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View Full Version : Do Burglars Deserve The Right To Sue Us If They Get Hurt While Robbing Us


magicman
08-27-2003, 05:40 AM
I have seen loads of stories about people defending their home from burglars, often resulting in the burglar getting injured, the culprit then goes on to sue the home owner for damages. But there are also many examples where the burglar is not injurede at all, one of these examples was;- a family went on holiday and whilst they were away for the week someone broke into their house, from the house there was a door into the garage, the criminal went into the garage but the door back into the house locked itself, trapping the burglar inside the garage until the family got back, when they discovered him he fled and then sued them, beacuse he got trapped in their garage.

I find it absolutley apalling that these criminals can win a case agaisnt someone who is defending their home ,these criminals have not right to break in, so they should hvae no right to sue us if they get hurt.

Please let me know your view on this subject, is it right for burglars to sue us after getting injured in our home.

BwanaBob
08-27-2003, 06:33 AM
I say don't let a burglar leave your house alive. Tell the police you feared for your life. In fact, say it aloud as you blow the asshole away.

There is not RIGHT to commit a crime nor a RIGHT to expect safety while doing so.

magicman
08-27-2003, 06:42 AM
Well said Bwana Bob, i say if you break into my house in the middle of the night then you are taking a risk, i would not deliberatley kill them though

BwanaBob
08-27-2003, 06:51 AM
True, I was speaking figuratively (I think).

Most likely I'd use a baseball bat.

magicman
08-27-2003, 06:51 AM
That sounds a bit better, lol.

jjimm
08-27-2003, 06:56 AM
Bwana Bob, there is a different legal structure in the UK, where magicman and I are from. If you kill a burglar, the police will need some kind of proof that you did it in self-defense. Killing someone for trespass and theft is likely to land you in jail in the UK. Cite (http://www.guardian.co.uk/martin/article/0,2763,214336,00.html).

It's a very tricky area. The phrase "reasonable force" is a key one here, and it's a grey area, decided by the courts. One may restrain the burglar, possibly by knocking him/her out, until the police arrive, using reasonable force.

My personal opinion is that, if the court decides that the burglar was trespassing with ill intent, then their rights should be foregone.

The bit that bugs me, more than any "reasonable force" issues, is the "duty of care" that has occasionally been invoked in Ireland - (made-up example) burglar falls down staircase during burglar, sues homeowner for lack of provision of "mind the stairs" sign. However, I'm not sure how apocryphal these stories are.

jjimm
08-27-2003, 06:57 AM
"burglar falls down staircase during burglary" I mean.

jamie1928
08-27-2003, 06:59 AM
The only problem is...burglars or their surviving relitives have sued and won in court for on the job injuries. If you maime or kill a burglar make sure it's in your house or drag him back in unless you want to face a manslaughter charge.

magicman
08-27-2003, 07:00 AM
personally i think that if somebody breaks into someones house then they should loose all their rights, because if i woke up in the middle of the night and found a stranger going through my things scareing the hell out of me and my family how are we supposed to protect our home, i say the law should be changed, the burglars shouldn't be in our house in the first place, so by breaking in they should be fully aware they might get hurt.

Rune
08-27-2003, 07:01 AM
I remember a man in England who after having been burgled a number of times, and especially after being royally pissed at seeing how the burglars always took big swings of his finest whiskey, decided to put rat poison in one if the bottles. And surely after some time, he came home (from a fine game of bridge with his wife – this being England) and found a dead man on his floor. He was sued, can’t remember what happened though. If you ask me, that’s what goes with the territory of being a burglar. Don’t like the odds – change profession.

- Rune

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 07:01 AM
Originally posted by magicman
. . . when they discovered him he fled and then sued them, beacuse he got trapped in their garage.

I find it absolutley apalling that these criminals can win a case

You're saying that he sued and won.

Sued on what ground(s) ?
Won what ?

Put another way, cite, please because facts soon get lost in this kind of Chinese whispers game

magicman
08-27-2003, 07:08 AM
I cannot give you a source for that information, i heard it from a police officer who came into my school and talked to us,i raised the same question i have here and she discussed it with us and gave that example.

He won a lot of money,i don't know what grounds he sued on, it shouldn't matter, he was is in the wrong, the family weren't even there so they did nothing wrong.

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 07:09 AM
A-huh.

spingears
08-27-2003, 07:14 AM
You're saying that he sued and won.

Sued on what ground(s) ?
Won what ?

