You are here
Home > Perspective >

Liability and the value of a human life…

How much does one person or all of society owe for injuries, deaths or other damages caused by actions that an individual or the representatives of Society take?

(I posted this on another forum, alfrankenweb.com. This hits at the core of a few issues that have been brought out in the forum recently.)

For instance, this time last year, an Insurance Agency, Cigna, made the decision to allow a young lady to die, even though there was a transplant liver available for her, under the notion that she only had about a 50% chance of surviving such an operation.

This mirrors the Terri Schiavo case, in several important ways.

George Bush, Jeb Bush, Karl Rove, Pat Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, just a representative sampling of Republican “Leadership”… not only didn’t condemn the decision but some actually applauded it.
(A Mirror doesn’t show the same image as a photograph, the orientation is that Left and Right are reversed.)

Mrs Schiavo had, apparently, about a zero percent chance of survival or ever recovering from her coma.

Richard Cheney, even though his company has surpassed Microsoft as the richest corporation in America and therefore the world, had a life prolonging surgery done, at Taxpayer Expense, even though:

his age, condition and personal habits will nullify the surgery within a decade anyway…

He has never contributed anything to Society in his entire sojourn on our planet…

And has himself denied and been an accomplice to denying the same types of life-prolonging surgeries not only to his own employees but also to any Americans who weren’t smart enough to be born, like him, with silver spoons in our mouths.

And he’s an accomplice to more than a Million murders.

Then there’s the issue of Guns.

The “Swimming Pool” analogy was brought up, and having car seats for kids too small to effectively be protected by seatbelts, and the issue of Seat-Belts themselves.

But it’s the Insurance Underwriters who brought legislation that ordered the Seat Belt and Car Seat laws, also not allowing people to burn toxic waste in their backyards, or burn anything that will set their neighborhood on fire or even their own houses.

Insurance companies = not social liberals.

In Texas, which the Frightened Wing love to proclaim as their primary territory, you can’t operate a motor vehicle without Fiscal Responsibility. You either have to have 50,000 dollars in a bank account specifically set aside for the purpose, for each vehicle, for liability claims… or purchase insurance for each vehicle.

If you own dogs which are prone to bite, your homeowners insurance goes up.

If you have a history of driving like you’re stupid your car insurance premiums go up, AND you have to carry more liability coverage.

Here’s where the disconnect begins… If you own a business,even if it’s a business like Construction which has a very high attrition rate among the workers (the ones who do the actual building both of the properties and the profits of the company) you DON’T have to carry basic Workman’s Compensation insurance. and there’s even moves afoot to Decrease employer contributions to Social Security, the ONLY disability insurance available to the vast majority of non-union Workers.

You’re also not required to carry insurance on firearms in case you, your kids, your spouse etcetera decide to do something either deliberately evil or blatantly STUPID and get people killed.

The “Poster Child Case” for this attitude was India v Union Carbide for damages done including Human Lives Lost (and yes, for those right wingers who hate being called Baby-Killers, a lot of the people killed or crippled for life were in fact infants.)

The Right Wing argue that the judgment was excessive because the “Third World” meaning dark brown people would never in their lifetimes earn more than $30K (conveniently ignoring the FACT that these were the families of Union Carbide’s Corporate Slave Labor Poolerrr… “Valued Employees” yeah, that’s the ticket) and thus the value of their lives was not equivalent to the lives of American White Collar Workers

They also, in cases of Capital Murder, or the global “war on terror” trot out the Old Testament law of “eye shall go for eye, tooth for tooth, stripe for stripe and life for life”

So, here’s an interesting theory of how that would work.

Say you’re responsible, through arrogance and ignorance, for your employee being crippled for life.

The catfish-processing workers Mr Bush declared to not be worthy of any compensation for their Carpal Tunnel injuries, for instance, every person who was crippled by that policy and the practices of the Catfish farms and their processing plants, should be able to demand that one person in the corporate heirarchy or amongst the investors in those operations should be taken out, and made to stretch his hand out across a cement block, and have it smashed irreparably with a large heavy object.

Because, you see, stripe shall go for stripe.

That refers to the seriousness of a wound.

The War on Terror, should have ended immediately at the time 3,000 of the people responsible had been killed.

Oh, wait, me ams forgot, instead of going after the ones actually responsible the Bush-Cheney people chose to go after civilian targets.

As Gilda Radner used to say, “never mind”.

Instead of the Right Wing screaming and howling about the victims and their families at Bhopal being compensated at a rate of One Years Salary for one of the Office Workers who were their Overseers on the Union Carbide Plantation errr … Supervisors and managers… yeah, that’s the ticket… for each HUMAN LIFE LOST and for those who merely had injuries that would cripple them for life, less money than it would take to have their injuries treated at anything other than a Third World hospital.

