March 15th, 2005
synopsis of this post in the boston community...
"I tripped and hurt myself walking down the sidewalk, who can I sue?"
Personal, fucking, responsibility.
Does anyone else in the USA even remember that the phrase even exists?
and don't tell me I'm a heartless bastard, I already know that.
heh, she deleted her post after about 100 comments. oh well.
also - she's going to hire a lawyer to sue for...$300?
plus legal fees I hope.
The city has a responsibility to maintain safe public concourses. She broke her leg, not just stumbled and got bruised. If Brookline did a better job of finding and fixing craters, they wouldn't have had to worry about this lawsuit. Since they didn't, the only immediate recourse allowed is to create an economic incentive via a lawsuit. There's also political pressure during the next election, but that's longer off and won't correct damages already done.
Yes, but who is going to teach this person to watch where she's walking?
They should pay her the $300, then revoke for all time any future right to drive or operate heavy machinery as she has proven that she can't even be aware of her surroundings while walking and is therefore a danger to herself and others.
"Here's your $300, you've lost your sidewalk privilages."
I do a lot of walking myself. I walk at least six miles each day, most of it on sidewalks. I tend to pay attention to what's in front of me so that I don't bump into people, buildings, cars, etc. rather than looking down. I guess that's foolish of me, though. I should stare intensely at the ground and if I bumped head-first into another pedestrian, then it was his fault since I was watching where I was going, right?
I'd much rather hold the city responsible for maintenance of public concourses and be able to look forward. That's not "entitlement" that's the city's job. Even the staunchest of liberterians argue that potholes need to be fixed.
|Date:||March 16th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)|| |
Actually, the staunchest of libertarians (if we're to assume a hard-core "government exists only to protect from force and fraud" stance) are likely to argue against the concept of public property altogether, relegating sidewalks and roads the province of the owners of the abutting property. Of course, they'd also be likely to argue that the owners of those properties should maintain them as they saw fit, making the whole objection to a sidewalk pothole a null issue.
Really, though, it's pretty easy to argue that you can scan the upcoming ground without having to look straight down at your feet. Hell, it's second nature unless you're really not paying attention, and if you're not, you're just as likely to trip over a curb or wander into an intersection as fall into a pothole. If drivers can see "craters" from cars moving at 40 mph without looking straight down the hood, a pedestrian on a sidewalk should be able to note damaged pavement and take appropriate measures.
Incidentally, I'm wondering how much Brookline's budget has been slashed by Romney's budget cuts, and how that's affected outlays for infrastructure. Perhaps the State should be held responsible? Or maybe the governor, the legislature, and any person or organization that have supported their installment into offices that made it so the sidewalk crater wasn't fixed immediately...
I disagree with your argument, and with grey areas like this, it's a good thing we have a court system in place to sort out these matters.
I'm pretty sure we all move at a slow enough pace while walking that constant ground-monitoring is not required in order to have a reasonable idea of what hazards are in the vicinity.
Problems do need to be fixed, I don't think anyone's arguing against that. But just because you trip when you're not paying attention doesn't mean that you get $$.
Maybe we could just put up some "Walk at your own risk" signs.
I fully understand everything you spelled out above, but she (in her own words) wasn't looking where she was going, and got hurt as a result. If she'd walked into a parking meter that was placed 1" too far from the curb and broken her sternum, she'd probably still be looking for a way to sue someone.
I think that this is one instance we'll have to agree to disagree upon mr. enmascarado
That's not at all a valid comparison. She was walking down a sidewalk, which she reasonably expected not to have craters in it. When you walk, do you stare intensely at your feet? By your definition of personal resposnibility, you would have to, as well as stare ahead so you don't bump into anyone or anything.
On the other hand, one knows where on the sidewalk parking meters are placed and it's a lot easier to spot where they are. Furthermore, they're in the forward field of vision. If she walked into a parking meter and cracked her ribs, that wouldn've been her fault. The difference between the two is easily apparent.
ok, agreed. it's a very bad compariason, but I'd just woken up.
And yes, I look where I'm walking, and have no expectations of sidewalks' flatness. I lived in West Philly for too long to take sidewalks for granted.
Out of curiosity, did you grow up in an urban, suburban, or rural area? I think it may have a lot to do with our very different perspectives in this discussion. (Rural here.)
There is no personal responsibility.
You liberals are seeing to that. ;-)
In some ways, yes. I'll buy your taunt. But as a stereotype, lawyers are republican. Especially the scummier ones.
so there. =P
They really have to stop working together.