Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 2
Posted: 12/24/2008 2:07:00 PM EST
Riding a dirt bike on a city street, without a licenses, crash and get rich

City liable for about $8.3 million in bike crash, jury finds
City has 30 days to appeal the verdict.
By VIK JOLLY
The Orange County Register

A jury has found that San Juan Capistrano must pay about $8.3 million in damages because of a dangerous condition at an intersection that was a "substantial factor" in injuries to two boys on a dirt bike in a 2005 accident.

"I felt that the jury's verdict was very well thought out," said Brent Scott, the attorney for Trenten Merrill, then 14, who lost his right leg below the knee because of the crash.

The city can appeal within 30 days of the verdict, which came last week after more than three months of testimony and a day and a half of jury deliberations, Scott said.

The city deferred comment to its attorney, who could not be reached Tuesday.

Merrill, now 18 and a freshman at Saddleback College, was a passenger on the dirt bike of his friend Scott Agostini when the pair crossed San Juan Creek Road at Paseo Christina and collided with a BMW.

Hidden Valley residents had on a "number of occasions" sought a crosswalk or a stop sign in years before the crash at the accident site, city documents show. Based on city analysis, neither was warranted.

Scott had argued that there was little time to react because overgrown vegetation in the median created an "absolute blind intersection."

Merrill's original complaint against the city sought $12 million in damages. Four attempts to settle the civil suit through mediation were unsuccessful, Scott said. The city's only offer of $1 million came two weeks before the verdict, one that Merrill rejected, Scott said.

"It wasn't just (about) the money," Scott said. "Trenton was concerned about the safety of other children and other residents in the neighborhood that had complained for over 10 years to make the intersection safe."

After several surgeries, Merrill lost his leg below the knee. Agostini, then 13 and driver of the bike, was released from the hospital a week after the March 30, 2005, crash.

The driver of the BMW, Emily Pastore, was not injured or cited. Agostini received five citations related to the crash, including failure to yield and operating an off-road vehicle on a highway.

In a complicated case, Merrill and his family first sued the city and a city-contracted landscape maintenance company. The city filed cross complaints against the Agostinis and Pastore, but she was dropped from the suit before the trial began.

In opening arguments, Lee Wood, the attorney representing the city, had portrayed the boys as reckless semi-pro motorcycle riders who had a whole different personality when it came to motocross, a sport he said their parents encouraged.

The boys, he had said, became "self-centered, disobedient and egocentric" when on the motorcycle, describing them as using their neighborhood as a private motor bike racing playground.

But the jury, while finding the boys negligent, did not find that their negligence was a "substantial factor" in causing injury to them.
Instead, they assigned 82 percent of the responsibility to the city and 18 percent to Pastore. The city's contractor, also found negligent but not a "substantial factor" in the injuries, was not assigned any responsibility by jurors.

The city owes about $7.2 million to Merrill and about $1.1 million to Agostini, attorney Brent Scott said.

Pastore had already settled with the city, Scott said, and "we didn't think she did anything wrong and we still don't."



Prior to the verdict, Merrill settled with the landscape contractor, BotaCo, for an amount Scott would not divulge.



In a Jan. 31, 2005, letter, just two months before the crash, Agostini's grandmother Ruth Casper wrote to then-Mayor Wyatt Hart, seeking safety measures.

Residents, she wrote, "are deeply concerned for the safety of our children, grandchildren and the crossing of our horses on San Juan Creek Road and Paseo Christina."

On Feb. 24, 2005, the mayor wrote back saying the crosswalk was ruled out "as our observations revealed that pedestrians were already using the intersection to cross. Additionally, this area did not meet the city's criteria for an all-way stop sign, which can sometimes create a false sense of security in that pedestrians will assume that vehicles will stop, and cross without stopping. This is a particularly dangerous situation for children."

When approached by residents again after the accident, the city's transportation commission and then the City Council approved stop signs and a crosswalk for the intersection.

San Juan Capistrano belongs to and pays liability insurance premiums to the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, a governmental body representing 119 entities such as cities and small government agencies. The CJPIA administers the cities' insurance.

