works, and it's not too difficult to imagine situations where accidental damage could ruin people.

#1 (sperm stealing)... Just read the article. I can't fault the Judge in this case, because the law is clear that the parent is responsible for the child. The child is not at fault in this case. However, I wholeheartly suggest the lady take a very long walk off a very short pier.

Reasoning: Regardless of how the child was conceived, the father is responsible for the child's situation. By law, period. Bad as the lady's actions were, the lawmakers placed the child's needs first. There is no law the lady broke either, besides all rules of decency, so the court was fairly powerless.

PS. Post is on the moment, made by practically a layman from a different country with no research to speak of besides following some links in the article. No garuntees on accuracy is what I'm saying, alright?
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby MisterKrinkle » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:42 pm

I think I just died a little bit on the inside after reading this article.
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Australia » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:36 pm

MisterKrinkle wrote:I think I just died a little bit on the inside after reading this article.


I think you can sue them for that.
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby octoberpumpkin » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:48 pm

As someone who likes doing random things like leaving cookies for others, I was a bit sad to see that one as I do not wish to be sued for a good deed. I don't do it at 10:30 at night, granted. I dunno, it's just worrysome!
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:59 pm

Nice gestures involving COOkIES? Despicable! We only allow violent, Jason Voorhees level sociopathy around these here parts!
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Arkyle » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:11 pm

I have huge huge issues with No 1. This was a pure and simple fraud of the highest nature. And I'm sorry, I don't even buy the whole "the child shouldn't be damaged" argument. She went into this knowing she was going to have a child on her own. The "father", and I use that term very loosely, was at no point a participant in an act which could have resulted in a child.

I do agree that men shouldn't be let off the hook for one night stands. If however the pregnancy comes from IVF and I didn't consent to my sperm being used, that's a level of premeditation that should constitute fraud.
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Masonator » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:23 pm

#2 is the only one that I disagree with including. This is the one involving the woman getting hit by a corpse. What exactly is wrong with suing the estate? The entry tries to conflate suing the estate with suing the family of the dead guy, I guess the logic being that the dead guy's money would go to his family if his estate wasn't sued. But it's not the family's money until after creditors are paid, and if the woman had medical bills or other damages, then yeah, she's a valid creditor and should get paid before any beneficiaries. How can you really disagree with this?
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby octoberpumpkin » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:39 pm

Am I the only one it doesn't really occur to to sue when something goes bad? Maybe it's because I'm from Canada, where medical bills were never an issue, but I dunno.

Here's a fun (and long) story for you.

My boyfriend went through a really bad divorce. His dad runs a garage and when he was divorced, my boyfriend's father asked him to move back home to help with the business. This meant a massive pay cut, but he agreed. His aunt and uncle had a guest house behind their house, and they set up for him to live there since he was helping out family. This is where he lived when we started dating, and eventually we asked if it was okay if I moved in and they were fine with it.

So we would pay our bills, pay the rent, do repairs on the house, watch and clean their house when they went on vacation (which was often, they were wealthy and retired), took care of their cats, helped with yard work when they needed it, etc. Everything was fine until they got a new dog one day. They rescued it from an abusive home, which is awesome, and they and my boyfriend nursed the poor thing back to health.

Well one day the dog decided it didn't like us anymore. It world growl and snap at us when we went to our cars or whatever. We sat down to talk to them about it and they said to be firm with her and not let her intimidate us. It should also be noted that they did zero training on her. She was close to a year old and they said she was "too young to train" and they'd have to wait a few years. We even offered to help with the training and getting the dog used to us. Nothing was done.

So anyways, one day they're out in the yard and we're walking by to go do groceries or something, and the dog starts snapping at us and nips my boyfriend's heel. He turns to face the dog and walk towards it in a "You don't intimidate me" way and the dog gets scared and backs off. A few days later, we get evicted because the dog doesn't like us. Btw, the dog also bit his aunt's sister (his other aunt) and snapped at everyone who came over. They had to lock her up to have guests.

