Options

Let's Talk Tort: Recent Amtrak Ruling

2

Posts

  • Options
    Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The danger of being hit by a lightning bolt was not one which might be reasonably expected to be encountered in fooling around on top of a train carriage. This danger was not properly addressed by Amtrak.
    If I put up a sign saying "trespassers will be prosecuted", and then you come onto my property and step on a goddamn landmine, I am liable. Because I have warned of the danger that legal action will be taken against people who enter the area does not absolve me of responsibility when people do so and blow the fuck up. It's not the danger they were warned about, and regardless of whether they were trespassing or not it is an unsafe environment.

    Aroused Bull on
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    How the hell is it anybody's fault but theirs that they illegally entered a work zone, climbed on the equipment, and got hurt. They had no reason to be on that property for two reasons: the trainyard wasn't open, and they don't work there.

    People should have a reasonable expectation of safety in places where it can reasonably expected that they would travel. I don't reasonably expect to ever be in an unattended trainyard on top of a traincar after hours when I don't even work for Amtrak.

    You continue to misunderstand the purpose of punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the negligent. The key decision to be made is whether the defendent was negligent - the misconduct of the plaintiff is of secondary importance.

    One of the major reasons for this is that trespassing is not a a crime punishable by death. For instance, a property owner has the right to eject a trespasser by force - but not if doing so would put them in the way of deadly risk. If the boys were attempting to flee from a vicious dog, and they ran into the trainyard, a conductor could not legally throw them out of the trainyard as long as the dog were still a threat. For the same reason, you can't set landmines or other lethal mantraps on your property.

    Your doctrine basically says that a property owner has a right to set up their property as a deathtrap against potential trespassers. Once somebody has trespassed, their life is forfeit under your doctrine. I understand that the value you are trying to uphold is personal responsibility. But a doctrine that punishes minor transgressions like trespassing with the risk of death is a draconian one. Trespassing is a misdemeanor everywhere and Amtrak is free to press charges against the trespassers to the full extent of the law. If you're looking for a way to legally enforce personal responsibility, there it is.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Senjutsu wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    Regardless of current tort law, do you honestly believe that their plight is in any way Amtrak's fault?
    FUCK. YES. It's an attractive nuisance. They didn't have to break into Fort Knox; they walked onto an open lot and climbed a ladder.

    Your argument: They're electrical lines, and electricity is dangerous, so the danger was obvious.

    That simply does not make sense. Within what range is it dangerous? 6 feet? 10 feet? Am I safe even standing outside the fence? Oh, wait, there was no fence. How close can I get before I get raped by lighting? Are those power-lines even of the rape-you-by-lightning sort?

    There's no way for me to know the answers to any of these questions, because the danger isn't the least bit obvious, and there isn't a single sign to spell it out.

    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.

    The two people in question had no right to be there and common sense tells you not to climb on traincars at night when the trainyard is closed and you don't work for the train company. It's not their fault that a couple idiots trespassed and got hurt.

    It would be their fault if an employee was up there performing maintenance and got hurt.

    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Nibble wrote:
    I don't think it's reasonable to believe that the kids should have known that the power lines at an operational train yard were going to shoot lightning bolts at them. I wouldn't expect any properly-maintained power lines to do such a thing, on private property or not.

    I expect all kids 12 and over to have degrees in electrical engineering, and I think that you should expect the same.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.
    That's a stupid analogy, because if your banister breaks when a criminal is using it, it could just as well have broken under normal circumstances.

    Aroused Bull on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.
    That's a stupid analogy, because if your banister breaks when a criminal is using it, it could just as well have broken under normal circumstances.

    And if a power line shocked some dumb kids illegally climbing on the roof of a train car it could have just as likely happened under normal circumstances (a worker performing maintenance on the roof of the train car).

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.
    Don't mistake my thinking your argument is absolute horse-shit for my not understanding your argument. I understand what you think, I still think it's retarded.

    The land-mine example from above is perfectly illustrative; somebody trespassing on your property does not confer the right to rape them every which way from sunday simply because they chose to trespass. You don't get to escape punishment for the effects of completely invisible dangers related to an attractive nuisance. If they'd fallen and broken their arm, sure, that's their fault. Your holier-than-thou "they consented to be lightning raped by very unusual power lines" shit is beyond ridiculous.