The fact the jury ignored was if the boys had not been riding an off road vehicle on a public street they would not have been injured, period. Their unlawful conduct set in motion the events leading to their own injuries.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:27:40 PM EST
Frivolous lawsuits

Just one more reason why this country is circling down the shitter.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:29:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By molotov357:
Frivolous lawsuits


We need to institute the Loser Pays concept to cut down on frivolous lawsuits.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:37:41 PM EST
How about if your criminal conduct contibutes to your own injuries you get NOTHING.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:56:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:57:52 PM EST
I have a feeling an appeal will be made.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 2:59:33 PM EST
For 8 million bucks you could cut one of my legs off below the knee with a syderco and no sedative. I'm rich, bitch!
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 3:04:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By StevenH:
For 8 million bucks you could cut one of my legs off below the knee with a syderco and no sedative. I'm rich, bitch!


Get in line behind me bitch.....
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 3:16:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By sprayandpray:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
For 8 million bucks you could cut one of my legs off below the knee with a syderco and no sedative. I'm rich, bitch!


Get in line behind me bitch.....


Hey, hey, hey. There's no reason to be talking to each other like that.

Besides, I'm gettin' it first bitches!!!!!!!!!!

Link Posted: 12/24/2008 4:41:38 PM EST
Its reasons like this that they had to put up a sign by my old house Stating "sidewalk ends"

We lived in an area where out neighbors were unincorporated & therefore had no sidewalk in fron of their house.

So the city put up a "sidewalk ends" sign...

Who is this supposed to help ?

If you cant see the sidewalk is ending, what makes them think you will see the sign ??

absolutely stupid & a waste of money.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 4:49:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/24/2008 4:50:09 PM EST by 103]
Kids were stupid, but based on the article, I don't see anything wrong with the ruling. Negligence is negligence and if it is a comparative negligence court (which it implies it is), then the ruling is just fine if the jury found the city to be more negligent than the driver.

ETA: Award is another matter very dependent on facts likely not present in this article.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 5:01:16 PM EST
I dont care if the city strung Claymores in the intersection. If the underaged unlicensed driver had not been riding an off road vehicle on the public street nobody would have been injured.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 8:56:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By StevenH:
I dont care if the city strung Claymores in the intersection. If the underaged unlicensed driver had not been riding an off road vehicle on the public street nobody would have been injured.


Then let's just throw out the past few hundred years worth of common law. The same common law that all of our protections stem from. That'll teach those kids.

Sometimes judgments are obnoxious, but the alternative can often lead to far worse.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 11:14:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By StevenH:
How about if your criminal conduct contibutes to your own injuries you get NOTHING.


What limit should be placed on that?

Say, you're driving with expired tags, and then because of city negligence your child is badly injured.

Still nothing?

Why not just leave the legal system how it is and let juries decide these things?

Big awards are a deterrent to negligent behavior.

If a licensed driver on an ordinary motorbike suffered the same injury for the same reason, why is the city any more negligent than otherwise?

The fact that the kids didn't have licenses and were riding a bike which they shouldn't have been didn't contribute in any relevant way to the circumstances of the situation. A different model of motorbike or a license wouldn't have prevented the accident. Punish the kids for their small wrongdoing, and the city for it's negligence, then justice is fully served.

Link Posted: 12/24/2008 11:38:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By azmjs:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
How about if your criminal conduct contibutes to your own injuries you get NOTHING.
The fact that the kids didn't have licenses and were riding a bike which they shouldn't have been didn't contribute in any relevant way to the circumstances of the situation.


Wrong. The primary collision factor was failure to yield. A licensed/trained driver would have known to yield to traffic already lawfully operating in the roadway.

This is like a burglar getting money cause he was shot by the homeowner.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 11:45:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By StevenH:
Originally Posted By azmjs:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
How about if your criminal conduct contibutes to your own injuries you get NOTHING.
The fact that the kids didn't have licenses and were riding a bike which they shouldn't have been didn't contribute in any relevant way to the circumstances of the situation.


Wrong. The primary collision factor was failure to yield. A licensed/trained driver would have known to yield to traffic already lawfully operating in the roadway.

This is like a burglar getting money cause he was shot by the homeowner.


Um, no it isn't. How does one fail to yield to something he doesn't see coming?
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 12:32:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By StevenH:
"It wasn't just (about) the money," Scott said. "Trenton was concerned about the safety of other children and other residents in the neighborhood that had complained for over 10 years to make the intersection safe."


Wasn't about the money, huh? So suing for over $8mil is going to make that intersection safer?



Originally Posted By StevenH:
But the jury, while finding the boys negligent, did not find that their negligence was a "substantial factor" in causing injury to them.


Really? Their (the boys) negligence was actually the primary factor in this incident. If they weren't illegally operating that bike on the road, it wouldn't have happened.



