Is this evidence of a larger problem? [lawsuits and personal responsibility]

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=146648260

I’d like to hear that it’s just my imagination but I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot of stories lately reflecting a real lack of accountability by citizens across the country (U.S.).

Whether its one group being victimized by another, homeowners being victimized by the housing market or the 99% being victimized by the 1%, I’m seeing a real lack of accountability these days. Please convince me I’m wrong.

This quote:

Cracked me up. Just because the companies sell it, doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

I know right?

Expanded the thread title to clarify the topic.

Except all alcohol is banned on the reservation specifically to combat addiction. I don’t see crack dealers getting a pass because of the personal responsibility of their customers.

Citizens are beginning to embrace it so fully, after watching government and politicians make it so popular.

Newt cheated on his wives out of misplaced patriotism, haven’t you heard?

All of like 3 people, went to jail for the Enron fiasco.

Crack isn’t a legal product anywhere. If I’m reading correctly, the beer companies are selling a legal product, to legal adults, in a place they’re allowed by law to sell it.

If they don’t like it, they can change the law. I don’t think the lawsuit as it stands has any merit.

This is a pretty good example of the ideology that I am confused about. Its almost become avant-garde to blame a larger more established organization operating completely within the law than to blame the ‘beer dealers’ who are in the direct business of exploiting the tribe.

Of course this point is secondary to the members of the tribe actually not ingesting a product that they know to be killing them.

I’m a little confused as to why they’re going after the brew companies but I can understand going after the local beer stores. The larger companies have nothing to do with the distribution of beer into specific counties.

But the local beer stores seem to be complicit in supplying smugglers. The way the story reads

the context for the ban is widely known, the legality of alcohol on the reserve is widely known and the consequences are widely know. It seems reasonable to go after suppliers instead of the distributors. Or at least to make the attempt and see what the law says.

Regardless though, it sounds like the reserve wont improve even if they do win the $500 million. The underlying issues driving the alcoholism wont be addressed.

Deeper pockets, due to the ability to carry a larger amount of liability insurance than Joe’s Beer 'n Booze does. It is unlikely that they’ll get $500 million out of Joe’s insurer, but they might get it from Annheuser Busch’s. Or at least a larger settlement than they would from Joe’s.

Oh I understand that, I just wasn’t thinking like a lawyer. :wink:

Do you care to point to a time when you feel as though people were more accountable? Just because people are using the legal system more often to address grievances, and stories of protest get more airtime, doesn’t mean people are less responsible.

I agree the lawsuit is stupid, but as **Spoons **says it doesn’t indicate anything other than an attempt to sue the richest party rather than the most responsible one in what’s clearly already a violation of territorial laws.

Presuming we accept the reservation is permitted to ban alcohol and the smuggling thereof, and presuming the beer stores on the border ARE selling greater amounts per time period than is permitted by Nebraska law, the only problem is a mistargeting of the lawsuit.

What all this has to do with personal responsibility/accountability I have no idea.

If I use my crystal ball to look into the mind of the lawyer who filed this lawsuit, I expect he thinks this case is about responsibility. I expect he believes that the businesses targeted their alcohol sales to a location where alcohol is prohibited, yet is still afflicted by high rates of alcoholism. Therefore, they facilitate smuggling in order to profit. I bet he believes the lawsuit is about personal responsibility, but his focus is the personal responsibility of the businesseshe sued.

The local store owners are lucky they aren’t facing criminial conspiracycharges, as noted in this post yesterday. All ridiculous in my opinion, but not out of the ordinary in this country.

Sure. Of course I don’t have any empirical evidence but I’d say the WWII generation had a much better grasp of personal responsibility and accountability.

For instance my grand parents would have never dreamed of blaming a beer company for their drinking problem, suing a bank for not being able to pay monthly notes they agreed to pay or arguing the notion that their neighbors should pay for their health insurance when they are unable. I think that they would have gotten a second job or worked longer hours.

Bootstrappy, aren’t you? It must be nice to live in such a simple, clear-cut world. What part of the US do you live in where employment is so good that there are extra, decent paying jobs just laying about to be taken up?

You do have a point though. We don’t take as much responsibility for our own actions as we used to. It isn’t because of a lack of moral fiber though, it is because we’ve relaxed out laws so much that you can now sue anyone for just about anything. We made it a profitable industry. On top of that, we deregulated so many other industries that we’ve made cheating, greed, and occasional outright criminal activity profitable. If you have enough money you can buy your way out of most anything. If you want to fix this, start with the legal and insurance industries and lobby for real, comprehensive reform. Lobby for law that is broader and favors a “spirit of the law” model over nit-picky obscurities that create endless loopholes. Lobby for effective, well implemented corporate regulation that prevents endless consumer lawsuits due to negligence.

Power and influence cultivates deniability, ignorance and corruption and this is happening in an increasing complex and fluid manner. But with more debate and knowlegde in the open it has to in order to sustain itself.

Nuisance suits, deep-pocket targeting, and people who make their living as professional plaintiffs are a problem. Especially since the cost is borne by the entire society–it’s unlikely that you, as any given person, will be the target of a frivolous lawsuit, but you have to drink beer out of a plastic cup because of one person who threw a bottle at someone’s head, you have to pay extra for health care because doctors order unnecessary tests to guard against lawsuits, you have to work with dingbats because firing people is virtually impossible. Unfortunately, anytime someone tries to do something about it the trial lawyer associations start blitzing the media with scare stories about how if tort reform passes you won’t be able to sue if your doctor cuts off the wrong leg. And with both parties dominated by lawyers there’s not that much impetus to change things.

I wonder what the tribes life expectancy would be if they had an extra $500,000,000 to spend on beer.