It’s Not My Fault!

December 10, 2010

Is taking responsibility for ones actions a thing of the past?

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The maker of Skoal and Copenhagen smokeless tobacco has agreed to pay $5 million to the family of a man who died of mouth cancer in what is believed to be the first wrongful-death settlement won from a chewing tobacco company.

A legal expert said the case could open the door for more lawsuits against makers of chewing tobacco, an industry that drew fewer legal battles during the 1990s than cigarette manufacturers.

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. will pay the award to the family of Bobby Hill of Canton, N.C., who began chewing tobacco at 13. He died in 2003 at 42.

Attorney Antonio Ponvert III, who represented Hill’s relatives, told The Associated Press about the agreement Tuesday. Regulatory documents confirmed the deal. – Associated Press

Or how ’bout the woman who sued McDonald’s for serving coffee that was too hot?

On February 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered a 49¢ cup of coffee from the drive-through window of a local McDonald’s restaurant. Liebeck was in the passenger’s seat of her Ford Probe, and her grandson Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee.

McDonald’s required franchises to serve coffee at 180–190 °F (82–88 °C). At that temperature, the coffee would cause a third-degree burn in two to seven seconds. Prior to her lawsuit, there had been approximately 700 other burn cases involving McDonald’s between 1982 and 1992.

Stella placed the coffee cup between her knees and pulled the far side of the lid toward her to remove it. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of coffee on her lap. Liebeck was wearing cotton sweatpants; they absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin. – Wikipedia

Both of the above stories are absolutely disgusting.
Americans choose everything they do.
They choose to smoke or chew tobacco.
They choose to open a cup of coffee in their lap while sitting in a car.

In my mind, taking responsibility for your own actions applies to every single thing you do.
It could be as simple as crying… no, your husband didn’t make you cry. You and your feelings caused you to cry.
It could be something more complex, like pregnancy… no, it’s not the fault of the broken condom, the alcohol, the guy, or any other person or item you can blame it on. You chose to have sex and sex creates babies.
It could be something completely moronic, like spilling coffee on yourself… no, it’s not McDonald’s fault you were burnt. You chose to take actions that led to you spilling coffee all over yourself.

It seems the majority of Americans disagree, though.
We have become a sue-happy people.
Nothing is ever the fault of the person who caused a “negative” event to occur.
Americans seem to find someone else to blame for everything.

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