Link Posted: 12/25/2008 12:40:46 AM EST
So the kid's were doing something some what possibly wrong sure... Let's say they didnt get hit nothing happened and 3 weeks later a person on a sportbike or cruiser gets hit right there by a car are they still at fault? face it the community felt the area was bad and needed stop signs and a crosswalk... the city ignored it and therefore that is negligence.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 12:45:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By Blac:
So the kid's were doing something some what possibly wrong sure... Let's say they didnt get hit nothing happened and 3 weeks later a person on a sportbike or cruiser gets hit right there by a car are they still at fault? face it the community felt the area was bad and needed stop signs and a crosswalk... the city ignored it and therefore that is negligence.


Yup.

Negligence:
Duty
Breach
Causation
Damage
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 12:50:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By Blac:
So the kid's were doing something some what possibly wrong sure... Let's say they didnt get hit nothing happened and 3 weeks later a person on a sportbike or cruiser gets hit right there by a car are they still at fault? face it the community felt the area was bad and needed stop signs and a crosswalk... the city ignored it and therefore that is negligence.


If the sportbike/cruiser did what these kids did, then YES it's their fault. Did you read the entire post?? See below.


Agostini received five citations related to the crash, including failure to yield and operating an off-road vehicle on a highway.


You fail to yield, while operating a vehicle on the highway, that shouldn't be there to begin with, then you deserve what you get, IMO.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 1:09:58 AM EST
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 1:14:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?


It isn't so much that they would, it's that the other guy would.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 1:17:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?


It isn't so much that they would, it's that the other guy would.


So make it easier on the rule breakers by adding more rules for people already following the rules.

Link Posted: 12/25/2008 1:20:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?


It isn't so much that they would, it's that the other guy would.


Oh, I see. Reward lawbreakers with absurd amounts money, so someone else won't get hurt. Gotcha.

Link Posted: 12/25/2008 1:52:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By NY_Shooter:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?


It isn't so much that they would, it's that the other guy would.


Oh, I see. Reward lawbreakers with absurd amounts money, so someone else won't get hurt. Gotcha.



I'm just telling you how it works. It may suck to most of us in this instance, but the SYSTEM protects us all. But for negligence actions such as these, there would be no such thing as product liability suits (google WD-40 and propane as a good example).

I think the award is very excessive. I say that because I am forced by the article to assume that the vast majority of the award is punitive.

Separate the award from the negligence itself. If the judge believed the plaintiff's case did not satisfy the four elements (which I listed above) of negligence, he would be well within his rights to vacate the ruling. He did not. That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.

That is how our system works. It is, hands down no contest, the best system ever devised by men. It isn't always right and it often rewards (money wise) bad behavior. These cases make the news.

You don't read the thousands of cases where people are harmed by negligence and are compensated for their damages in a just manner. If you come up with some way to prevent the at issue plaintiff from receiving a judgment in his favor (again, amount is questionable here), then you take away the right of all Americans to sue for redress of injury caused by negligence.

What do cases like this do? They make municipalities all over the country take notice. These municipalities don't want to be sued, too. So they find dangerous intersections and make them less dangerous. Just like when the McDonalds employee spilled boiling coffee on a customer (yes, that infamous case––where the EMPLOYEE spilled the coffee and the plaintiff wasn't even asking for punitive damages) and gave her third degree burns––McDonalds knew they were serving a product that could easily cause such injury. They had a duty, they breached that duty, that breach was a cause in fact of the injury, and there were damages. The plaintiff was awarded damages.

And McDonalds stopped serving a product that could cause serious injury. Imagine that. A company altering its policies so that you don't get injured. Because they got sued.

That's how our courts work. In a way, this is how the civil court system has always worked in the English and American systems. Don't like it, move to a country where you can't sue for damages.

Tort reform is needed in a lot of areas, but these sorts of cases very much do protect other from future injury.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:02:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By NY_Shooter:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?


It isn't so much that they would, it's that the other guy would.


Oh, I see. Reward lawbreakers with absurd amounts money, so someone else won't get hurt. Gotcha.


That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.


To me, all of this goes out the window with the fact that the accident happened while 5 traffic violations occurred. In the absence of said violations, the dumbass wouldn't have lost his leg and his buddy wouldn't have gotten hurt.

None of it makes any sense...............at all.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:02:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:07:35 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]
Originally Posted By 103:

Separate the award from the negligence itself. If the judge believed the plaintiff's case did not satisfy the four elements (which I listed above) of negligence, he would be well within his rights to vacate the ruling. He did not. That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.

