So, now it’s come to this. An Illinois woman is suing her parents for negligence, claiming her broken ankle, suffered on a slippery driveway, was their fault. Carriel Louah wants $75k in damages and, get this, U.S. District Court Judge John Shabaz (wonder if he’s any relation to Malcolm X?) refused to dismiss the lawsuit and said a jury should decide if the parents, were, in fact, negligent.
We’ve clearly reached new lows when children are suing their parents. But, who’s to blame? Is it the get-rich-quick daughter? The get-rich-quick lawyers? The "it’s not my problem" judge who won’t throw this nonsensical claim out of court? Or, are all of us at fault for letting it get this bad?
What does it say about our country, and what does it do to our image, when this sort of crap is allowed to happen? And, what does it to do to our global competitiveness when so much time and so many dollars are being wasted prosecuting frivolous cases like this?
It seems to me it all comes down to a pervasive lack of accountability in our society. It’s always "…somebody else’s fault" if I fail or if something bad happens to me.
Somehow, somewhere along the line, Americans stopped taking responsibility for their actions and started blamed society instead. So, we see McDonald’s customers blame the Golden Arches for their obesity, thugs blame their upbringing for endless crime sprees and Ms. Louah sue her parents for an icy driveway (and an opportunity to pocket a quick 75 large). Hell, for all we know, Louah’s parents may be in on it, and they’ll all be splitting the Benjamins when the dust settles.
It’s enough to make me sigh in disgust. But, then again, maybe it’s also an opportunity? Maybe I can still sue the Ridgefield Park Little League for the broken cheek bone I suffered running into a leftfield fence in 1966? After all, it destroyed my optic nerve and caused lifelong 20-250 vision in one eye. That might be worth a cool million. Or, maybe I should go after more recent transgressors. First Corporate Limo Service has left me stranded time and again, late at night. Seems to me my mental anguish should be worth at least $25k per incident. Or how about the NY Jets? Their horrific performance last season may, in fact, have been a direct cause of my suddenly borderline blood pressure. I’ll bet a sympathetic judge and jury would see fit to award me six figures for my emotional distress.
Where and when does it end? Will Congress ever step up? Or, will we have to continue to depend on a few sane judges and juries to keep the madness from getting too far out of hand?
Hat tip to Trish Taylor for this idea.