    Senjutsu on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Senjutsu wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.
    Don't mistake my thinking your argument is absolute horse-shit for my not understanding your argument. I understand what you think, I still think it's retarded.

    The land-mine example from above is perfectly illustrative; somebody trespassing on your property does not confer the right to rape them every which way from sunday simply because they chose to trespass. You don't get to escape punishment for the effects of completely invisible dangers related to an attractive nuisance. If they'd fallen and broken their arm, sure, that's their fault. Your holier-than-thou "they consented to be lightning raped by very unusual power lines" shit is beyond ridiculous.

    The analogy doesn't work. Placing landmines is a deliberate act. I sincerely doubt that Amtrak knew their power lines were faulty or made them that way on purpose. I'd bet they were just as surprised by the event as the trespassers.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.

    Kids typically know that it's illegal for to consume underaged alcohol, and that bad consequences from alcohol may follow. They also know that it's wrong to steal. But if a 15 year old girl stole a bottle of whiskey from her next door neighbors shelf and passes out, and her neighbor discovers her in her passed out state and rapes her, I couldn't reasonably say, "Well, she should have known that bad things might happen if you get drunk, so screw her. Literally."

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.

    Kids typically know that it's illegal for to consume underaged alcohol, and that bad consequences from alcohol may follow. They also know that it's wrong to steal. But if a 15 year old girl stole a bottle of whiskey from her next door neighbors shelf and passes out, and her neighbor discovers her in her passed out state and rapes her, I couldn't reasonably say, "Well, she should have known that bad things might happen if you get drunk, so screw her. Literally."

    Again, there's intent to harm there. Amtrak didn't know about the shitty power lines and didn't set out to harm anybody. The trespassers climbed up their on purpose when they knew they didn't belong there. It's not as though they climbed up there, an Amtrak guy saw them and decided to throw an incendiary at them. That's the analogue to the rape and landmines analogies: Amtrak actively trying to hurt the trespassers, which they did not do.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.
    That's a stupid analogy, because if your banister breaks when a criminal is using it, it could just as well have broken under normal circumstances.

    And if a power line shocked some dumb kids illegally climbing on the roof of a train car it could have just as likely happened under normal circumstances (a worker performing maintenance on the roof of the train car).

    Uh, yeah. How exactly does this help your case?

    Aroused Bull on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.
    That's a stupid analogy, because if your banister breaks when a criminal is using it, it could just as well have broken under normal circumstances.

    And if a power line shocked some dumb kids illegally climbing on the roof of a train car it could have just as likely happened under normal circumstances (a worker performing maintenance on the roof of the train car).

    Uh, yeah.

    What? Dumb kids make better lightning rods now, too?

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    I sincerely doubt that Amtrak knew their power lines were faulty or made them that way on purpose. I'd bet they were just as surprised by the event as the trespassers.

    Way to not read the OP.
    OP wrote:
    Plaintiffs also showed the jury internal Amtrak memoranda, as well as testimony from Amtrak officers in federal court in the mid-1980s, that showed Amtrak's awareness of the risk to the public from the combination of parked trains under live catenary wires in urban areas

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.

    This is completely different, and you fucking know it is, because a few posts back:
    The situation with your home (it sounds like you're talking about a home anyway) is different from that of trespassing in an industrial or mass transit area. Industrial areas and mass transit infrastructure are not safe; that's why people aren't allowed to lollygag in them.

    These kids were not malicious invaders onto Amtrak's property. No public prosecutor would ever bother wasting taxpayer money in prosecuting them for criminal trespass, and even if they did, it'd be hard to establish. Amtrak could sue them under the tort of trespass, but they'd have a fucking hard time making out why the kids should be liable for trespass if there are no signs or fences to tell the kids that they're entering another person's property. That, and the fact that they're 17 year-old kids playing around with skateboards, means that as far as crimes go, this is pretty fucking low on the scale.

    All land owners owe trespassers a duty of care up to a point. It's painfully clear that these kids hadn't reached that point.