You know, the hospitals the same Right Wingers say are so very inferior to Our System…

Instead of that, for every life lost, starting from the CEO, the Board of Directors, on down, the Corporate Officers and shareholders, from the ones who own the most shares in the company on down, being taken out and asphyxiated in a Gas Chamber, just like their victims.

I think the Right Wing would scream very loudly about something like that.

Let’s turn it to a more pleasant subject.

If you have a Swimming Pool you have to have insurance on it. And routine inspections and random inspections.

If you don’t you get fined. That’s the way it is and even that wasn’t brought about by “Those Librul Elitist Latte-sippin’ Prius-Drivin’ Khaki pants-wearin’ sissy-boys” but instead as a cold, analytical business decision.

So, since that was the standard argument trotted out to counter the notion that gun owners should be held responsible for their TOYS

Let’s see the Masculinity Challenged Ones put their money where their mouths are.

Or at least find out, because, you know, unlike the freaks hanging out at the local firing range or the gun shop, Insurance Companies hire persons called “Actuaries” who maintain statistics like the number of accidental drownings per number of swimming pools, the number of Automobile fatalities as compared to the number of automobiles, the number of dog-bites by breed,…

Number of accidental and/or intentional gunshot wounds compared to the number and types of firearms…

Go to an Insurance Company Website.

And get the price quotes for Liability on your guns.

You’ll be asked questions, answer them honestly.

How many firearms you own.

How much ammunition you typically keep on hand.

Do you have a secured gun rack or safe for your firearms?

Keep in mind that your idea of secure probably isn’t as stringent as that of people who actually keep track of such things and actually know what the hell they’re doing.

Do you keep your ammunition inside your house?

If you do, you’re storing EXPLOSIVES in the same area where your family lives.

Buy some extra fire insurance, life insurance for every person in the house, and liability for your neighbors who might also perish or be seriously injured if you’re not SUPREMELY careful.

How many children do you have living with you or who typically visit?

How many of them are disabled and not as likely to survive without injuries if the Unthinkable Happens.

Hell with that, it’s not Unthinkable, if you don’t THINK about this you have absolutely no business whatsoever owning firearms…

Since bullets typically go through the wall of a house, even a BRICK wall, and into the neighboring house, get life insurance for each person living around you.

Answer all the questions honestly…

When you get through all the questions click the “Calculate your Liability” button or the “Calculate your Rate” button…. doesn’t matter which, and see what you’ll pay… IF YOU REALLY ARE HONEST AND ACTUALLY GIVE THREE QUARTERS OF A FAT RAT’S ARSE ABOUT ANYBODY.

If you can’t afford the premiums you sure as hell can’t afford the potential liability.

For those too lazy or not honest enough to go through that, if you shoot somebody, accidentally of course, BECAUSE I SIMPLY KNOW YOU WOULDN’T DO IT DELIBERATELY and the guy isn’t killed, just oh, let’s see, what’s a common occurrence with gunshot wounds, hey, I know, permanent brain damage where the person is on life support for the rest of his life…

Or simply made paraplegic or quadriplegic… that happens a lot too.

Your liability for his or her medical care could run into the MILLIONS, plus the cost of him to survive with as much normalcy and dignity as possible.

What’s that you say? You DON’T HAVE a few million laying around?

Hmmmm…….

Brother Jonah
Brother Jonah
Recovering Texan. Christian while and at the same time Anarchist. (like Tolstoy only without the beard, for now) Constantly on the lookout for things which have relevance to things I already know. Autistic. Proud to be Ex- air force. Out of the killing machine for 27 years 4 months and 5 days woohoo!

3 thoughts on “Liability and the value of a human life…

  1. But not Texas.

    And Texas is supposed to be the Model for all Right To Work initiatives.

    Also Unemployment Insurance isn’t mandatory there, or Private Liability coverage even if you do opt in or out of the Workmen’s Comp as administered by the state.

    It’s more than just “kinda” messed up.

  2. Jonah is absolutely right about the opt out rules that apply to both Social Security and Workers Comp in some states. I myself have been forced into both these opt out schemes before, both with SSI and WC. Doesn’t help what I’ll get with SS at retirement time either.

    Any sort of social program that meets social needs is deconstructed by the rich corporations in the US. We now have Supplemental Privatization of portions of government medical care programs in the US, too, as well as privatization with the public schools (‘charter schools’). Heck, in Colorado Springs the municipal government even has multiple private garbage trucks running in duplicate circles, doing absolutely no recycling and wasting precious oil and gas. We have duplicate mail service, too, also wasting gas, oil, and equipment through unnecessary duplication, all designed to pilfer profitability away from the public sector, and to put it into the hands of the super-rich.

    Of course, some will say that this is mere ‘red bullshit’ talking now, but how much thought have these folk actually put into thinking about what goes down all the time around us (and through us) in America? Your guess is as good as mine? My guess is that it’s not much effort in thinking on most people’s parts that keeps the super rich cannibalizing the public sector services fast and faster. “Bailout’ anybody?

Leave a Reply

Top