“[O]ur entire world is a potentially dangerous place in which to live”

by Walter Olson on March 10, 2009

Dismissing a suit claiming that cigarettes and upholstery should have been flameproof, a Kentucky federal judge last month had this to say:

No court has found that there is a duty to make our world fool-proof or risk free. Nor is there a duty to warn of obvious consequences of foolish behavior.

In this case, we will reject the opportunity to hold that just because something could happen, failure to prevent it is unreasonable….

Nothing this court can do will change what happened. But we are obliged to ensure that the law is applied dispassionately, and in a principled way.

[Patrick at Popehat]

{ 3 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 03.10.09 at 3:25 pm

I’m sorry those people lost their lives. It’s a genuine tragedy. But sympathy aside, these people (we’ll their attorneys at least) tried to convince a judge that a lit cigarette is defective because upon contact with furniture, it catalyzed a fire? We could take this one in a million different directions. “Well your honor, we believe the gun was defective because when my client was cleaning it, he failed to notice the bullet in the chamber. The trigger was dirty, and well, you can see the scare on his face that the rest of the story is rather unpleasant. So, we think Gun Co., Inc. needs to be punished.” Always testing the armor, those pesky little lawyers.

2 Catherine Jaime 03.10.09 at 9:30 pm

“No court has found that there is a duty to make our world fool-proof or risk free.”…Could this judge give that information to our Congressmen and Senators who seem to think their job is to make our children’s world fool-proof and risk free?

My senator actually told me in response to my concerns about CPSIA that his job was to protect children from ALL possible risks…As if such a thing were possible!!!

I’m glad to know someone connected to the government still has some sense!!!

3 Todd Rogers 03.11.09 at 9:27 am

Sound bytes about protecting kids is just feel-good political rhetoric. The only way to protect kids from all risks is to not have any kids at all. The very entrance in to this world is a risky endeavor; just ask John Edwards, he’s a good medium to unborn and in-progress born kids.

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