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March 11, 2009

Urban myths

A rather rude comment recently posted to this blog (Interestingly to a post it did not relate to at all!) by someone called Jeff provided a link to the Snopes site. It flags up the fact that the "Stella Awards" I posted as a bit of fun a few weeks back are all, in fact, urban legends. Reading the Snopes item though reveals that there have been a number of very similar attempts to abuse the legal process and these have fueled a debate on the whole question of the sort of civil process that fuels the sort of legends these have become. That was really the reason I posted these, both because they are funny - stupidity on this level should be a certifiable mental illness - and because I am one of those who does believe that the litigatious age we live in has gone far to far and needs to be reined in. The fear of being sued for some minor oversight or accident caused by someone refusing to accept responsibility for their own safety, is stifling business and a whole range of activities.

As the Snopes entry makes clear, there is some ground for this, since in the most vexatious cases (Such as the man who sued a city library service after his 80 pound dog was injured when it tried to attack the library's 12 pound cat!) it often means months of stress while the lawyers rake in the money and at least two court appearances. It is cases like that, and the burglar in the UK (In West London) who was awarded compensation under Health and Safety legislation after he fell through a skylight in the course of trying to break and enter a house he was trying to rob) that convince me that the law does need amending and that the role of a jury in such cases is questionable.

The commenter Jeff obviously considers himself above criticism since his comment directly accuses me of lying and spreading lies. I note that he does not himself keep a blog, so I am not able to reciprocate at some point on his site and no doubt he is one of those lovely people who spends all his time looking for people he can demonstrate his inadequacy to by being insulting. He reminded me of a commenter on the BBC News website who goes by the name of "fyafighter" who's comments tend to run along the lines of "never mind the facts, believe the spin as long as its Labour Spin." Should Jeff happen this way again, thanks for the link, obviously you hadn't read all of it yourself. Now do yourself a favour, get a life and a sense of humour. Oh, and your grammar needs work too.

Posted by The Gray Monk at March 11, 2009 08:19 AM

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