We have become accustomed to seeing greedy plaintiffs attempting to cash in on even the most trivial inconvenience, let alone genuine tragedies. But if you had any doubt that America’s lawsuit lunacy has gotten completely out of control, you need only read the headline in Monday’s Minneapolis StarTribune:
“Minneapolis Will Pay $165,000 to Zombies”
This utterly ridiculous state of affairs grew out of a stunt by seven young people who, on July 22nd, 2006 decided to protest “mindless consumerism” – by dressing up in white-face makeup and ragged clothes, and carrying amplifiers to blast their iPod genereated “music” as they rambled around a downtown neighborhood.
They were subsequently arrested, detained for two days, then ultimately released without charges. No harm, no foul, right? After all, any reasonable person would (or should) expect that some sort of reaction from the police just might be a possibility.
Of course, in today’s America where ANY unpleasant incident is invariably followed by a mad rush to the courtroom, the “zombies” filed a lawsuit, alleging violations of their “civil rights.” Thankfully, the suit was initially dismissed. But in February of this year, a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals resurrected the suit – and, predictably, the wimps at City Hall decided to settle.
But it was reason that the City gave in that is most disturbing. According to Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal, “We believe the police acted reasonably, but you never know what a jury is going to do with a case.” She explained, “If a jury had concluded that the seven plaintiffs’ constitutional rights had been violated and awarded $50,000 to each, plus defense attorney’s fees, “it could have been quite substantial.”
In other words, she admits that to caving in to what was nothing more than legal blackmail by a group of annoying little twits. Pay ’em $20,000 today or risk that some jury of 12 unemployed, welfare dependent losers too stupid to get out of jury duty, will award them even more.
Naturally, the “zombies” were delighted: “I feel great that the city is being held accountable for the actions of their police,” said Raphi Rechitsky, 27, of Minneapolis, one of the seven zombies, who said he and his friends were performing “street theater” when they were arrested.
The interesting thing is that while Mr. Rechitsky, who is (no surprise) a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Minnesota, was supposedly protesting American capitalism, neither he nor any of his merry band of socialists had any conflict of conscience when it came to using the American legal system to extort a hefty check.
Such is the state of the Nation today…