Where There’s Blame, There’s A Lawyer
Two news stories floated across my bows yesterday. Both of them provide proof, if proof were needed, that the world has finally gone stark, staring mad and needs to be committed to the nearest place of safety as soon as is humanly possible.
The first concerns a 67-year-old woman suing Qantas because she was rendered deaf by a child’s scream while she was sitting on one of their planes. As far as I can ascertain, the child was not employed by Qantas so quite why they should be liable for what came out of his mouth – or any other orifice, for that matter – is beyond me. That might be why I’m not a no-win-no-fee injury lawyer.
And actually I’d argue that the child, as a fare-paying passenger, ought to be entitled to scream every now and again. After all, who among us hasn’t occasionally felt like letting rip with our very best Penelope Pitstop shriek when confronted by an economy-class airline seat in which we’re expected to spend the next four, or eight, or twelve hours?
Anyway. Back to the story. The woman, who is 67, firstly claims that her trip was ruined. I have an issue with this. Suing anybody because your lovely luxury holiday didn’t quite turn out as you expected is taking the piss, frankly. Count yourself lucky that you had the opportunity to go on holiday in the first place, and that you almost certainly will again, especially if you are ‘a senior partner in an international business consultancy’. Shit happens. Deal with it.
Secondly, she was suing because she can no longer work and her earning capacity has been impaired. She is 67 years old. Sixty seven. And, apart from being a bit deaf in one ear, she seems perfectly capable to me; certainly capable of bringing a law suit against a major international company.
Depressingly, Qantas appear to have settled out of court, which makes you wonder who they’re employing as lawyers.
The second case concerns a five-year-old boy suing a supermarket for defamation of character, slander, assault, false imprisonment, and negligence, and for the ‘distress and inconvenience’ suffered as a result. (His barrister helped him, obviously. Come on. He’s only five.)
Now, you would assume that someone making such serious accusations must have, at the very least, been locked in the meat fridge for a couple of hours while the store’s general manager called him a stupid, whingeing little bastard and threw bits of necrotising liver at him. But no; what had actually happened to the poor child was much, much worse. Someone had Wrongly Accused Him Of Stealing A Bag Of Crisps – and that’s not even the worst of it. In an action which is surely beyond the pale in any civilised society, the same Someone had – look away now if you’re of a delicate disposition – Grabbed His Arm.
I’d be tempted to set up a JustGiving page to help the poor mite through his trauma, but there’d be no point. He’s already got the 7,500 Euros that Lidl gave him, and I’m sure he’s spending every last cent of it on some top-notch post-traumatic counselling.
But if any of you wanted to get cracking on a Something Blonde libel fund, you’d be quite welcome. I’m sure it’ll come in handy very soon.