    I mean, what the fuck? Do you hate teenagers so much that you'd let a national transport company get away with grossly negligent saftey precautions just to see them fryt? This shit isn't on the same scale as coffee in the lap. If things had gone differently, people from Amtrak could have been being charged with manslaughter.

    Zsetrek on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.
    That's a stupid analogy, because if your banister breaks when a criminal is using it, it could just as well have broken under normal circumstances.

    And if a power line shocked some dumb kids illegally climbing on the roof of a train car it could have just as likely happened under normal circumstances (a worker performing maintenance on the roof of the train car).

    Uh, yeah. How exactly does this help your case?

    You said that my analogy was stupid because my banister could have broken under normal circumstances. I don't think it's stupid because the crook trespassed on my property and hurt himself in the process. Similarly, an Amtrak employee could have been shocked under normal circumstances (performing maintenance, etc.) just like the kids were shocked when the illegally climbed up on top of the traincar to admire the view

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Feral wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    I sincerely doubt that Amtrak knew their power lines were faulty or made them that way on purpose. I'd bet they were just as surprised by the event as the trespassers.

    Way to not read the OP.
    OP wrote:
    Plaintiffs also showed the jury internal Amtrak memoranda, as well as testimony from Amtrak officers in federal court in the mid-1980s, that showed Amtrak's awareness of the risk to the public from the combination of parked trains under live catenary wires in urban areas

    My bad. I skimmed the OP and missed that.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Zsetrek wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    This lines up nicely with how I think personal liability ought to be. If you, under normal circumstances fall down my stairs and break your leg because my banister broke, that's my fault. If you broke into my house when I wasn't home to steal my TV and broke your leg going down my stairs because the banister broke I shouldn't be responsible because you broke into my fucking house.

    This is completely different, and you fucking know it is, because a few posts back:
    The situation with your home (it sounds like you're talking about a home anyway) is different from that of trespassing in an industrial or mass transit area. Industrial areas and mass transit infrastructure are not safe; that's why people aren't allowed to lollygag in them.

    These kids were not malicious invaders onto Amtrak's property. No public prosecutor would ever bother wasting taxpayer money in prosecuting them for criminal trespass, and even if they did, it'd be hard to establish. Amtrak could sue them under the tort of trespass, but they'd have a fucking hard time making out why the kids should be liable for trespass if there are no signs or fences to tell the kids that they're entering another person's property. That, and the fact that they're 17 year-old kids playing around with skateboards, means that as far as crimes go, this is pretty fucking low on the scale.

    All land owners owe trespassers a duty of care up to a point. It's painfully clear that these kids hadn't reached that point.

    I mean, what the fuck? Do you hate teenagers so much that you'd let a national transport company get away with grossly negligent saftey precautions just to see them fryt? This shit isn't on the same scale as coffee in the lap. If things had gone differently, people from Amtrak could have been being charged with manslaughter.

    After having it brought to my attention that Amtrak knew about the danger, I have no problem with them being made to pay hospital bills, but nobody forced those kids to climb that traincar and the punitive damages are completely inappropriate.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    After having it brought to my attention that Amtrak knew about the danger, I have no problem with them being made to pay hospital bills, but nobody forced those kids to climb that traincar and the punitive damages are completely inappropriate.

    Just out of curiosity, would you be comfortable if Amtrak had to pay punitive damages but the kids did not get the payout? If, say, the payout went to the federal government or to charity instead?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Feral wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    After having it brought to my attention that Amtrak knew about the danger, I have no problem with them being made to pay hospital bills, but nobody forced those kids to climb that traincar and the punitive damages are completely inappropriate.

    Just out of curiosity, would you be comfortable if Amtrak had to pay punitive damages but the kids did not get the payout? If, say, the payout went to the federal government or to charity instead?

    Charity, yes. Government, no. Stupidity should not be rewarded, but if we need to punish the neglegent giving the money to a charity (perhaps of the plaintiff's choosing) seems like the best solution to me.

    I mean, I'm sorry the kids got shocked, but it was pretty stupid for them to climb up on the traincar. I mean, it's sitting in a trainyard. Trainyards aren't worl-renowned for their safety.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.

