Saturday, June 27, 2009
Rubbing money on it helps.
A Portland family will become almost millionaires with the settlement, as yet tentative, for the death of their mentally-ill adult son. It is unlikely that any of the settlement relates to the cost of support for people who were reliant upon the deceased. Thus, Portland people will be paying a very large part of that amount for what are expected as punitive damages and costs of litigation if the case goes to court. As one of the commissioners remarks: "... we live in a litigious society." The Doser says that our legal system, in that it allows only money damages for torts, is archaic and dumb. Even dumber in the case of torts against public offices and officers. It is tolerated only because nobody has come up with a more sensible procedure. We exacerbate the problem by believing that somehow blame for every disliked event must be assigned. (For example, people are already lining up a drug-prescribing doctor to take the fall for the death of our talented twit.)