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Suing culture

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by ben arthur, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. SMan

    SMan Angel Fish

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    Just my two cents worth, but the suing culture is based on society. Everyone wants it their way or else. Or it has to be perfect or they are going to make someone pay. Here in the States at least some people have lost sight of how to fit into society. If something is wrong, it must be someone else's fault. I agree with the accountability statements above. People need to realize that they control a lot of the things that happen to them. And most of what happens that is bad is really no one's fault - like not having everything work out on their diving vacation. These people should have their a$$ kicked for the problems caused to the rest. But some of these suits are brought on by people that really hurt others with little regard. And they should be treated the same!

    A final vent. There are some lawyers that just fan the flames of these people looking for someone to blame. After all, the ambulance chaser stereotype came from the actual practice. But most try to keep their clients from filing frivolous claims.

    Total non-diving vent. Sorry. JMHO.
    S
     
  2. wannabe

    wannabe Nassau Grouper

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    If medicine wasn't as good as it is Darwinism would work much better at getting these buffons out of the gene pool.
     
  3. art.chick

    art.chick Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hollywood, USA
    823
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    ...if medicine wasn't so prohibitively costly, maybe people would not think that suing sombody with deep pockets was the only way to save their financial lives when lousy things happen.
     
  4. Welshman

    Welshman senior member

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    As a number of you have pointed out the problem is that we have forgotten that there can be such a thing as an accident for which neither you nor I are responsible - it has to be someone's fault and that means you can sue. This culture is steadily pervading the UK legal system having made the inevitable trip across the Atlantic. When I read about the Fat Ba****** suing the US fast food industry for their obesity I knew the end of commonsense was nigh. Unfortunately, you can see how this will undoubtedly affect any sport including diving. This type of mentality almost caused the collapse of the US light aircraft industry. Soon regulators will doubtless have to have attached a flashing neon sign reminding you what to do and what not to do so even a Grade A Darwin candidate won't do the wrong thing!

    Apologies for the rant

    Regards to you all
     
  5. JimC

    JimC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    1,040
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    [rant]
    You do NOT want Gov Mandated Medical Insurance. Trust me on that one. I fork over 42% of me pay check in income tax, and another 15% in sales tax every time I use the pitiful remainder of my check.

    People will get the sniffles and run off to the emergency room in this country. It is common to wait more than 6 hours because your inline behind 14 lonely old people with imagined illnesses. The wait for a CAT scan is upwards of 1 year.

    My last encounter with a hospital cost me 7 hours of agonizing pain. That was when I finaly got to see a doctor to give me some pain killers. It was another 3 hour wait for my exray and another hour for the cast.

    Anyone WITH $$$ in Canada goes to the US for medical treatment. In the end it would be cheaper for me too buy 3 familes full medical insurance from the US than to pay the portion of my taxes alloted toward my OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Add to that no tools hanging out in Emerge waiting for a treatment of iodine and a bandaide and you can have my "free" health insurance.
    [/rant]
     
  6. SM Diver

    SM Diver Manta Ray

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    That is the most ridiculous story I have heard in a while. It's amazing the number of people who read about an abberation, like the McDonald's coffee case, and believe that it depicts the entire American civil justice system. What a bunch of BS.
     
  7. TCDiver1

    TCDiver1 Ductus Exemplo ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Michigan
    3,539
    14
    38

    Agree with most of what you say except the abberation business.
    To think that frivolous lawsuits are not a problem in the US, is really sticking your head in the sand IMHO. Our system is good but not without faults. The ability to file frivolous suits & win them is not a good thing no matter how few there is.

    IMO it's all about supply & demand. Look in your phone book yellow pages. I'll bet the single largest section is the lawyer section. We have a ton of attorney's in my area and most of them i know have a heck of a time making a living because there is so many of them. Many of them are forced to create demand just to make a living. IMHO creating demand is where most bad lawsuits come from. Anyone think the guy suing the fast food restaurants came up with that one on his own? No way, an attorney was undoubtedly involved with creating that peach. One big "score' can sustain an attorney for years & that is the temptation for many.

    I'm not trying to support or slam any lawyers here. The field of law can be a very honorable profession. They are just like the rest of us, that is, there is good ones & bad ones. And like the rest of us the bad ones can give the good ones a bad reputation.
    The same is true of scuba instruction.

    Getting back to what started this thread .... ugly Americans. Hey they are out there. They by no means represent the majority, and I for one, am embarassed whenever i see these types of things happen when abroad. It does no good to try reason with these types because their elitist mindset won't allow them to consider they might be wrong.
     
  8. DivePartner1

    DivePartner1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: McLean, Virginia
    868
    2
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    At least a part of the perception of a runaway lawsuit culture stems from badly vetted news anecdotes at face value. The attached debunks the famed "Stella Awards."

    http://www.snopes2.com/legal/lawsuits.htm

    Also, large verdicts make news. Rulings by trial courts and appellate courts--a common occurence-- to slash verdicts do not. And news retractions are always buried.

    Actually, the McDonalds case (Stella's case) is a better example of how to botch a defense and I'll PM anybody who wants the long story of why I think so.

    Still real cases show an irrational generousity with others' money in puzzling circumstances and this trend isn't going away anytime soon. The tobacco cases are poisonous: now that courts have allowed suits by those who engage in knowingly dangerous activity with an awareness of the risks, anything goes.

    It not hard to imagine how dive shops can face the brunt of this 'it's my fault mentality', and I shudder at the prospect of 6 our no one's "peers" off the street in a wrongful death action grasping something as complex gas science as taught through hostile examination and a confusing cross.

    My hats off to the LDS's, certification agencies and gear manufactueres who must weather this storm.

    We can all help by signing those release! Maybe we should all also urge our kin not to sue for a dive injury in a living will? I'm considering doing this.
     
  9. TCDiver1

    TCDiver1 Ductus Exemplo ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Michigan
    3,539
    14
    38
    Fyi, can you guest the professions who have the hardest time signing the medical statement & assumption of liability & risk forms required by the certifying agency i teach for? You guessed it, doctors & attorney's.

    I don't blame anyone for not LIKING the requirement of having to sign these forms before scuba instruction can begin, i never liked signing them either. But the litigious nature of the world we live in forces the certifying agencies to require this type of CYA paperwork. What most people don't understand is that true negligence, no matter what you sign, will always be cause for suit.
    I guess the problem usually arises when you try to define "true negligence."

    A living trust drafted so our next of kin can not sue for a dive injury? A very honorable sentiment that would be a wonderful trend to see.

    Pass it on!:)
     
  10. DivePartner1

    DivePartner1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: McLean, Virginia
    868
    2
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    Thanks, and I'm really not giving anything up here. Term life is not expensive and I'm over-insured even without the double indemnity an accidental death would yield. The trick is to be sure scuba accidents are not excluded.

    IMHO serious misconduct should be a matter for law enforcement, not the lottery of the civil courts.
     

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