03 April 2012

Uncommon Commentary #254: Putting the "Tort" in "Extort"

Charla Nash, the Connecticut woman who was mauled by a chimpanzee, is trying to sue the State for $150 million; her claim is that ecological regulators ought not to have allowed her neighbor to keep the animal, and so the incident is their fault.  Why doesn't she sue the neighbor, whom she was trying to help put the chimpanzee back into its cage when the attack occurred? Because her neighbor doesn't have $150 million.  One of the unwritten rules of litigation here in the USA is that the target of a lawsuit should not necessarily be the party who bears the most responsibility for the grievance, but rather the one who has the most money to be redistributed by a court.  Nash (with whom I sympathized before hearing about this attempt to turn her tragedy into an attempt to profit at others' expense) ought to bear in mind that there is at least one thing worse than being savaged by an ape, resulting in the destruction of your face and hands: Committing the deadly sin Greed, resulting in the destruction of your soul.