Put another way, cite, please because facts soon get lost in this kind of Chinese whispers game [/QUOTE]
Am I correct to assume the Chinese Whispers Game is the same or similar to "Telephone" also called "Gossip" played in the US. Play is started by tellign a very short story and relaying it around the circle of players to the starter. The end resuld being very different if not unrecognizable from the original?

jjimm
08-27-2003, 07:17 AM
spingears, you are correct.

YourOldBuddy
08-27-2003, 07:21 AM
This is a grey area. I dont think its ok for ppl to install lethal/maiming traps for burglars.

Better to turn the other cheek.

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 07:22 AM
I suppose I'd nitpick but it doesn't really matter.

IMHO, chinese whispers is more of an honest change (in the substance) due to the human inclination to interpret.

But ‘gossip’ works as well (in this context) as things get exaggerated, embellished, simplified and increasingly ignorant of the legal facts. It just makes for a better/more interesting story to pass on.

We don't know which, if either, is appropriate in this case.

kabbes
08-27-2003, 07:23 AM
I'm not convinced about this "sue" business. Either unreasonable force was used -- in which case the homeowner has committed a crime and should be charged and tried appropriately -- or they have not, in which case what grounds are there to sue?

I would also like to see an actual cited case where the burglar sued and won in a civil court, as opposed the homeowner being charged with a criminal offence.

pan

Rune
08-27-2003, 07:25 AM
London_Calling: A-huh.

Is it really fair to insist on cites for parts of posts where it is of no consequence? I took his burglar story as an amusing preamble to the core of the OP “Do Burglars Deserve The Right To Sue Us If They Get Hurt While Robbing Us”. To be taken literally or theoretically as you like, but mostly serving as further illustration of what he would like to discuss.

- Rune

Brutus
08-27-2003, 07:32 AM
From my understanding, most of the 'burglar sued homeowner' stories are urban legends. Here is a cite (http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_594544.html?menu=) for a somewhat related, and equally assinine take on that line of stories.

From the link:
Northampton Borough Council initially ordered great-grandmother Ruby Barber to take down razor wire protecting her home as it was a danger to intruders.

But now the council has said she can surround her garden walls with wire, as long as she uses warning signs and agrees to take full responsibility if a would-be intruder is injured.

Intruders have broken into the bungalow in Rokeby Walk, Duston, where Mrs Barber lives alone, four times in 18 months


It seems the UK has a different view of peoples right to self-defense and protection of property. Certainly any intruder in my home is very likely to get dead, much less injured. (Not the the legal system is much less screwed up in regards to 'criminal rights' over here.)

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 07:33 AM
Yes it is because it illustrates the actual circumstances. People love to connect two unconnected events to make a pretty picture. Example: Man in garage (as here) What has that got to do with the burglary. Did he sue for . . . . false imprisonment, how did they know it was the same individual exactly, was he there for an hour, a week, a month, what did he sue for because, say, ‘false imprisonment’ is a different, unconnected offence to ‘burglary’ etc – did they starve him etc. etc . . .

On the face of it, it’s plainly ludicrous, is all. Very Daily Mail.

Rune
08-27-2003, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by kabbes
I would also like to see an actual cited case where the burglar sued and won in a civil courtHere’s one:
Farmer get sentence to life (later reduced to five years) for shooting and killing burglar. He was also sued for £15,000, for damages on second burglar (who, after the shooting, no longer enjoy sex or bear to see shootings on television :rolleyes: ).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/norfolk/3009769.stm

- Rune

feistyALgal
08-27-2003, 07:48 AM
I'm of the opinion that they had better had their fave meal before they stepped foot into MY house to do their dirty work. It will be their LAST, if I can help it.

My reasoning: I don't know what they are there for, and I'm not going to stop and ask them either.

"Pardon me, Mr. Intruder, were you merely here for our TV, or were you going to rape me, or murder my family?"

No. They don't get that kind of courtesy if they are an intruder in my home. I don't give a shit what they are there for -- they're in my home, ILLEGALLY, committing a crime.

I'm defending myself. If there is only one person left to tell the tale, I'm going to be that person. Besides, I have children to protect. That's my job, I love being a mother, and I will do my job til the death if that's what it takes.

There are too many of those lawsuits where the intruder wins. The jury people need a harsh raping in the middle of the night by an intruder. Maybe they will change their minds.

/that is all

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 07:49 AM
Winston Smith - All you’re doing is illustrating the core of the debate that’s been had a thousand times since Tony Martin went to prison. As said above, in the UK you can use ‘reasonable force’ (in the immediate context) to defend yourself. Anything beyond that ‘reeasonable force’ exposes you to potential criminal charges.

