Friday, February 04, 2005

Sue! Sue! Sue!

The Denver Post has a story about two girls who were successfully sued for dropping off cookies for their neighbors. In brief, Taylor and Lindsey baked cookies and dropped them off at 9 rural neighbors' homes. Wanita Young (49) was visited at 10:30 by the knock and run teenagers, and "she ended up in the hospital emergency room the next day after suffering a severe anxiety attack she thought might be a heart attack."

A Durango judge Thursday awarded Young almost $900 to recoup her medical bills. She received nothing for pain and suffering.

OK, the kids showed bad judgment. But they showed no malice, wrote letters of apology, and their families offered to pay Young's medical bills. Young lost every bit of sympathy I might have mustered for her when she tried to grab for pain and suffering on top of her medical bill. The picture I get is of a hypersensitive and vengeful harpy. Now I grant that the newspaper may have gotten the facts wrong--they often do. Maybe the law automatically appends pain and suffering damage questions on this kind of suit. But on the basis of the facts as given, were I the judge, I'd have awarded her the $900 as already agreed by the families, and then charged her for all court costs and demanded that she reimburse all defense costs; and then invited her to stop abusing the court system.

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