“Zoo settles with brothers in tiger attack”

by Walter Olson on May 29, 2009

“The San Francisco Zoo agreed Thursday to pay $900,000 to two brothers who survived the fatal attack by an escaped tiger on Christmas Day 2007, sources familiar with the case told The Chronicle.” Earlier here, here, etc.

{ 11 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 05.29.09 at 7:30 pm

Such good drama. I wonder what really happened.

2 Ted Frank 05.29.09 at 8:35 pm

“The Zoological Society earlier this year settled a lawsuit with the Sousa family for an undisclosed amount.”

At least I’m not a California taxpayer. I’m appalled.

3 Eric T. 05.30.09 at 6:46 am

At least I’m not a California taxpayer. I’m appalled.

Why? Did you make a decision on what had happened based solely on accounts in the press?

4 Ted Frank 05.30.09 at 11:10 am

@Eric T.: No, my opinion is based on the statements of the zoo, the fact that hundreds of thousands of other people visited the tiger without incident, and the plaintiffs’ previous record of criminal behavior including one’s thrillseeking of leading police on a 140 mph chase.

5 Robert 05.30.09 at 3:23 pm

I’m with Eric T. $900,000 for a cat scratch? Why is the zoo so eager to hand out other people’s money?

6 Eric T. 05.31.09 at 7:08 am

No, my opinion is based on the statements of the zoo, the fact that hundreds of thousands of other people visited the tiger without incident, and the plaintiffs’ previous record of criminal behavior including one’s thrillseeking of leading police on a 140 mph chase.

Well, then the case should be very easy to defend, if that is all there is to it, right?

Perhaps the zoo, defense lawyers and insurnace company have a bit more info and knowledge than whatever you read in press accounts?

7 William Nuesslein 05.31.09 at 9:45 am

For Eric T.

The question about defending a case is that often merit doesn’t matter as much as empathy. A human being was injured and the zoo has money.

Now the guy is likely to use his funds to buy a car that goes 200 miles an hour.

8 Ted 05.31.09 at 1:12 pm

As Eric is well aware, to take this case to trial would cost more than $900,000, which makes the fact of settlement rather irrelevant to outside observers’ perception of the case.

9 athEIst 05.31.09 at 5:03 pm

They should have been fined and charged for the loss of an endangered species. There’s no shortage of irresponsible(and in this case, drunken) teenagers. As a previous commenter said millions have viewed this animal with no ill effects.

10 Eric T. 05.31.09 at 8:25 pm

As Eric is well aware, to take this case to trial would cost more than $900,000,

Only if you hire some BigLaw firm and are dumb enough to pay them $900/hr while they do 25x the work that is really necessary.

The question about defending a case is that often merit doesn’t matter as much as empathy.

If the plaintiffs were at fault, there would be no empathy. You can’t have it both ways.

11 Dirk D 05.31.09 at 9:35 pm

“If the plaintiffs were at fault, there would be no empathy. ”

You can’t possibly believe this.

Fault does not necessarily negate empathy. Fault may make a jury less likely to find for a plaintiff, but it won ‘t prevent them from empathizing with a person who has suffered real harm. Even if it was a product of their actions.

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