If you don't know the story, Dustin Dibble, 25, got drunk in April 2006, while watching a hockey game at a New York City bar with friends. When the night ended Dibble went to a nearby subway platform to go home. But because he was wasted he fell onto the tracks. Dibble's leg was severed when the approaching train ran him over. He sued. He won a couple days ago.
I'm no legal expert, but I'd guess the state lost its case when the train conductor testified he didn't hit the breaks more quickly because from a distance Dibble's body looked like an inanimate object.
Dibble's lawyer was able to successfully argue that the conductor should have hit the breaks a lot sooner, since he didn't know what was on the tracks. Could have been the body of a passed out drunk, no?
So the jury awarded Dibble almost $3.6 million, but later lowered the amount by 35% to $2.3 million 'cause they found Dibble was 35% responsible for what happened. Thirty-five percent?
C'mon. You mean to tell me no one on that jury thought that Dibble might still have both legs today if he hadn't iinitiated this downward spiral by drinking too much and passing out on train tracks? I'm thinking he was maybe 99% responsible.
This is why my folks' cop friends told my mom way back when she first started legally packing heat that if anyone ever broke into the house and she was compelled to shoot them to protect herself, she should then drag the shot crook inside the house and she should shoot to kill, so as to give the crook less ammunition to sue with later.
Not that I condone shooting people unless they're just begging for a cap in the arse! Kidding, kidding. Peace, love, Kumbaya, all that good stuff.
Seriously though, I believe in Jebus, but there is something to Natural Selection.
If you're too dumb to control your booze consumption so that you don't stumble onto train tracks, you shouldn't be given money. You should be given a crash helmet and institutionalized and forced to wear diapers, whether you actually need them or not.
In college, when I worked in that aircraft machine shop there were signs posted everywhere to remove all your jewelry before turning on the machines. The only exceptions were necklaces that could be safely tucked under your shirt or wedding bands that were so deeply embedded in your skin that there was no chance on the rim of the rings getting caught on anything. So when a co-worker, who was well-known for flauting the rules, turned on a turret lathe one day only to have his pinky finger ripped out by the roots 'cause his pinky ring was caught on the head of the spinning lathe, I thought that surely he'd be fired. He endangered himself and the guys working on nearby machines. Nope. He filed a claim and announced intent to sue. Our employer
awarded rewarded his stupidity with a quick $40,000 settlement to make the whole mess go away. And he kept his job...and was able to work light desk duty for months till his hand was healed.
Then there was the 1982 case of Ricky Bodine, the 19-year-old high school grad who climbed on the roof of his alma mater with a couple of buddies, apparently planning to burglarize the school, and fell through a skylight severely injuring himself. Was Bodine pimp-slapped and forced to eat strained peas? Nope. He sued for $8 million and settled his suit for $260,000 plus $1,200 a month for life.
And remember Stella Liebeck? She was the Albequerqe, New Mexico, woman who spilled hot coffee in her lap in a Crack Ronald'sdrive-thru lane. Liebeck had just purchased the coffee and had it sitting between her knees. But when she removed the lid to add cream and sugar she spilled the whole cup in her lap and suffered third-degree burns on her thighs, butt, and crotch. Liebeck demanded Crack Ronald's give her $20,000, $1lK of which would have covered her medical bills. They counter-offered $800. A jury awarded Liebeck more than $2.8 million. A judge reduced it to $640,000. One of Liebeck's arguments in court? Crack Ronald's coffee was too hot and therefore "defective." Coffee defective because it's really hot? Tsk, tsk.
Trust me when I tell you that I will never run for public office. But if I was going to, a big part of my platform would be: I'm the guy who will stop stupid people from winning money for being stupid.