    Kids typically know that it's illegal for to consume underaged alcohol, and that bad consequences from alcohol may follow. They also know that it's wrong to steal. But if a 15 year old girl stole a bottle of whiskey from her next door neighbors shelf and passes out, and her neighbor discovers her in her passed out state and rapes her, I couldn't reasonably say, "Well, she should have known that bad things might happen if you get drunk, so screw her. Literally."

    Again, there's intent to harm there. Amtrak didn't know about the shitty power lines and didn't set out to harm anybody. The trespassers climbed up their on purpose when they knew they didn't belong there. It's not as though they climbed up there, an Amtrak guy saw them and decided to throw an incendiary at them. That's the analogue to the rape and landmines analogies: Amtrak actively trying to hurt the trespassers, which they did not do.

    Okay, he's a new scanerio:

    It's christmas time, and I tell my kid not to go snooping under the bed for presents. The kid looks anyway, finds the gun that I've been keeping their to exercise for my second amendment right, assumes that its a toy, and shoots his friend with it.

    In this scenario, there was no intent to harm. But I probably should have known better than to leave a loaded gun lying around where he would look for it.

    Or, let's say that I hid a man eating lion under the bed, and as soon as he pokes his head there, the lion bites it off and kills him. The kid might have guessed that he might get caught and punished if he snooped. He probably didn't anticipate a ferocious lion, however. In which case, I would probably be responsible.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    Senjutsu wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.
    Don't mistake my thinking your argument is absolute horse-shit for my not understanding your argument. I understand what you think, I still think it's retarded.

    The land-mine example from above is perfectly illustrative; somebody trespassing on your property does not confer the right to rape them every which way from sunday simply because they chose to trespass. You don't get to escape punishment for the effects of completely invisible dangers related to an attractive nuisance. If they'd fallen and broken their arm, sure, that's their fault. Your holier-than-thou "they consented to be lightning raped by very unusual power lines" shit is beyond ridiculous.

    The analogy doesn't work. Placing landmines is a deliberate act. I sincerely doubt that Amtrak knew their power lines were faulty or made them that way on purpose. I'd bet they were just as surprised by the event as the trespassers.
    Indeed. Which is why they were sued for negligence, not charged with criminal homicide.

    The analogy merely illustrates that a crime by one party does not excuse the legal responsibilities of the other.

    Senjutsu on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    I'm not arguing that Amtrak shouldn't be held liable at all for having shitty power lines. I'm saying that their responsibility should be absolved when the people that got hurt did so of their own volition and stupidity.

    Kids typically know that it's illegal for to consume underaged alcohol, and that bad consequences from alcohol may follow. They also know that it's wrong to steal. But if a 15 year old girl stole a bottle of whiskey from her next door neighbors shelf and passes out, and her neighbor discovers her in her passed out state and rapes her, I couldn't reasonably say, "Well, she should have known that bad things might happen if you get drunk, so screw her. Literally."

    Again, there's intent to harm there. Amtrak didn't know about the shitty power lines and didn't set out to harm anybody. The trespassers climbed up their on purpose when they knew they didn't belong there. It's not as though they climbed up there, an Amtrak guy saw them and decided to throw an incendiary at them. That's the analogue to the rape and landmines analogies: Amtrak actively trying to hurt the trespassers, which they did not do.

    Okay, he's a new scanerio:

    It's christmas time, and I tell my kid not to go snooping under the bed for presents. The kid looks anyway, finds the gun that I've been keeping their to exercise for my second amendment right, assumes that its a toy, and shoots his friend with it.

    In this scenario, there was no intent to harm. But I probably should have known better than to leave a loaded gun lying around where he would look for it.

    Or, let's say that I hid a man eating lion under the bed, and as soon as he pokes his head there, the lion bites it off and kills him. The kid might have guessed that he might get caught and punished if he snooped. He probably didn't anticipate a ferocious lion, however. In which case, I would probably be responsible.

    Best case scenario? These things are decided on a case-by-case basis. You can reasonably assume that your child will snoop for presents even though you told him not to. It's also reasonable to assume that they will play with what they find.

    The lion is just so far out there that I don't know how to respond.

