Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why Not Also Sue the Car Manufacturer For Making Vehicles With Back Seats?

Imagine this: Pete and Julie, a couple of teenagers, meet at a local coffee shop. After phone calls and emails, they arrange a date - McDonalds and a movie - and one thing leads to another in the back seat of Pete's car. When Julie’s mom finds out, she’s furious, especially as Julie is only 14. Pete is practically a jaded oldster at 19. Result: family hires lawyers who announce that they’ve identified a perhaps unexpected culprit. According to the family, the coffee shop is to blame for putting Julie in a position where an "adult sexual predator" (namely Pete) could sweet-talk the girl into an eventually dangerous situation. The family sues the shop’s owners for $30 million, which their lawyer says is a "bare minimum" to compensate the damage done and to punish them for not better chaperoning their premises.

Of course, this wouldn’t have been the most talked-about American lawsuit of the past month had Pete and Julie actually met at a coffee shop. As everyone now knows, they instead met on MySpace.

Walter Olson, discussing the MySpace lawsuit.


At 1:18 PM, Blogger Molly said...

An effective parallel, certainly.

My question: when are we going to sue the parents for bad parenting? Aren't THEY responsible for the safety of their daughter until she's 18? Where were they?


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