If, if, if, that goes to court, 12 of your peers need to agree with this particular application of the 'reasonable force' law in order to get a conviction – it was those 12 jurors who convicted Tony Martin‘. And this country is no stranger to presenting the judge with 'perverse verdicts’, ones that have no basis on the facts offered. They decided otherwise.


Yada, yada, yada. Yawn.

margin
08-27-2003, 07:54 AM
Isn't there the duty to retreat in the US? I've heard that one is required to retreat as far as possible from the intruder and only then is one allowed to use deadly force. But I've also heard that one is not required to do so in one's home.

I got an email from a gullible friend which contained famous stupid lawsuits. Unfortunately, each one of them left out certain key facts. There was one about a guy who robbed a McDonald's then, got shot, and sued the manager of the restaurant and won. Problem was, he got shot in the back while fleeing, after discarding the knife he'd waved.

Evil Captor
08-27-2003, 08:10 AM
This sounds like the usual half-assed bling bling that conservatives use to form their opinions. Pathetic stuff. I don't think there's been a whole lot of lawsuit-winning in the U.S. I'll bet there have been a lot of lawsuits filed because convicts get access to law books and often file lawsuits. Bet the ratio of filed lawsuits to won lawsuits is pretty pathetic -- something like 1/1,000,000. I'll bet that one case was one where there was evidence that the homeowner's claim that it was self-defence was a lie. After all, somebody might lure another person into their home, beat them to death or shoot them and then claim the other person was a burglar. How would a jury know who to believe?

bayonet1976
08-27-2003, 08:12 AM
Maybe only remotely related to the OP, back in the 1980's I think, a Miami store owner was prosecuted and acquitted for the death of a burglar who, while attempting to break into his store was electrocuted by a home-made trap installed by the owner.

december
08-27-2003, 08:13 AM
Here are a lot of cites (http://www.overlawyered.com/archives/000011.html) Just scroll down a bit to Maybe crime does pay, 2003: and you can get all the links. The first few headlines are "'Robber sues clerk who shot him during holdup'", May 6; "Not an April Fool's joke", Apr. 1; "'Burglars to be banned from suing victims'" (U.K.), Mar. 10-11; "'Family of electrocuted thief gets $75,000'", Feb. 26; "Tried to outrun Coast Guard in chase", Feb. 14-16; "'No suits by lawbreakers, please'", Jan. 27-28 (& Jan. 31-Feb. 2). 2002: "'Mom who drugged kids' ice cream sues'", Nov. 1-3; "'Patient sues hospital for letting him out on night he killed'" (Australia, psychiatric case), Oct. 16-17; "'Crime pays for teenage lout'" (Australia), Sept. 3-4; "'After stabbing son, mom sues doctors'", May 31-Jun. 2; "'Barbed wire might hurt burglars, pensioner warned'", May 28-29; "Hospital rapist sues hospital", May 22-23 (& Mar. 5-7, 2003: court dismisses case); "Lawyers say taxpayers owe $41 million to smuggled illegals' survivors", May 10-12; "L.A. police sued, and sued" (by family of gunman killed in shootout), Apr. 12-14; "Should have arrested him faster" (frostbite in the open), Mar. 1-3; "Vandal's dad sues store over blaze", Feb. 6-7;

yojimbo
08-27-2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by WinstonSmith
Here’s one:
Farmer get sentence to life (later reduced to five years) for shooting and killing burglar. He was also sued for £15,000, for damages on second burglar (who, after the shooting, no longer enjoy sex or bear to see shootings on television :rolleyes: ).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/norfolk/3009769.stm

- Rune That would read better if it said

Farmer get sentence to life (later reduced to five years) for shooting and killing burglar who was no longer in the house and running away (the kid was shot in the back) after walking into the trap set up by Martin

The guy had been burgled before and basically went apeshit.

feistyALgal
08-27-2003, 08:20 AM
The kid shouldn't have burgled him.

You take your chances if you are committing a crime.

yojimbo
08-27-2003, 08:26 AM
Not in the UK. Martin was locked up and rightly so IMO.

Charles Bronson was good in the movies but no in real life.

kabbes
08-27-2003, 08:28 AM
A further trouble with allowing citizens to take the law into their own hands is that it invites life-or-death decisions to be made by those not really in a position to make them. There are some pretty serious consequences associated with shoot-first-ask-questions-later.