    Amtrak should be able to reasonable assume that people won't break the law and climb on their traincars. But like I said, I've got no problem with Amtrak being made to pay the kids's hospital bills.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    Feral wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    After having it brought to my attention that Amtrak knew about the danger, I have no problem with them being made to pay hospital bills, but nobody forced those kids to climb that traincar and the punitive damages are completely inappropriate.

    Just out of curiosity, would you be comfortable if Amtrak had to pay punitive damages but the kids did not get the payout? If, say, the payout went to the federal government or to charity instead?

    Charity, yes. Government, no. Stupidity should not be rewarded, but if we need to punish the neglegent giving the money to a charity (perhaps of the plaintiff's choosing) seems like the best solution to me.

    I mean, I'm sorry the kids got shocked, but it was pretty stupid for them to climb up on the traincar. I mean, it's sitting in a trainyard. Trainyards aren't worl-renowned for their safety.

    I think you need to reread the article. It sounds to me like this isn't in a train yard at all, but on a side track by some random convenience store. Also I don't believe the lines were faulty as you appear to have stated several. The arcing from this type of line is known about and is relatively normal.

    Also assuming that the train is on its own, which the article seems to state, and that there is no fence this is exactly what a lot of teenagers would do. You seem to imply multiple times that its stupid, but its really not. The only danger that should be there from climbing a train is actually falling off not some random 12 thousand volt arc of electricity that can kill or permanently disable you.

    khain on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    khain wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    Feral wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    After having it brought to my attention that Amtrak knew about the danger, I have no problem with them being made to pay hospital bills, but nobody forced those kids to climb that traincar and the punitive damages are completely inappropriate.

    Just out of curiosity, would you be comfortable if Amtrak had to pay punitive damages but the kids did not get the payout? If, say, the payout went to the federal government or to charity instead?

    Charity, yes. Government, no. Stupidity should not be rewarded, but if we need to punish the neglegent giving the money to a charity (perhaps of the plaintiff's choosing) seems like the best solution to me.

    I mean, I'm sorry the kids got shocked, but it was pretty stupid for them to climb up on the traincar. I mean, it's sitting in a trainyard. Trainyards aren't worl-renowned for their safety.

    I think you need to reread the article. It sounds to me like this isn't in a train yard at all, but on a side track by some random convenience store. Also I don't believe the lines were faulty as you appear to have stated several. The arcing from this type of line is known about and is relatively normal.

    Also assuming that the train is on its own, which the article seems to state, and that there is no fence this is exactly what a lot of teenagers would do. You seem to imply multiple times that its stupid, but its really not. The only danger that should be there from climbing a train is actually falling off not some random 12 thousand volt arc of electricity that can kill or permanently disable you.

    It is stupid to climb on vehicles of any sort. Just like it's stupid to scale buildings without equipment. Just because many teenagers would do it doesn't make it the smart thing to do. Teenagers do a lot of stupid things; that doesn't make those things less stupid or more acceptable.

    And if that arcing is normal, there should be fences, signs, or both, but just because there should be more warnings doesn't make what they did appropriate or smart.

    Yeah, Amtrak is partly responsible (their line, their car, and their lack of fence and sign), and that's why I'm okay with them paying the hospital bill, but a $24 million reward for doing a stupid thing is a gross misuse of our legal system (or maybe a gross design error).

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Trains have goddamn ladders on the goddman side of them so you can climb on top of the goddamn train.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • Options
    ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jclast wrote:
    a $24 million reward

    It's not a reward for the kids, it's a punishment against Amtrak. It also happens to be one of the few ways, aside from legislation, that we can punish companies who do negligent things.

    Yes, it's not an ideal scenario, but it's the only one we currently have, and it gets the job done.

    Zsetrek on
  • Options
    GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Zsetrek wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    a $24 million reward

    It's not a reward for the kids, it's a punishment against Amtrak. It also happens to be one of the few ways, aside from legislation, that we can punish companies who do negligent things.

    Yes, it's not an ideal scenario, but it's the only one we currently have, and it gets the job done.