Tort reform is needed in a lot of areas, but these sorts of cases very much do protect other from future injury.


No.

This shouldn't have been allowed to proceed this far.

It was negligent, for underaged, unlicensed, person(s) to operate an off-road vehicle on a public street.

It was negligent for the driver to fail to yield the right of way.

It as negligent for the parent(s) to allow their children unsupervised access to an motorbike.

Saying that it will protect people in the future................... who unlicensed people that are negligently operating a motor vehicle?

This wouldn't have occurred if they weren't illegally driving a vehicle, that wasn't legal for street operation.

Now the taxpayers have to come up with $8.3M, plus the cost to the city to defend the case, and appeal this stupid verdict.

If you are injured while doing something illegal, you shouldn't be compensated.

Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:05:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:11:37 AM EST by 103]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Separate the award from the negligence itself. If the judge believed the plaintiff's case did not satisfy the four elements (which I listed above) of negligence, he would be well within his rights to vacate the ruling. He did not. That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.

Tort reform is needed in a lot of areas, but these sorts of cases very much do protect other from future injury.


No.

This shouldn't have been allowed to proceed this far.

It was negligent, for underaged, unlicensed, to operate an off-road vehicle on a public street.

It was negligent for the driver to fail to yiled the right of way.

It as negligent for the parent(s) to allow thier children unsupervised access to an motorbike.

Saying that it will protect people in the future................... who unlicensed people that are negligently operating a motor vehicle?

This wouldn't have occurred if they weren't illegally driving a vehicle, that wasn't legal for street operation.

Now the taxpayers have to come up with $8.3M, plus the cost to the city to defend the case, and appeal this stupid verdict.

If you are injured while doing something illegal, you shouldn't be compensated.



The taxpayers almost certainly will not have to come up with that much money. It will be severely lowered on appeal if it is mostly punitive.

The rest of your argument shows you don't want to discuss this in any rational way. I'm sorry that you don't like our legal system. I guarantee you cases like this have contributed to keeping you safe. Probably many, many times over.

Google "comparative negligence."

ETA: This scenarios has been stated above by another poster: as to your last sentence: if I make a left turn without my blinker in a jurisdiction where such a blinker-less turn is illegal and at the same time my fuel pump sparks and ignites vapor in my tank killing my two children in the rear seat, am I now barred from suing the company that knew of this issue but used this pump anyway? Where do you draw the line?

ETA2: Take the above ("ETA") scenario and, instead, I'm driving with an expired license. I know full well it is expired and that my driving is illegal. I'll deal with the license next week or something. Tank explodes, etc. Am I barred from suing?

Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:11:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:

Google "comparative negligence."




I did, it said the ones committing multiple traffic violations when operating a vehicle, are the negligent ones.

Protecting them from the consequnces of their poor decisions, does nothing to help the rest of this.

Oh, when you get your ass kicked in a debate, claim the other person isn't playing fair.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:12:37 AM EST
i'd give my leg below the knee for 8 mill.

fucking tards.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:16:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Google "comparative negligence."

ETA: This scenarios has been stated above by another poster: as to your last sentence: if I make a left turn without my blinker in a jurisdiction where such a blinker-less turn is illegal and at the same time my fuel pump sparks and ignites vapor in my tank killing my two children in the rear seat, am I now barred from suing the company that knew of this issue but used this pump anyway? Where do you draw the line?

ETA2: Take the above ("ETA") scenario and, instead, I'm driving with an expired license. I know full well it is expired and that my driving is illegal. I'll deal with the license next week or something. Tank explodes, etc. Am I barred from suing?

Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?


ETA-1-2 Proximate causation, google it.

ETA 3, barred, wouldn't have been injured if you weren't in the car you had no business being in, that had that defect.

Were you really trying when you formulated those questions?
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:18:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Separate the award from the negligence itself. If the judge believed the plaintiff's case did not satisfy the four elements (which I listed above) of negligence, he would be well within his rights to vacate the ruling. He did not. That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.

Tort reform is needed in a lot of areas, but these sorts of cases very much do protect other from future injury.


No.

This shouldn't have been allowed to proceed this far.

It was negligent, for underaged, unlicensed, to operate an off-road vehicle on a public street.

It was negligent for the driver to fail to yiled the right of way.

It as negligent for the parent(s) to allow thier children unsupervised access to an motorbike.

Saying that it will protect people in the future................... who unlicensed people that are negligently operating a motor vehicle?