For example, a perceived burglar in your garden may be no more than someone who got lost in the woods behind your house and is now trying to get back onto the main road (this actually happened to me once, hence my thought of it as an example).

What you think is someone trying to break in to your house may actually be your drunk mate who suddenly had the bright idea of spending the night at your place and saw the window open.

You never know. But encouraging scared homeowners to wave lethal weapons around and shoot on sight doesn't strike me as particularly sensible.

pan

El_Kabong
08-27-2003, 08:30 AM
Here are a lot of cites Just scroll down a bit to Maybe crime does pay, 2003: and you can get all the links.

Yes, the items linked duly note that suits were filed. The more important thing to me, and perhaps to others, however, would be knowing how many of these cases resulted in awards to the plaintiffs. My guess is very few indeed, so what's the beef?

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 08:36 AM
december's posting links to civil (money) suits, not criminal 'defence' cases. Different burdens of proof, different laws, different prosectiong authorities and, in the UK at least, only one has a jury (in almost every circumstance).

Nothing whatever to do with a criminal conviction for using excessive force in yur own defence, and everything to do with compensation for same.

december
08-27-2003, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by kabbes
A further trouble with allowing citizens to take the law into their own hands is that it invites life-or-death decisions to be made by those not really in a position to make them. You have a point, but even if law-abiding citizens are unarmed, a life and death decision is already in the wrong hands. I.e., an armed criminal may already be making life and death decisions.

I'd rather take the risk that a burglar is harmed than take the risk that my wife or child is harmed.

I grant that my argument makes sense only if one believes that being armed really does provide a measure of protection. I think it does. That's why many celebrities have armed guards, at least in the US.

BTW do the PM, the Queen, and top entertainers use armed guards in the UK?

JRDelirious
08-27-2003, 08:38 AM
BTW, regarding some of these cases: it IS illegal for you in most jurisdictions to defend your property with a deadly trap (tripwired shotgun, electrified doorframe, punji stake pit, surplus bouncing-betty landmine), to actively give chase with intent to kill or maim, or to "finish off" an already-down assailant.

As Brutus points out, a large number of the more popular archetypical "examples" of "Burglar's Rights" are in the UL category -- and for those that did get presented, most often the courts later dismissed the case or found against the claimant, but that does not make headlines. The fact that you are allowed to file a ridiculous lawsuit in the first place really means little.

As to the OP question, they can sue anyone. Of course they should get nothing and be the ones who pay for all costs.

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 08:39 AM
Why, what are you planning to do ?

London_Calling
08-27-2003, 08:48 AM
<the above addressed to the last line of december's post>

Dogface
08-27-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by jjimm
Bwana Bob, there is a different legal structure in the UK, where magicman and I are from. If you kill a burglar, the police will need some kind of proof that you did it in self-defense.

In the UK does a burglar have the right for damages if he breaks into a house and is injured when nobody is there or finds himself stuck in the house without the owners having laid a trap? In the USA, it can be done, and in some jurisdictions, courts will side with the burglar.

Jackmannii
08-27-2003, 09:28 AM
The definitions of "deadly trap" can get hazy.

I couldn't find a cite for this one, but I remember an '80s case in Indiana where a mobile home owner had suffered repeated break-ins and set up a booby trap involving a shotgun loaded with rock salt. End result - dead burglar, and the homeowner on trial (and convicted) on some felony charge short of murder.

Confront a burglar in your home some night and shoot them dead, and in much of the U.S. you stand a good chance of not being charged. Don't set up a booby trap, though. We don't like sneaky stuff.

BF
08-27-2003, 10:21 AM
EvilCaptor wrote:
This sounds like the usual half-assed bling bling that conservatives use to form their opinions. Damn you've got some mighty arms to swing that brush!!

yojimbo wrote:
killing burglar who was no longer in the house and running away (the kid was shot in the back) after walking into the trap set up by MartinI'm sorry, that's false. Fearon and Barras were shot at inside the home. Barras crawled out the window and died in the yard.

magicman
08-27-2003, 10:44 AM
My thread seems to have got a lot of people going, there have been a lot of good posts and this is a quote from one of them
I'd rather take the risk that a burglar is harmed than take the risk that my wife or child is harmed

This pretty much sums it up, we want to protect our family, our posessions and our home, we don't know if the burglar is going to attack us, by the time we know if they will it will probably be too late, so we must take action before they have the chance.

