28.3.08

Santa Maria, we thank thee this day for miracles...

Due to laziness and not wanting to constantly fiddle around with an Ipod in my car, I have been listening to a great deal of talk radio lately. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I listen to Sean Hannity now and again. I guess I am politically interested of late, and that is the show that is on when I am doing a lot of my driving. I realize that most of those conservative radio talk show hosts are nearly as ridiculous and radical in their political sector as those on the far left, and so I take most of what they say with a grain of salt.

Inevitably, I end up listening to some KSL talk radio news. For the most part, KSL radio news seems to be full of overly repetitive, unimportant, who-gives-a-damn-type stories. Today, for example, the number two story of the day, and one to which was devoted more time than any other, was about some dog named Seven that was apparently tossed from a free way overpass. Miraculously, and by the good graces of the Virgin Mary, Seven was able to survive his brutal toss from the lofty point. Luckily, KSL had a correspondent live on the scene at the veterinary clinic where poor Seven was being treated. I wiped several beads of worried sweat from my concerned, furrowed brow as the vet announced to the public that Seven was going to be OK.

Really? Is there truly nothing of more import happening in Utah, let alone the World, that KSL had to devote the longest chunk of time to a story about a stupid animal that got Jack Black'd off an overpass? Are we not in the middle of one of the dirtiest, meanest, and most direly important elections of our time?

Thank God, seven is OK.

The story that most pist me off, however, was concerning the kid who was killed by a black bear last year up American Fork canyon. The source of my anger, in this case, was not KSL's reporting. I am angry at the family. They are apparently suing the forest service for nearly two million dollars. They feel that they should have been warned that a bear had been seen in the area a few hours before.

They are possibly right-perhaps they should have been warned (even though due to the area they were in, there was likely nobody there to provide any such warning.) They are understandably hurt and angry about the loss of their son. But for heaven sakes, is two million dollars going to bring him back? What kind of wretched people are they, that they are turning their son's death into a lucrative venture? How would their son feel, knowing that his tragic death eventually bought mommy and daddy a new beamer and a huge house? Two million dollars in blood money. People disgust me. Why do we live in such a sue-happy nation? Why are there so many people utterly willing to capitalize on the death of loved ones? If there were hospital and funeral costs involved, by all means sue for that specific coverage. But don't get rich through tragedy. Have a little decency and respect for he who died.

3 comments:

brady & laura Hales said...

funny, I heard about both stories and had a very similar reaction. Other than being sickened by the disturbed bastard who would throw a stray dog over an overpass. The story of the kid eaten by a bear is unfortunate, but really thats a risk you take when you go camping; you could get eaten by a bear, you could get lost, you could live in a bus for a few months and eat poisonous root and starve to death (yes I'm still on a rant about that movie). All of which are reasons why I don't camp, unless a travel trailer is involved

p.s. It was good to see you earlier this evening

brady & laura Hales said...

...and I'm always happy and excited to read your blog. You are a very talented and articulate writer.

Crystal said...

Again. Not Crystal. Dave.

In defense of all good ambulence chasing grease balls with their "Injured? gimme a piece of that action" smiles on their big-face billboards, I feel I should say something. These lawsuits always get blown up by the time they hit the papers. i guarantee the family doesn't expect to get a cool 2M from this suit. In fact, they would probably settle for the cost of the funeral, their therapy, and a family set of "bears are bastards" T-shirts. The number starts there and goes down down down before its all over. The other point that was raised was whether the lawsuit was actually frivilous to begin with. To tell you the truth, it probably isn't. They may have a legitimate claim IF the forest service actually knew that there were bears around and IF it would be reasonable for the deceased to assume that there weren't bears around in the absense of information to the contrary, and IF the forest service, being the forest service, had a duty to warn forest "users" about known hazards, THEN the forest service would be required to act reasonably--that is, they would be required by law to take whatever safeguarding measures were justified considering the gravity and probability of the risk involved. For example, they could have called a radio station, or put up signs, or closed the roads or something. i dont know what efforts would have been reasonable. But you can bet that the parents in this case have some idea of some measure that they did not take that they could have taken that wasnt too hard, that would have actually prevented the accident. and if they can show that, then the forest service was legally negligent: in dereliction of their duty, and where tragedy occurs, the negligent party should bear the "cost" (not just financial), not the parents who were not at fault. So the only question is, how much? I agree with you that 2M seems high, but keep in mind that the plaintiffs lawyer is going to have to work hard to sell that unimaginable number to regular old folks like you and me. so it probably wont come out that high. esspecially with a sympathetic defendant like the forest service. I mean, if the defendant were Marlboro or something, a jury would sign the check for 2M without even flinching. But I just dont see it ending up that high in this case.

There's your nickle's worth of free law lessons. Enjoy.