This wouldn't have occurred if they weren't illegally driving a vehicle, that wasn't legal for street operation.

Now the taxpayers have to come up with $8.3M, plus the cost to the city to defend the case, and appeal this stupid verdict.

If you are injured while doing something illegal, you shouldn't be compensated.



The taxpayers almost certainly will not have to come up with that much money. It will be severely lowered on appeal if it is mostly punitive.

The rest of your argument shows you don't want to discuss this in any rational way. I'm sorry that you don't like our legal system. I guarantee you cases like this have contributed to keeping you safe. Probably many, many times over.

Google "comparative negligence."

ETA: This scenarios has been stated above by another poster: as to your last sentence: if I make a left turn without my blinker in a jurisdiction where such a blinker-less turn is illegal and at the same time my fuel pump sparks and ignites vapor in my tank killing my two children in the rear seat, am I now barred from suing the company that knew of this issue but used this pump anyway? Where do you draw the line?

ETA2: Take the above ("ETA") scenario and, instead, I'm driving with an expired license. I know full well it is expired and that my driving is illegal. I'll deal with the license next week or something. Tank explodes, etc. Am I barred from suing?

Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?


No, you're not barred from suing in those situations. That's not the point.

The point is, you shouldn't get $8mil for being an idiot and breaking laws. That's the point.

(Yeah, yeah, if I don't like it..move, right?)
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:19:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:27:54 AM EST by 103]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:
Google "comparative negligence."

ETA: This scenarios has been stated above by another poster: as to your last sentence: if I make a left turn without my blinker in a jurisdiction where such a blinker-less turn is illegal and at the same time my fuel pump sparks and ignites vapor in my tank killing my two children in the rear seat, am I now barred from suing the company that knew of this issue but used this pump anyway? Where do you draw the line?

ETA2: Take the above ("ETA") scenario and, instead, I'm driving with an expired license. I know full well it is expired and that my driving is illegal. I'll deal with the license next week or something. Tank explodes, etc. Am I barred from suing?

Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?


ETA-1-2 Proximate causation, google it.

ETA 3, barred, wouldn't have been injured if you weren't in the car you had no business being in, that had that defect.

Were you really trying when you formulated those questions?


I know what proximate cause is. What relevance does that have to my question? You fail on the last thing because the injury would have occurred regardless of the legality of the driving. The spark was the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the injury in all three scenarios.

ETA: What I'm getting at is that an artificial bar from suit in scenarios like this is not equitable.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:21:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By NY_Shooter:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Separate the award from the negligence itself. If the judge believed the plaintiff's case did not satisfy the four elements (which I listed above) of negligence, he would be well within his rights to vacate the ruling. He did not. That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.

Tort reform is needed in a lot of areas, but these sorts of cases very much do protect other from future injury.


No.

This shouldn't have been allowed to proceed this far.

It was negligent, for underaged, unlicensed, to operate an off-road vehicle on a public street.

It was negligent for the driver to fail to yiled the right of way.

It as negligent for the parent(s) to allow thier children unsupervised access to an motorbike.

Saying that it will protect people in the future................... who unlicensed people that are negligently operating a motor vehicle?

This wouldn't have occurred if they weren't illegally driving a vehicle, that wasn't legal for street operation.

Now the taxpayers have to come up with $8.3M, plus the cost to the city to defend the case, and appeal this stupid verdict.

If you are injured while doing something illegal, you shouldn't be compensated.



The taxpayers almost certainly will not have to come up with that much money. It will be severely lowered on appeal if it is mostly punitive.

The rest of your argument shows you don't want to discuss this in any rational way. I'm sorry that you don't like our legal system. I guarantee you cases like this have contributed to keeping you safe. Probably many, many times over.

Google "comparative negligence."

ETA: This scenarios has been stated above by another poster: as to your last sentence: if I make a left turn without my blinker in a jurisdiction where such a blinker-less turn is illegal and at the same time my fuel pump sparks and ignites vapor in my tank killing my two children in the rear seat, am I now barred from suing the company that knew of this issue but used this pump anyway? Where do you draw the line?

ETA2: Take the above ("ETA") scenario and, instead, I'm driving with an expired license. I know full well it is expired and that my driving is illegal. I'll deal with the license next week or something. Tank explodes, etc. Am I barred from suing?

Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?


No, you're not barred from suing in those situations. That's not the point.

The point is, you shouldn't get $8mil for being an idiot and breaking laws. That's the point.

(Yeah, yeah, if I don't like it..move, right?)


