Inevitable and Despicable




On this blog I sometimes have written harsh words about my profession.  Sometimes I suspect I have been too harsh.  Then a story like this appears and I realize yet again that I have not been harsh enough:


A $100 million claim on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor is the first legal action to come out of the Connecticut school shooting that left 26 children and adults dead two weeks ago.

              The unidentified client, referred to as Jill Doe, heard “cursing, screaming, and shooting” over the school intercom when the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, opened fire, according to the claim filed by New Haven-based attorney Irv Pinsky.

              “As a consequence, the … child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined,” the claim said.

              Pinsky said he filed a claim on Thursday with state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr., whose office must give permission before a lawsuit can be filed against the state.

              “We all know its going to happen again,” Pinsky said on Friday. “Society has to take action.”

              Twenty children and six adults were shot dead on December 14 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The children were all 6 and 7 years old.

              Pinsky’s claim said that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from “foreseeable harm.”

Go here to read the disgusting rest.  I rather like this comment on the story:

I know 20 parents that would love to have their child alive and traumatized.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Here is one for Pinsky to ponder; “Thy habitation is in the midst of deceit: through deceit they have refused to know me, saith the Lord.” Jer.4:6

    Love of money has blinded the fool. The “Jill Doe” family and hired hand pinsky should spend one weekend in each of the twenty households where the little souls lived. By the end of the twentieth weekend they might reconsider. Might!

  2. Quite apart from the issue of liability, one would expect a plea-in-law that “The sum concluded for being nimious and excessive, decree should not be pronounced as concluded for.”

    Excessive claims have been greatly curtailed in Scotland, by the practice of ordering a separate proof on the issue of quantum, with pursuers being penalised in expenses, where the original claim was inordinate, either being refused their own expenses, or being ordained to pay the defender’s.

  3. Pinsky’s claim said that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from “foreseeable harm.”

    Well, that is true; if you warehouse high-value targets in an area where they have no defense, you are failing to take appropriate steps to prevent forseeable harm.

    Somehow, though, I don’t think removing the no-guns-in-schools laws would make the parent(s) of the little girl drop the lawsuit.

  4. Foxfier

    I doubt if liability would extend that far.

    If I leave my watch with a jeweller for cleaning, he is liable for theft, for theft can be prevented by vigilance. But he is not liable for robbery, for no one can be expected to resist force (vis major).

  5. Michael Paterson-Seymour-
    Even if he puts out a large sign saying “I have the following inventory of valuable objects and will be here, alone, from 10am to 4AM; I also have a moral opposition to violence, even in the face of loss or death”?

    In robbery, the person generally didn’t remove protections with force of law. If you remove protections from those who enter a building, you’re taking on the responsibility of those protections yourself.

  6. As much as I utterly loath the “no CC on base” policies, at least military bases have armed guards at the gates, and decent defenses, with law enforcement at the most minutes away from areas that have good targets; ditto for court houses that disarm you down to the baby silverware. (no, not joking, had it happen)

    I don’t want schools to turn into fortresses, but if you’re going to disarm everyone who goes in, you’ve got to assume the responsibility.

  7. Foxfier,

    The restrictions on liability should be simple and certain. In practise, their primary function is to determine the liability of insurers: in the case put, the owner’s or the jeweller’s. Underwriters can calculate their premiums accordingly.

    As for a sign, well, pawnbrokers are required to display a sign that that are not liable for fire, robbery, the Queen’s enemies, mobbing and rioting or act of God, but that cover is available, if requested, at 2.5% of the advance.

  8. The restrictions on liability should be simple and certain.

    Yes, they should. And if you take responsibility for something then take steps that put it at risk, without doing something to counter that risk, you are in quite a different situation than someone who took no steps either way.

  9. I think (I could be wrong) the trial liars were denied their opportunities for the 9/11 tragedy when the US government paid off potential plaintiffs. The plaintiffs signed releases to recieve their million-dollar checks.

    As to “forseeable harm”, how foresseable was the confluence of events wherein a madman murdered his mother and killed the school children? What were the odds, i.e., “forseeability”?

    For a long time, I thought such a school massacre would be committed by jihadis. They murdered a bunch in Chechnya a few years back.

    We need to control muslims not guns.

  10. I guess the lawyers’ many lawsuits happen because people hire the lawyers to do so. There is just generally so much of the idea that some body owes me something for a whole array of victimizing events, lesser than this one. People want revenge and they want heads to roll- someone to be fired, some one to be electrocuted, somebody to pay big money.. none of which will make the wounds heal.

  11. This is simply par for the course. I saw the headline this morning, and I wondered what took them so long. But then, I deal with attorneys every day who make outrageous claims and demand large sums. It would be silly to expect lawyers to stop lawyering. What truly concerns me, though, are the judges that are drawn from the ranks of such attorneys. One can mount a vigorous defense against an opposing attorney. It is impossible to defend against a judge who is determined to mangle the law and the facts in order to rule against you. Such an event is not infrequent.

  12. As to “forseeable harm”, how foresseable was the confluence of events wherein a madman murdered his mother and killed the school children? What were the odds, i.e., “forseeability”?

    The specific events, not foreseeable; that when you collect a lot of people into one area, disarm everyone and POST SIGNS that they’re all defenseless?

    Good heavens, Washington state holds you liable if your car is stolen if you didn’t do a laundry list of things, including set the parking brake and (if it is on an incline) turning the wheels to the curb.

  13. Atticus Finch is a fiction. In a society where every harm is reducible to a dollar amount, what do we expect? There’s Judge Posner, whom Libertarians worship, arguing to reduce babies to a commodity for sale to the highest bidder. There are icons of the Left with not a whit of common sense or an ounce or moral rectitude, who conjure penumbras (must be all the booze they consumed in law school making them see things which aren’t there).

    Combine a glut of people attending law school not because they seek to practice over a lifetime, but to cash out or further an agenda to “remake” society in their own image and likeness, and you’ve got real problems. I used to think it was funny when people described physicians thinking they were gods. I knew better: they’re not called the “Supremes” because they sang on the Motown label!

  14. Donald, I second the stand by the First Respondent, Philip. This is what we should be discussing, not other irrelevant side shows.

    What are the parents of the dead children feeling when they read about this greedy Family and their crazy lawyers suing for a living child when theirs are gone for good. We have lost the sense of the Value of Life for the love of money. Shame on that Family and all those who think like them.

  15. The claim (execrable in itself) amount isn’t really that high.

    Consider that the trial, appeals, and judgment could come down in, say, 2017. If the FRB doesn’t stop printing dollars, by then, the regime will be issuing (PhD recommended) $1,000,000,000,000.00 platinum/palladium, one-ounce coins.

    Then, a loaf of bread will cost $100,000 in Federal Reserve confetti.

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