Norway: “Killer claims compensation”

by Walter Olson on August 26, 2007

It’s your fault for letting me go: “A man who wildly stabbed fellow passengers on board an Oslo tram three years ago is now seeking compensation from the state. He claims he never should have been released from psychiatric care just days before he went amok, and his victim’s own mother agrees.” (Nina Berglund, Aftenposten, Aug. 24).

{ 4 comments }

1 Supremacy Claus 08.26.07 at 9:50 am

The outcome of a similar case in North Carolina favored the murderer.

http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/53/1/27

Any compensation should go to the victims, who should file a cross claim against the murderer.

The breach of the obstacle of privity (economic relationship) to a duty to third persons took place in 1928 (Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad, 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (1928).

“The risk reasonably to be perceived defines the duty to be obeyed, and risk imports relation; it is risk to another or to others within the range of apprehension.”

Naturally, such apprehension has no measurable units. It is a pretext to generate lawyer fees, and trials. It seeks compensation from deep pockets by a tortured logic that shocks by its brazenness.

An exception remains. Adverse third parties injured by lawyer carelessness cannot sue the lawyer for legal malpractice. Why? They have no “privity.”

2 Platy 08.26.07 at 12:09 pm

He kind of has a point. Not that I’d give him money he might spend on a new knife or anything…

3 Anonymous Attorney 08.26.07 at 2:56 pm

Here we go again with “damned-if-you-do, damned if you don’t” liability. The lawsuit for KEEPING HIM CONFINED is just as easy to image. Would a bold judge come up with a rule of law stating that where liability for having done the opposite is found in the case law, the case must be dismissed? It might need some tuning, but I like the idea. That would put a little crimp in overlawyering, wouldn’t it?

4 Samson Isberg 08.26.07 at 3:57 pm

I’m living in Norway, and the sentiment here is mildly outraged. But the level of compensation he can get from this is quite small. Only real economical expenses are covered, not tort, hurt feelings or other non-economical claims. As he claims insanity, and was sent to a mental institution after the killing, he actually has gained from the experience, not lost. So this will only serve one purpose; to inflame Norwegian sentiments against asylum seekers even further.

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