Tuesday, November 17, 2009
That for any suit for damages to succeed it must be brought against the individual or body primarily responsible, or previous suit must have been brought & no lesser damages obtained against the primary defendant.The first of these is to prevent just suing the rich person (Bloom County legal maxim - never sue a poor person) & trivial suits by idiots who did it to themselves & then sue somebody else for not telling them the coffee was hot. The 2nd introduces the rule in British law, but not American, that, by ensuring the person bringing suit has to pay if they lose, discourages discourages "tactical litigation" where they make it better for the victim to settle out of court than to win the case. The third is to deter frivolous suits by lawyers & to end the injustice that a doctor may be sued for an error in an operation, by a lawyer who cannot be sued for bollixing a court case. The reason legislators, who are mainly lawyers, justify lawyer's inviolability, is because the stress of having to worry about a malpractice suit would have a negative effect on their work. Brain surgeons apparently do not worry about such things.
In the event of the defendant not being found liable they shall be entitled to recover their cost from the pursuer, or their legal representatives.
The legislature may not discriminate between the liability of professions within the same case.
The media shall be liable for non-punitive damages for damage caused by their statements, if untrue & which would not have been considered proven by a reasonable person with the information available at the time. The court may also order equal space or broadcast capacity to be made available for a correction.
The final part is so that when the press say we had better ban fire because the globe is catastrophically warming or had better bomb hospitals because the Serbs are killing civilians it had better be justified or the press will have to pay for Kyoto or wars. As Michael Crichton said why should a journalist be able to shout "global warming" in a crowded theatre.
The intent of all of these is to make legal parasitism non-profitable. While America is, in some ways, more economically free than here they have saddled themselves with horrendous legal parasitism on the costs of living or doing business. This is an unusual sort of socialism which, in a small degree may be quite fun, a la Robin Hood, & probably even gives some people a sort of justice but whose overwhelming net effect is to transfer money from productive members of society to lawyers.
Labels: constitutional amendments