BF
08-27-2003, 10:57 AM
margin wrote:
Isn't there the duty to retreat in the US? I've heard that one is required to retreat as far as possible from the intruder and only then is one allowed to use deadly force. But I've also heard that one is not required to do so in one's home. Definitely varies by state and jurisdiction. IIRC, many CCW classes teach retreat in order to show unavoidable just cause, even though it may not be required by law. Some states, like South Carolina, give the homeowner the green light for deadly force.

BF
08-27-2003, 10:59 AM
Oh, forgot to add, ...give the homeowner the green light for deadly force, when the intruder has entered the domicile.

mhendo
08-27-2003, 11:30 AM
As plenty of people have pointed out, suing is one thing, and actually winning the case is another altogether. I notice that december, true to form, drives by with an alleged "cite," and implies that "maybe crime does pay." But when it is pointed out that all his cite tells us is that people sued, not that they were successful, he has nothing to add.

And, as London Calling says, civil suits and criminal trials are two totally different animals.

Also, in terms of right and wrong, too many people adopt a black-and-white attitude to cases like this. They assume that just because the burglar is breaking the law and is in the wrong (something we all agree on, i'm sure), then someone who kills the burglar must therefore be in the right. Sorry folks, doesn't work that way.

While defending yourself from what you reasonably believe to be am imminent threat is a reasonable thing to do, shooting someone in the back as they are leaving and no longer posing a threat is not, in my opinion. Sure, some semanticists might argue that they would still feel threatened, but i think that a reasonable rule of thumb is that if someone is running away from you, then they no longer pose a direct threat, unless they are obviously making for a weapon of some sort. Shooting someone who's bolting out a window is more like a cowardly act of revenge than an act of self-defence, i think, and just reduces the shooter to the level of the burglar.

The farmer in the case in England managed to get his sentence reduced after arguing that "paranoid personality disorder which diminished his responsibility" and that he "had suffered sexual abuse as a child." Diminished capacity arguments such as this seem most often to be made in cases where the actions themselves are admitted to be wrong, and the defendant and lawyer are seeking another way to beat the rap.

As for the OP's example of a burglar unwittingly trapped in a house, i certainly hope such a person would not only get locked up for robbery, but that they would have no luck whatsoever in suing the householder. And, despite the OP's suggestion that "these criminals can win a case against someone who is defending their home," we have yet to see any evidence supporting this claim.

yojimbo
08-27-2003, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by BF

I'm sorry, that's false. Fearon and Barras were shot at inside the home. Barras crawled out the window and died in the yard. [/B] I stand corrected. They were trying to leave though. When his trial began in April 2000 Martin argued that he had genuinely been acting in self-defence.

But it emerged the pair had been shot as they tried to flee through a window.
from the above BBC link

catsix
08-27-2003, 01:04 PM
margin said:
Isn't there the duty to retreat in the US? I've heard that one is required to retreat as far as possible from the intruder and only then is one allowed to use deadly force. But I've also heard that one is not required to do so in one's home.

I was advised by the Deputy Sheriff of Washington County Pennslyvania on the day that I received my License to Carry Concealed Firearms that Pennsylvania has no such thing as a 'last locked room' or 'retreat' provision. Under the law of the commonwealth the assumption is that anyone who illegally enters my home while it is occupied constitutes a risk to life and limb and deadly force is not prohibted.

He went so far as to say that we should never, ever shoot to wound. He explained that, should we ever draw on an attacker of any kind, we were to fire no warning shots and aim for the center of the chest. Shooting to deliberately wound (hand or leg shot) would be an indicator that the licensee did not believe deadly force was warranted, and thus we were not even justified in having drawn the gun.

When I found myself faced with a burglar, he turned and fled as soon as I drew. Shooting someone in the back as they are fleeing is not self defense, and thus I would have been charged.

Recently in that same county, this incident (http://www.post-gazette.com/neigh_washington/20021119crash1119p5.asp) involved a man who found an intruder in his house choking his son. The homeowner beat the intruder to death with a baseball bat. No charges were ever filed, and although the article doesn't indicate it, this was big local news (happened mere miles from my house), and James Liermann was never arrested.

blowero
08-27-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by mhendo
As plenty of people have pointed out, suing is one thing, and actually winning the case is another altogether. I notice that december, true to form, drives by with an alleged "cite," and implies that "maybe crime does pay." But when it is pointed out that all his cite tells us is that people sued, not that they were successful, he has nothing to add.