Read what I wrote––I totally agree that the award is very excessive. I think it will be reduced significantly on appeal as well it should (again, IF it is punitive). I'm talking ONLY about the negligence itself.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:26:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Google "comparative negligence."




I did, it said the ones committing multiple traffic violations when operating a vehicle, are the negligent ones.

Protecting them from the consequnces of their poor decisions, does nothing to help the rest of this.

Oh, when you get your ass kicked in a debate, claim the other person isn't playing fair.


That is not what comparative negligence is at all.

I don't think I'm losing here. I'm no expert on this as I only took classes––I've tried no cases. I'm going with basic concepts of tort law.

Comparative negligence is where you take the relative negligence of all parties. Party A and B. A and B are both negligent in some manner leading to the injury. Say A is bringing suit against B. Total injury is $100. B is determined to be 75% negligent and A is 25% negligent. So the compensatory damages are reduced based upon the relative negligence to $75 to A from B. A has to eat the $25 because that amount of damages was caused by A himself.

Contributory negligence, on the other hand: Same facts as above. Because A is contributorily negligent at all, A is barred from any recovery.

It depends upon the jurisdiction as to which principle is used. Last time I checked, most states are Comparative Negligence states. Clearly that is the case here.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:27:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:
Google "comparative negligence."


Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?




Barred, wouldn't have been injured if you weren't in the car you had no business being in, that had that defect.

Were you really trying when you formulated those questions?


I know what proximate cause is. What relevance does that have to my question? You fail on the last thing because the injury would have occurred regardless of the legality of the driving. The spark was the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the injury in all three scenarios.


Injury would've never occurred to the person that committed a felony, to be in a vehicle that didn't belong to them.

An injury might have occurred to a legal operator of the vehicle, in which case the could sue.

Your argument, only makes sense to those that like to create liability.

Your argument is that if a person breaks into your house, stabs you, then slips on your bloody floor, the burglar-attempted murderer should be allowed to sue because the floor wasn't safe to walk on when covered with blood.

Ludicrous.

My argument is that burglar-attempted murderer shouldn't be able to sue.

Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:29:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:32:13 AM EST by 103]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:
Google "comparative negligence."


Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?




Barred, wouldn't have been injured if you weren't in the car you had no business being in, that had that defect.

Were you really trying when you formulated those questions?


I know what proximate cause is. What relevance does that have to my question? You fail on the last thing because the injury would have occurred regardless of the legality of the driving. The spark was the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the injury in all three scenarios.


Injury would've never occurred to the person that committed a felony, to be in a vehicle that didn't belong to them.

An injury might have occurred to a legal operator of the vehicle, in which case the could sue.

Your argument, only makes sense to those that like to create liability.

Your argument is that if a person breaks into your house, stabs you, then slips on your bloody floor, the burglar-attempted murderer should be allowed to sue because the floor wasn't safe to walk on when covered with blood.

Ludicrous.

My argument is that burglar-attempted murderer shouldn't be able to sue.



That's not my argument at all. The burglar created the cause in fact and the proximate cause of his injury. There was no negligence on my part as I owed him no duty (rest of the elements are moot because of lack of duty).

The drive of the vehicle did not cause the spark. The negligence of the manufacturer did.

ETA: The FL case where the burglar sued because of injury from the glass he broke to get in was disgraceful. I'm not defending all lawsuits here. I'm a doctor's son––I'm all for tort reform when it makes sense.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:29:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Google "comparative negligence."




I did, it said the ones committing multiple traffic violations when operating a vehicle, are the negligent ones.

Protecting them from the consequnces of their poor decisions, does nothing to help the rest of this.

Oh, when you get your ass kicked in a debate, claim the other person isn't playing fair.


That is not what comparative negligence is at all.

I don't think I'm losing here. I'm no expert on this as I only took classes––I've tried no cases. I'm going with basic concepts of tort law.

Comparative negligence is where you take the relative negligence of all parties. Party A and B. A and B are both negligent in some manner leading to the injury. Say A is bringing suit against B. Total injury is $100. B is determined to be 75% negligent and A is 25% negligent. So the compensatory damages are reduced based upon the relative negligence to $75 to A from B. A has to eat the $25 because that amount of damages was caused by A himself.

Contributory negligence, on the other hand: Same facts as above. Because A is contributorily negligent at all, A is barred from any recovery.

It depends upon the jurisdiction as to which principle is used. Last time I checked, most states are Comparative Negligence states. Clearly that is the case here.