    Its a lot like democracy. Its not the best solution, its just better than all the other solutions.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Zsetrek wrote:
    jclast wrote:
    a $24 million reward

    It's not a reward for the kids, it's a punishment against Amtrak. It also happens to be one of the few ways, aside from legislation, that we can punish companies who do negligent things.

    Yes, it's not an ideal scenario, but it's the only one we currently have, and it gets the job done.

    And that means I can't think it's a shitty system why? Yeah, the $24 million is a punishment to Amtrak, but it also serves as a reward for those kids. They (assuming they don't blow it all) probably never have to work again. That sounds an awul lot like a reward for being idiots to me.

    Whoever proposed the punitive damages be donated charity had the right idea. That way, the kids aren't being rewarded, a charity is getting helped, and the defendant is still being punished monetarily.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    DortmunderDortmunder Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    1. They where under the age of majority.
    wikipedia wrote:
    The Age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as it is conceptualised in law. It is the chronological moment when children legally assume majority control over their persons and their actions and decisions...

    Under popular interpretations of the law, they were considered children at the time.

    2. The train was not surrounded by a fence or any other protective/preventive barrier. This is important, especially for the minds of young people who may not have completely developed the "logic" and "reasoning" centers of their brain.

    Having to climb over a fence to get at the shiny object is a primary indication that maybe it's not for you.

    3. The dangerous, high-voltage power line above this unprotected, easily accessible area was active for no reason, presenting an unnecessary danger to the public...or rather to children, who would be drawn to the train because it's a freakin train. Trains are awesome, every kid knows that.

    I really see no problem with this ruling.

    Dortmunder on
    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I'm 24, and even after reading this article, I would still be tempted to scale a train if I saw one in the middle of a parking lot.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Im sorry these kids are just plain morons. They knew they were trespassing in a train yard, and there is always an expected risk with this. They might not know all the risks, but nonetheless they would know there are some. What if the train suddenly started and they fell and broke their necks? Amtrak wouldn't be held responsible then. I think its ridicolous to expect private property to be made idiot proof. I mean I could see if there was obvious things that would be dangerous, but I don't think Amtrak was thinking "Hmmmm.....I wonder how we can make this safe for someone who chooses to break the law and mess around here."

    The world has too many idiots. The court system shouldn't be used to reward them at the cost of others. Its why tag and all these other things are getting banned.

    IShallRiseAgain on
    Alador239.png
  • Options
    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Im sorry these kids are just plain morons. They knew they were trespassing in a train yard, and there is always an expected risk with this. They might not know all the risks, but nonetheless they would know there are some. What if the train suddenly started and they fell and broke their necks? Amtrak wouldn't be held responsible then. I think its ridicolous to expect private property to be made idiot proof. I mean I could see if there was obvious things that would be dangerous, but I don't think Amtrak was thinking "Hmmmm.....I wonder how we can make this safe for someone who chooses to break the law and mess around here."

    The world has too many idiots. The court system shouldn't be used to reward them at the cost of others. Its why tag and all these other things are getting banned.

    Kids are stupid. That's why they are in a different legal catagory than adults.

    Amtrack managers are smart though, and when it is shown that they knew there was a danger of kids harming themselves and did nothing Amtrack should be punished.

    Taken together, I tend to choose the system that results in less teenagers burned over a majority of their bodies. That's just me though.

    Shinto on
  • Options
    IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I prefer the system that doesn't promote stupidity.

    IShallRiseAgain on
    Alador239.png
  • Options
    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    I prefer the system that doesn't promote stupidity.

    Yeah, the train yards have barely been able to keep out the hordes of teenagers trying to get severe electrical burns over three quarters of their bodies since this court ruling. I really see your point.

    Shinto on
  • Options
    IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If you do something stupid, its your fault. not the person who's property you trespassed in. If the kids were hit by a train, we wouldnt even be talking about this.

    Climbing on a train car is a stupid and dangerous act, even without the wire.

    IShallRiseAgain on
    Alador239.png
  • Options
    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    If you do something stupid, its your fault. not the person who's property you trespassed in. If the kids were hit by a train, we wouldnt even be talking about this.

    Climbing on a train car is a stupid and dangerous act, even without the wire.

    So you're more or less abandoning your claim that this court ruling promotes stupid activity then I guess.