Exactly. I read the first 10 or so of the cases December cited before I got bored and gave up. Only one case referred to an actual award to a plaintiff whose injuries (in this case, death) were a result of his illegal activity, and that was a case where the defendant has deliberately set a booby-trap designed to kill intruders. The rest were either simple references to lawsuits FILED, or lawsuits for injuries unrelated to criminal activity.

It astounds me that people continue to cite LAWSUITS FILED as evidence of a legal system supposedly run amok, while ignoring the fact that anyone can FILE a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit does not mean you will win the lawsuit. And these people never offer an alternative; they just bitch about the legal system. Well, how exactly would we solve the problem? Ban ALL lawsuits? - that's obviously stupid. Only ban unmeritorious lawsuits? - how exactly does one evalute the merits of a lawsuit without ever seeing it? Apparently we need a time machine so that we can go back and retroactively ban lawsuits after we have determined their worth.:rolleyes:

Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party
08-27-2003, 02:29 PM
BTW do the PM, the Queen, and top entertainers use armed guards in the UK?


You've never seen the Changing of the Guard? :-P Despite that, there's been parachutists and allsorts who have landed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace over the years and who never got run through by a guard's sabre.

pravnik
08-27-2003, 02:42 PM
I think the SAS takes a little more active role nowadays ever since some lunatic snuck into the Queen's bedchamber a few years back. At least I think that really happened. It might just be something I read in a Tom Clancy novel.

Magiver
08-27-2003, 05:56 PM
Really depends on the State and the locality. We've had a number of break-in/dead robbers in my area and the local police have done everything except award a medal for community service.

I've "heard" from defence lawyers that this is NOT the case in other parts of the state.

Northern Piper
08-28-2003, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by magicman
I have seen loads of stories about people defending their home from burglars, often resulting in the burglar getting injured, the culprit then goes on to sue the home owner for damages. But there are also many examples where the burglar is not injurede at all, one of these examples was;- a family went on holiday and whilst they were away for the week someone broke into their house, from the house there was a door into the garage, the criminal went into the garage but the door back into the house locked itself, trapping the burglar inside the garage until the family got back, when they discovered him he fled and then sued them, beacuse he got trapped in their garage.
...
I cannot give you a source for that information, i heard it from a police officer who came into my school and talked to us,i raised the same question i have here and she discussed it with us and gave that example.

He won a lot of money,i don't know what grounds he sued on, it shouldn't matter, he was is in the wrong, the family weren't even there so they did nothing wrong.Urban Legend (http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.htm), according to Snopes (http://www.snopes.com): 3. October 1998: A Terrence Dickson of Bristol Pennsylvania was exiting a house he finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, so Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. This upset Mr. Dickson, so he sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars and change.This was one of a half dozen similar stories about tort law run amuck. Snopes's verdict: "All of the entries in the list are fabrications -- a search for news stories about each of these cases failed to turn up anything, as did a search for each law case."

I appreciate that there is a substantive question of legal policy here, but let's not use gossip as the basis for deciding it.

Evil Captor
08-28-2003, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by BF
EvilCaptor wrote:
Damn you've got some mighty arms to swing that brush!!

Thank you. I do in fact have mighty arms. And looking at all the supposedly factual posts that have either been demonstrated to be UL or suits filed but no awards made, I'd say a broad brush was CALLED FOR in this instance.

jimpatro
08-28-2003, 12:06 PM
December summed it up well. If there's an intruder in the house you have to first think about your own and your loved one's safety.
If you kill that intruder you know what the chance of that intruder harming anyone is? 0.
They may try to get away and somewhere in the ruckus change thier mind and decide to come back at you. Or they may not find an immediate enough exit and come back at you. Or they may be looking for a weapon to use against you. Or there may be another intruder in the house you don't know about. There are many scenarios that could get you or your family killed.
You must shave the odds quickly and decisively.
Killing someone is a harsh reality to live with. But the idea is to be around to live with it.

Most of us go through life respecting others and living honest lives.
It might sound harsh, then again no it doesn't, but we deserve to live more than a lowlife who would harm us for money or property.

Fortunately here in Texas we have the right to carry and we have the right to use deadly force to protect ourselves and our property.

mhendo
08-28-2003, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by Northern Piper
Snopes's verdict: "All of the entries in the list are fabrications -- a search for news stories about each of these cases failed to turn up anything, as did a search for each law case."

I appreciate that there is a substantive question of legal policy here, but let's not use gossip as the basis for deciding it. Exactly.

And it's not like the stories are old ones, lost in the mists of the pre-internet era. It was 1998, ferchrissakes.