We also get this horrendously insulting waver to sign, and this is the part that upset me most. It says that we can not sue them if the dog bites us to pay medical bills, and that we are not allowed to talk to, approach, or look at the dog (it literally says that) and if we do, we are accepting that we are provoking the dog and any damage is our fault. I was so so so insulted that they would think we would sue them if that happens. Nevermind that it is their fault because they never trained her or accepted responsibility, I would never even think of suing them. And they had the gall to say the waver was "because they were worried about us". Please.

They were giving us like a month to move out until my boyfriend went to talk to them about getting more time, when it came out that his uncle didn't like him because he "didn't make enough money". You know, because he was helping out THE FAMILY. Which he took a massive pay cut for. He said my boyfriend should get a second job, despite working 10 hour days AND going to school.

When did money become the most important thing, honestly? My boyfriend likes his job and he makes enough money that we live comfortably and is going to school to work towards his dream job. He's also helping out his father who is getting up there in years and has all of his money invested in the business. Why is money more important than that?

So it turns out he was paranoid we would use the dog as a way to sue them and get a bunch of money, because apparently they thought that we felt the same about money as they do.




Good Christians they were
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:14 pm

Well, all I can say is...

This repulsive celebrity double date has been brought to you by the Church of the Latter Day Saints.



Bam! Non-sequiter!
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby LegionofShrooms » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:06 pm

Askias wrote:Because the USA legal system is fucked, I have no other explanation. Maybe a US citizen can clear that up, I'm on the same side of the pond as you.


As a US citizen...

Nope, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Legal system's pretty fucked.
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:26 pm

I wonder what that kid would have to do in order for his parents to NOT use the "affluenza defense. Rob a bank? Shoot up a school for incel reasons a la Elliot Rodger? Kill people and sew their corpses together like that one Killer of the Week from Hannibal?

Defense attorney: "Your honor, my client just couldn't help but dismember a bus full of kindergarteners and the accompanying staff with a chainsaw and have sex with their viscera, for he has affluenza. He's too wealthy to know better. His parents just never taught him right from wrong."
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby Askias » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:40 pm

Ericthebearjew wrote:I wonder what that kid would have to do in order for his parents to NOT use the "affluenza defense. Rob a bank? Shoot up a school for incel reasons a la Elliot Rodger? Kill people and sew their corpses together like that one Killer of the Week from Hannibal?

Defense attorney: "Your honor, my client just couldn't help but dismember a bus full of kindergarteners and the accompanying staff with a chainsaw and have sex with their viscera, for he has affluenza. He's too wealthy to know better. His parents just never taught him right from wrong."


Well, if I 'understand' the 'defense' correctly, the main difference is negligence. The defense was not that he didn't know killing four people is a bad thing. Negligent homocide means you took a risk where you should have known not to (because a reasonable person could foresee the danger), and someone was killed as a result. If you speed in the dark, you as a reasonable person should know that you could miss things ahead and hit people with your car. This Oh why was this accepted defense states that he didn't understand that speeding while drunk was dangerous, much like a toddler wouldn't know not to touch the electrical wire. It's not that he had to speed, it's that he wouldn't understand that speeding can have consequences for other people. Because his parents spoiled hi-ohIhatethiscaseIHATEIT. Don't ask me why.

The limit? I honesty do not know because if you'd given me this case beforehand I'd have said 'A few miles before this'. Wherever the judge thinks he *should* have been able to understand he was endangering other people despite his poor upbringing. I wouldn't be surprised if someone makes the case in the future that someone seriously wouldn't know dismembering people is wrong without being told so. Now this has been accepted there are questions regarding nurture to be answered, and how much you can hold a person accountable if they were never corrected. But I believe that question has long been answered. The cases of people 'growing up for prison' are so widespread that it's not even funny. And while sympathies were expressed, few hands were raised to let people off the hook because they grew up badly, were abused, or neglected. But being spoiled, we can't expect someone to resist that, now can we?

I hate this case, I hate this judge. It might not be professional or meaningful, but I cannot express how much I hate this.
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Re: Insane Yank Lawsuits

Postby ShuaiGuy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:36 am

<Redacted>
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