    As a future parent, I'm going to reassert my statement that I prefer systems that prevent serious injury to kids who act like kids.

    Shinto on
  • Options
    IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Shinto wrote:
    If you do something stupid, its your fault. not the person who's property you trespassed in. If the kids were hit by a train, we wouldnt even be talking about this.

    Climbing on a train car is a stupid and dangerous act, even without the wire.

    So you're more or less abandoning your claim that this court ruling promotes stupid activity then I guess.

    As a future parent, I'm going to reassert my statement that I prefer systems that prevent serious injury to kids who act like kids.

    No im just saying that the system has loopholes which promote stupidty. Going there in the first place is dangerous. why should it matter that they weren't harmed in the way they were expecting. They still know that they can be harmed.

    Sure, it could prevent some kids from being harmed, but why should somebody be forced to take measures to protect trespassers going into a dangerous area? Obviously, the kids don't care about the owner's rights when they trespass, so why should they care about the kids. People shouldn't be held responsible for other people's mistakes.

    IShallRiseAgain on
    Alador239.png
  • Options
    GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If you do something stupid, its your fault. not the person who's property you trespassed in. If the kids were hit by a train, we wouldnt even be talking about this.

    Climbing on a train car is a stupid and dangerous act, even without the wire.

    Climbing on a train car is dangerous to the expected intent of "falling off of a train car"

    It should also be noted that train cars are made so that people can climb on top of them, and walk on top of them.

    It is still dangerous.

    The teenagers, by climbing on the traincar, accepted all personal responsibility for expected occurances from climbing on a train car.

    They, nor any reasonable person that is not a rail engineer could have expected that the lines above the car would arc lightning 6 feet

    The rail company made no attempt to secure the premisis or warn people of the danger of said rails, and said train-car constitutes "cool shit" that kids want to play on.

    Its like putting up a rock wall 50 ft behind a store on private property without a fence protecting you. There are neat handholds on the rock wall and even a ladder so you can get up or down. At the top of the rock wall there is a platform to stand on. In the middle of the platform is a tesla coil that fucking electricutes anyone that stands there for more than 1 minute.

    The rock wall (train) constitutes "cool shit that kids want to climb and/or play on". The tesla coil that fucking electricutes anyone that stands there for more than a minute constitues negligience, because "why the shit is there a fucking tesla coil on top of the cool shit that kids will want to play on?" and "you would have to be a god-damn idiot to leave that thing on and not grounded when it isnt serving its purpose"

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • Options
    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If you do something stupid, its your fault. not the person who's property you trespassed in. If the kids were hit by a train, we wouldnt even be talking about this.
    Just because they trespassed, does not mean the owner is not liable for anything bad that happens to them.

    Couscous on
  • Options
    GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Shinto wrote:
    If you do something stupid, its your fault. not the person who's property you trespassed in. If the kids were hit by a train, we wouldnt even be talking about this.

    Climbing on a train car is a stupid and dangerous act, even without the wire.

    So you're more or less abandoning your claim that this court ruling promotes stupid activity then I guess.

    As a future parent, I'm going to reassert my statement that I prefer systems that prevent serious injury to kids who act like kids.

    No im just saying that the system has loopholes which promote stupidty. Going there in the first place is dangerous. why should it matter that they weren't harmed in the way they were expecting. They still know that they can be harmed.

    Sure, it could prevent some kids from being harmed, but why should somebody be forced to take measures to protect trespassers going into a dangerous area? Obviously, the kids don't care about the owner's rights when they trespass, so why should they care about the kids. People shouldn't be held responsible for other people's mistakes.

    Because when you take actions that are dangerous, there is an implied contract that you have accepted that absolves other parties for responsibility for expected dangers.

    Just like there is an implied contract when you get in a taxi that the driver will take you to your destination and you will pay him. Getting in a taxi with a driver you do not know, does not absolve the driver of responsibility for your health if he say, decides to drive like Dale Earnheart at the Brickyard. This is because you dont expect the driver to drive like Dale Earnheart at the Brickyard, so you cannot implicitly give your consent for him to do so and absolve him of responsibility for your health in the event anything bad happens.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
Sign In or Register to comment.