Professor Mark Holley
July 30, 2011
In the United States today if you as an officer put either you or your department in a liability, for any type of act that is not warranted and handled in a professional manner you are opening yourself for a number of different actions which could hurt both you, your department as well as causing you to loss everything that you own, just because you decided to not following proper protocals which were developed for you department. “In any case in which death was involved, the law where the act or omission complained of occurred provides, or has been construed to provide, for damages only punitive in nature, the United States shall be liable for actual or compensatory damages, measured by the pecuniary injuries resulting from such death to the persons respectively, for whose benefit the action was brought, in lieu thereof (federal-tort-claims 2012).”
Understanding the Torts Act
When one has committed a wrong doing, that person should be punished, and the one who has been wronged needs to feel vindicated. Others who may think of wronging someone in the same fashion will think twice first before it. One of the ways to punish people is through the civil court system with the use of torts. This system allows any person to confront any entity that has wronged them and demand retribution. Torts are an important tool enabling people to recover damages lost through medical costs, property lost, reparations for pain and suffering as well as mental anguish. Many tort cases are frivolous, with some entering the realm of being totally ridiculous. The lawyers are not the only ones thinking of lawsuits as another way to get rich. The common American citizen brings lawsuits as a way of playing against the odds and will have a real chance to win. Tort Civil Claim
We have all heard of the case in California recently where a woman alleged there was a finger in the chili she received from a local Wendy's restaurant, which later showed to have been planted there. Not all cases are actual fabrications; some are just people declining their personal responsibility for their own actions. A few years ago, litigation against the tobacco industry was outrageous, and smokers were calling the nearest trial lawyer to get a lawsuit. How any jury can realistically hold the industry responsible for a smoker getting cancer because they smoked for 20 years plus is not a reasonable issue. This was treated just like a lottery, with people absolving themselves of personal responsibility starting smoking in the first place, and their own failing to have the intestinal fortitude to quit no matter how bad the addiction.
Most cases are frivolous, and have no basis for the claims purported by the plaintiffs. When a California teen was kicked off his high school baseball team for being charged with securities fraud, he sued the school seeking 50 million dollars in damages. The teen asserts those damages are what his future expected earnings would be as a professional baseball player, and that his talents will now go undiscovered by scouts (Ceniceros, R. & Hoffman, M., 2004, pg. 10 - 12). That seems to be speculation of the highest order in the California courts system and the same way investors do on Wall Street. Most cases brought for litigation are not frivolous; some cases actually are earned awards for the plaintiffs to much, which encourage actions like those of the woman at Wendy's. Medical Acts
In one example from the medical field, a man was awarded 2.2 billion dollars when a company diluted cancer drugs (CPCU Journal, 2003, pg. 1 - 18). Obviously, this company should have been made to pay, and the man deserved justice, but not 2.2 billion dollars. This man got more than the GDP of many small nations in one swoop, and it is truly a ridiculous amount of money for anyone to get. In California, a couple was awarded...