“A lot of voltage passed through his brain”

“A lot of voltage passed through his brain”

An Ohio family is suing Kings’ Island amusment park because they were struck by lightning in the parking lot. This family was leaving the park one fine summer day in 2001 when a thunderstorm approached. While they were still in the parking lot a lightning bolt struck a car that one of them happened to be touching, destroying the car and causing brain damage and other injuries to the unlucky fellow.

An act of God, you say? Not according to their lawyer. He claims that the amusement park should keep track of the weather and warn patrons when severe weather approaches. Excuse me, but are we expected to have any responsibility for our own actions at all any more? A woman carjacked somebody the other day, sent a cop into the hospital, led other cops on a 33-mile chase, and endangered lots of people, and she blames it on post-partum depression. A guy is arrested for attempting to lure children and blames it on his being molested as a kid. No one is responsible anymore.

I just read a story about a bunch of people who invested in dot-com IPOs and lost a lot of money who now want to sue the companies (or venture capitalists or investment banks) because they lost a lot of money. Doesn’t every stock broker list in its disclaimer that investments are inherently risky?

This is a symptom of the “nanny culture” we live in today: we want someone else to clean up our messes. We didn’t do it. And you owe me money because you have more than I do. What a fat, lazy lot we have become.

If you want to read more about bizarre and downright funny lawsuits, subscribe to the True Stella Awards. Because you have to laugh at them to avoid going crazy about it.

  • I talking more about taking responsibility for one’s own actions. I think too often we let people off from the consequences of their own actions because of claims that it was beyond their control and someone else was responsible. The woman may indeed have had a delusional episode, but I think attempts to excuse her from criminal punishment because of that would be misguided; she did put a cop in the hospital and destroy peoples’ property.

    I’m reminded of the case of the woman who killed her five kids and blamed it on past-partum depression. All these advocates were out there saying she wasn’t responsible for her own actions, that it was the disease. Disease doesn’t have intention, people do.

    I think our criminal justice system needs to have an option for someone to receive a verdict of “mentally ill, but guilty,” as opposed to “innocent by reason of insanity.” My opinon is that people who have a mental illness and commit a crime still need to pay the consequences.

  • No, I don’t. Does every property owner have to take every possible precaution to prevent random acts from hurting people on their property? Remember, these people were in the parking lot. How many lightning rods are we talking?

    And what about tornadoes? Car accidents? Hail? Ice storms? Tidal waves?

    Property owners are expected to take reasonable precautions. That’s a lot different from all possible precautions since no one can predict every possible potential problem.

  • The details of the carjacking is that she and her husband were driving down the highway when a dashboard warning light went on. The husband says she panicked, demanded he pull over, hopped out, and flagged down the other car. He says she was distraught because two lawyers who were helping them in their attempt to get back custody of their child died in a plane crash in Alaska and that made her unbalanced.

  • Reasonableness is the key here. Is it reasonable to ask the company to provide protection against thunderstorms of the type they ask? Anyone who hears the rumble of thunder in the distance and sees threatening clouds, yet still ventures into a flat parking lot full of big masses of metal is too dumb or stubborn to listen to a warning anyway.

    I will disagree with one thing: Even if the company does have good lawyers and the suit is defeated, we all still lose. The company has to pay for the legal defense and the courts were clogged with another frivolous lawsuit. Multiply that by thousands of frivolous lawsuits per year and we see that expense and inefficiences they cause cost way too much. That’s why we need tort reform laws in this country.