We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Remember that famous lady who sued Winnebago after she put her RV into cruise control on the highway, then walked to the back for a cup of coffee?
She claimed that Winnebago had not made it sufficiently clear to her that cruise control couldn't drive the vehicle.
When some people do idiotic things that defy the most elementary common sense resulting in "accidents," they see dollar signs. When most people do dumb things, however, they just blame themselves and leave it at that. What is the difference between those two categories of people?
Read about Slate's Emily Bazelon at Overlawyered. How can any manufacturer anticipate every moronic thing a person might do with a product? They would need to hire teams of morons as product testers.
Are such cases really about personal responsibility, or are they just about a class of greed-intoxicated people who are comfortable with ripping off businesses and their insurors?
Image: A Winnebago of the sort that cannot drive itself down the road. For that, you need the more expensive model.
"Are such cases really about personal responsibility, or are they just about a class of greed-intoxicated people who are comfortable with ripping off businesses and their insurors?"
I think they're also about the effects of the narcissistic "self-esteem" message pooped out by our schools and pop culture: "You're a special, wonderful, delightful, important person. So it can't have been your fault."
American teens score lowest on standardized math tests of any industrialized nation, but have the highest opinion of their math skills.
A story. We were with some friends and their soon to graduate high school senior. A nice kid, bright, college bound. She was teasingly asked by her uncle, a carpenter who measures things all day long, what was 8 times 12. She fumbled for the answer. At which point her clearly uncomfortable mother smiled brightly and told us all - "She's taking calculus."
Then yesterday afternoon we were driving around looking for a restaurant and my wife called them for directions. She asked if a certain street was parallel to another. The girl on the other end didn't know what "parallel" meant. My wife said to me after the call "I guess they forgot to teach 'parallel' that day."
Put an individual with eyes that cry in front of a jury, and, since that jury is likely to believe that value is really only a creation of printing presses, paper, and green ink, then of course the crying eyes get the big money. It's the "problem of the commons" skewed by poor business/economiuc education.
If I had the defense case, I'd consider having Winnebago defended not by some educated & accomplished team of lawyers, but by a couple of young assembly-line hands, in their work clothes. They'd say "We're busting our ass to make a living, and we don't appreciate our employer being harmed by some dingbat grifter".
That would be the entire defense, case goes to jury.
The Winnebago story never happened. It's an urban legend that apparent just will not die.
In any event, these kinds of law suits do not happen nearly as often as the press makes us think they do. The number of "frivolous" suits filed compared to the number of total suits filed is an incredibly small number. But hey. people love to complain, and so they will, facts be damned.