There's a reason the Oxford University Press had to include "common sense" in its new Junior Dictionary.  In 2003, a construction worker, egged on by his boss and co-workers, dived into a shallow river.  The not unsurprising result?  He broke his neck.  Now he is paralyzed, his mother cares for him full time, and the company he worked for is bankrupt.  A tragedy all around.

Another, less heart-rending but no less serious tragedy is the further erosion of the notion of personal responsibility for our actions.  In 2007 a judge ruled that the company was negligent, and this week a jury decided that the man

should receive $1.5 million for past medical expenses, $89,000 for lost earnings, $21.7 million for future medical expenses, $583,000 for loss of future earnings, and a whopping $52.8 million for pain and suffering.

He's not likely to collect, since apparently there is no one with deep pockets to bleed for the man's stupidity and that of his foolish coworkers.  For the jury's stupidity we will all suffer.
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, January 23, 2009 at 8:13 am | Edit
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