Great, I still say the youths illegal operating a motor vehicle, failing to yield to traffic with the right of way, while operating a vehicle that was not suitable for public roadway usage, ARE THE NEGLIGENT ONES.

Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:32:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:33:48 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4:

Originally Posted By 103:

That's not my argument at all. The burglar created the cause in fact and the proximate cause of his injury. There was no negligence on my part as I owed him no duty (rest of the elements are moot because of lack of duty).




The illegally operation of a vehicle not suitable for on-road use created the proximate cause of the injury.

It is the exact same argument you are making, that person's involved in illegal activity, doing things that create the circumstances resulting in their own injury should be able to sue other people.


Massive editing error.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:33:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Google "comparative negligence."




I did, it said the ones committing multiple traffic violations when operating a vehicle, are the negligent ones.

Protecting them from the consequnces of their poor decisions, does nothing to help the rest of this.

Oh, when you get your ass kicked in a debate, claim the other person isn't playing fair.


That is not what comparative negligence is at all.

I don't think I'm losing here. I'm no expert on this as I only took classes––I've tried no cases. I'm going with basic concepts of tort law.

Comparative negligence is where you take the relative negligence of all parties. Party A and B. A and B are both negligent in some manner leading to the injury. Say A is bringing suit against B. Total injury is $100. B is determined to be 75% negligent and A is 25% negligent. So the compensatory damages are reduced based upon the relative negligence to $75 to A from B. A has to eat the $25 because that amount of damages was caused by A himself.

Contributory negligence, on the other hand: Same facts as above. Because A is contributorily negligent at all, A is barred from any recovery.

It depends upon the jurisdiction as to which principle is used. Last time I checked, most states are Comparative Negligence states. Clearly that is the case here.


Great, I still say the youths illegal operating a motor vehicle, failing to yield to traffic with the right of way, while operating a vehicle that was not suitable for public roadway usage, ARE THE NEGLIGENT ONES.



And the court said as much. But they held the city to be more negligent in some manner the article doesn't explain very well.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:34:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:35:00 AM EST by 103]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-

That's not my argument at all. The burglar created the cause in fact and the proximate cause of his injury. There was no negligence on my part as I owed him no duty (rest of the elements are moot because of lack of duty).




The illegally operation of a vehicle not suitable for on-road use created the proximate cause of the injury.

It is the exact same argument you are making, that person's involved in illegal activity, doing things that create the circumstances resulting in their own injury should be able to sue other people.


There can be more than one proximate cause. That is where comparative negligence comes into play.

ETA: Switch who said what when reading this post.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:35:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:

And the court said as much. But they held the city to be more negligent in some manner the article doesn't explain very well.



Error applying the law.
Feelings that a person that has lost a leg in a terrible "accident" should be compensated, no matter the circumstances on behalf of the jurors.

etc. etc. Let's see how this goes on appeal.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:38:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/25/2008 2:39:16 AM EST by 103]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

And the court said as much. But they held the city to be more negligent in some manner the article doesn't explain very well.



Error applying the law.
Feelings that a person that has lost a leg in a terrible "accident" should be compensated, no matter the circumstances on behalf of the jurors.

etc. etc. Let's see how this goes on appeal.


I think we don't really have enough facts in front of us to argue this out sufficiently. Like I said, I think on appeal the award will come way down.

ETA: That was fun! (Seriously)
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:42:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By molotov357:
Frivolous lawsuits

Just one more reason why this country is circling down the shitter.


Idiot jurors gave away their own tax dollars.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:48:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By azmjs:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
How about if your criminal conduct contibutes to your own injuries you get NOTHING.


What limit should be placed on that?

Say, you're driving with expired tags, and then because of city negligence your child is badly injured.

Still nothing?

Why not just leave the legal system how it is and let juries decide these things?

Big awards are a deterrent to negligent behavior.

If a licensed driver on an ordinary motorbike suffered the same injury for the same reason, why is the city any more negligent than otherwise?

The fact that the kids didn't have licenses and were riding a bike which they shouldn't have been didn't contribute in any relevant way to the circumstances of the situation. A different model of motorbike or a license wouldn't have prevented the accident. Punish the kids for their small wrongdoing, and the city for it's negligence, then justice is fully served.



