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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's Not My Fault...and it Never Will Be!

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. We all understand this intuitively. But somewhere along the line, perceptions changed. I wonder, what was the tipping point?  At what point did we as a society decide that whatever the heck happens, “It’s not my fault because(insert silly excuse here).

Doesn’t anyone believe in accidents(or bad luck) any more?

In this new “blameless” society, we want the freedom to make choices. But we don't want to take responsibility for those choices. We don't want to deal with the consequences.

For example:

1) A judge in Brazil has ordered McDonald's to pay a former restaurant manager $17,500 because the man gained 65 pounds while working for the fast food giant.

Apparently, McDonald’s has been sued many times in the United States by people who blame it(not themselves) for their weight gain.  I always assumed it was common knowledge that fast food often leads to obesity.

2) How about the 14 year old girl who, along with her mother, sued MySpace for $30 million dollars? It seems that the girl (while pretending she was 15) met a 19 year old guy on MySpace, they chatted and she gave him her cell phone number. They talked and eventually went on a date to eat and a movie... she wound up being sexually assaulted by him.

They are suing MySpace, apparently for not having the necessary safeguards in place to prevent a lying 14 year old from sneaking out and hooking up with older men.

The topper is that the 19 year old sued MySpace too! His position: If it wasn’t for MySpace, he would never have found himself in a situation where he would have sexually assaulted a 14 year old girl...

3) A mother in Derby, England blames her daughters’ school for the fact that all three of them, ages 16,14 and 12 became pregnant. I wonder what role ‘mom’ figures she played in this whole scenario…or if she has even given it a second thought.

4) A New Jersey couple, whose son was struck in the chest with a line drive, has sued the maker of a metal baseball bat used in the game.

As it turns out the young man, Steven Domalewski was pitching when the ball slammed into his chest and stopped his heart. He was eventually resuscitated but now has brain damage and is severely disabled.

An attorney says Domalewski will need millions of dollars worth of medical care for the rest of his life.

Tragic? Yes. But to charge the bat manufacturer with negligence? That’s just wrong.

5) Jennifer Lea Strange, 28, a mother of three, was one of 18 contestants trying to win a Nintendo Wii gaming console by drinking the most water without going to the bathroom. The contest was called "Hold your Wee for a Wii."

Strange died from water intoxication, after participating in this radio station sponsored water-drinking contest. A Sacramento County jury awarded $16.5 million to her family.

This brings to mind the recent tragedy that took place in Yosemite park.  Three hikers were swept away at Vernal Falls after having been warned to get away from the raging waterfall. 

I’ve been up to this particular location before and trust me, you don’t need anyone to warn you to stand back. Your common sense should suffice.

Just before the hikers fell in, another witness said he saw a man in his 40s leaning out over the waterfall, holding his 6-year-old daughter!

After this tragedy I heard some individuals call for Yosemite to erect more safety barriers. Now, if those folks felt bold enough to climb over the barriers already in place, what makes anyone think they would respect additional safety measures? 

I’m wondering if and when the legal suits will commence in this case.

What are the side effects of this sort of irrational thinking?

People always have and always will do some incredibly stupid things.  The difference is that years ago it was understood that sometimes sh*t happens.  And most folks usually accepted that fact.  Not so much anymore.

Too often people seem to want to use the legal system as a fallback to a lack of common sense and rational thought.

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