Sounds like a whole lot of fuckin' negligence when they failed to yield, little dumbshits

Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:50:30 AM EST
I think the obvious should be pointed out really quick: this is a news article. If the facts in evidence were as simple as "they failed to yield," there would be no case. It never would have gotten to a jury. There are without doubt more facts that are not laid out here sufficient to make the city's negligence considerably greater than the kids' negligence.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 2:53:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By 103:

Separate the award from the negligence itself. If the judge believed the plaintiff's case did not satisfy the four elements (which I listed above) of negligence, he would be well within his rights to vacate the ruling. He did not. That means a learned (usually) judge agreed with the jury that the facts proved that the city had a certain duty to the plaintiff. The city breached that duty. That breach was a cause in fact of the damages. There were damages to the plaintiff. That is what the jury ruled and the judge agreed.

Tort reform is needed in a lot of areas, but these sorts of cases very much do protect other from future injury.


No.

This shouldn't have been allowed to proceed this far.

It was negligent, for underaged, unlicensed, to operate an off-road vehicle on a public street.

It was negligent for the driver to fail to yiled the right of way.

It as negligent for the parent(s) to allow thier children unsupervised access to an motorbike.

Saying that it will protect people in the future................... who unlicensed people that are negligently operating a motor vehicle?

This wouldn't have occurred if they weren't illegally driving a vehicle, that wasn't legal for street operation.

Now the taxpayers have to come up with $8.3M, plus the cost to the city to defend the case, and appeal this stupid verdict.

If you are injured while doing something illegal, you shouldn't be compensated.



The taxpayers almost certainly will not have to come up with that much money. It will be severely lowered on appeal if it is mostly punitive.

The rest of your argument shows you don't want to discuss this in any rational way. I'm sorry that you don't like our legal system. I guarantee you cases like this have contributed to keeping you safe. Probably many, many times over.

Google "comparative negligence."

ETA: This scenarios has been stated above by another poster: as to your last sentence: if I make a left turn without my blinker in a jurisdiction where such a blinker-less turn is illegal and at the same time my fuel pump sparks and ignites vapor in my tank killing my two children in the rear seat, am I now barred from suing the company that knew of this issue but used this pump anyway? Where do you draw the line?ETA2: Take the above ("ETA") scenario and, instead, I'm driving with an expired license. I know full well it is expired and that my driving is illegal. I'll deal with the license next week or something. Tank explodes, etc. Am I barred from suing?

Or I'm 14 and I go for a joy ride across town. I'm breaking laws left and right. Blowing through stop signs, speed limits, all that. Did I mention I'm 14? Sparks and the tank explodes. I'm either dead or permanently injured. Am I barred from bringing suit?


I'd say when your illegal activities contributed to your injury. As for that 14 year old.. Sucks to be him. You don't deserve money for doing stupid shit. Sorry.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 3:02:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
Originally Posted By azmjs:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
How about if your criminal conduct contibutes to your own injuries you get NOTHING.
The fact that the kids didn't have licenses and were riding a bike which they shouldn't have been didn't contribute in any relevant way to the circumstances of the situation.


Wrong. The primary collision factor was failure to yield. A licensed/trained driver would have known to yield to traffic already lawfully operating in the roadway.

This is like a burglar getting money cause he was shot by the homeowner.


Um, no it isn't. How does one fail to yield to something he doesn't see coming?



Uber FAIL
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 3:02:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By StevenH:
I dont care if the city strung Claymores in the intersection. If the underaged unlicensed driver had not been riding an off road vehicle on the public street nobody would have been injured.


Then let's just throw out the past few hundred years worth of common law. The same common law that all of our protections stem from. That'll teach those kids.

Sometimes judgments are obnoxious, but the alternative can often lead to far worse.



common law is fine as long as it is combined with common sense. No one is bashing the former, we just wish there was still some of the latter.
Link Posted: 12/25/2008 3:05:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By StevenH:
Riding a dirt bike on a city street, without a licenses, crash and get rich

The fact the jury ignored was if the boys had not been riding an off road vehicle on a public street they would not have been injured, period. Their unlawful conduct set in motion the events leading to their own injuries.
Were they riding down the street or crossing the street?



Link Posted: 12/25/2008 3:17:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By NY_Shooter:
Originally Posted By 103:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If they

1) Drive w/o licenses
2) Drive off-road vehicle's on public streets
3) Fail to yield the right of way, when required to

What makes anyone think they would obey a traffic sign?


It isn't so much that they would, it's that the other guy would.


Oh, I see. Reward lawbreakers plaintiffs' attorneys with absurd amounts money, so someone else won't get hurt. Gotcha.



Not to mention that attorneys will come out of the woodwork to argue that society at large really is best served by the existing tort law system.


Jane

Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 2
Top Top