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View Diary: AP review: Christie's traffic jam didn't kill anyone ... but it could have (92 comments)

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  •  I think the AP addressed that: (0+ / 0-)
    Fort Lee's EMS coordinator, Paul Favia, complained in a September 2013 letter to Fort Lee's mayor - before the closures were deemed to be politically motivated - that gridlock was "causing unnecessary delays for emergency services to arrive on scene for medical emergencies within the borough." He described minor delays in reaching the scenes of a traffic collision, a patient suffering chest pains and a 91-year-old woman found unconscious in her Fort Lee home and later pronounced dead, although her family said they don't blame the delays for her death.

    “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:12:57 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Her family? Are they doctors? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:25:44 AM PST

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      •  No. Apparently, they are bad family, too, when (0+ / 0-)

        a stranger cares more than they do.  They don't even care enough to join all of the others filing suit.   What heartless beasts.  

        “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:32:09 AM PST

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        •  "filing suit"? (0+ / 0-)

          Yeah, all those Democrats and their lawyers, looking to get money for nothing through the court system. Nice try, but it's a strawman.  

          Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

          by Dirtandiron on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:00:20 AM PST

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          •  My issue is with lawyers who waste the Court's (0+ / 0-)

            time with stuff like this, Democrat, Republican or Whig:

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

            The plaintiff's bars in NY and NJ were trolling for clients the day after this story broke, like the day after the infamous McDonald's hot coffee burn story broke.  

            You could file a suit like this for every traffic jam where someone was arguably negligent by failing to check their tires or coolant levels and broke down and clogged up traffic.   The Courts are overburdened as it is, without having to deal with poop like this.  The fact that it makes Christie look bad does not justify the waste of judicial resources.  Someone with a good case has to wait their turn in line while crap like this gets resolved.  

            Makes me ashamed to be a member of the bar.  

            “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

            by SpamNunn on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:39:34 AM PST

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            •  You do understand the difference (0+ / 0-)

              between simple negligence and deliberate misconduct by public officials entrusted with public safety?

              •  I do. Duty, breach and proximately caused harm (0+ / 0-)

                are the concepts that apply in both instances.   Here, there's no harm, thus no foul, on the civil side of things.   The suit is for damages.  That's totally different than a criminal action for a breach of the public trust.  

                Criminal is another matter, but then nobody can make a big monetary and publicity score there, can they?

                Thus, the lesson endeth.

                “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

                by SpamNunn on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:57:06 PM PST

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                •  You have no idea (0+ / 0-)

                  what harm has been alleged in the civil case.  IIRC, the harms allege include lost wages for plaintiffs unable to get to work on time, which is quite real.  And punitive damages (if NJ is a state allowing punitive damages) are appropriate where the harm is intentionally rather than negligently inflicted.  

                  If the tortious act is in violation of law, that may also go to proving the cause of action.  Tho here, my recollection of 1st year torts gets hazy.

                  •  Remember this? (0+ / 0-)
                    de minimis non curat lex

                    “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

                    by SpamNunn on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:53:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's your best argument now? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      enufenuf

                      What happened to duty, breach and proximate cause?

                      When the harm that occurs is exactly what the tortfeasor intended--time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee--and the torfeasor is a public official specifically charged with the duty to keep public infrastructure going smoothly, you have covered duty, breach, foreseeability, causation and anything that Mrs Palsgraf might want to add.

                      So you are back to pooh poohing the harm caused, having no idea what those plaintiffs suffered.  Lost wages may be de minimis to you.  Ever hear of class action lawsuits brought over over-charged bank fees of a couple bucks each?  Plus, several hours of discomfort, missed appointments, children on busses, parents waiting for police to report on their missing children, lasting four days and intended to last far longer.

                      I would just love to see a defense lawyer smirk that defense to a jury.  Even the king of smirk, Christie, was forced to about-face and claim sadness, shock and humiliation, when it was revealed that the traffic jams were intentionally caused.

                      What will be the interesting part of this case is if the plaintiffs can reach the deeper pockets of New Jersey, the Port Authority and/or the Christie campaign.  If the Port Authority defends Baroni et al.

                      •  I have heard of similarly frivolous class actions, (0+ / 0-)

                        yes.  Most of them never survive a dismissal motion.  This one has to be certified as a class action first

                        Let's see if it even gets that far.  I doubt that it will be.   The variety the claims and the nominal amounts of damages that could be claimed for each of the potential claims makes that a very long shot.  

                        The odds are very good that this one will die a very unpublicized procedural death.

                        “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

                        by SpamNunn on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:02:19 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, we can differ (0+ / 0-)

                          over whether sufficient damage was caused to merit a civil suit, you and I can have a friendly wager whether the case gets thrown out on those grounds.

                          I reminded myself that the reason I was moved to respond to your post in the first place was your equation of a deliberate, abusive act with ordinary negligence, like failing to keep your car properly maintained, resulting in a traffic jam.  There, I continue to say you are all wet.  In terms of the duty owed, the victims to whom the duty is owed, and the foreseeability of the harm caused, Bridgegate the civil class action is nowise comparable to an ordinary negligence case.

                          •  From a damages standpoint, the nature of the (0+ / 0-)

                            negligence is immaterial, unless you wish to seek punitive damages.  

                            The fact that one tortfeasor may be a careless truck driver and the other a Republican governor that you don't care for should not enter into the equation.  

                            “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

                            by SpamNunn on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 02:09:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As you said, (0+ / 0-)

                            duty, breach and proximate cause, and also, foreseeability.  It matters very much to the liability aspect of the case.  

                            If that--proving the elements of the cause of action, as entirely distinct from proving damages--is not what you intended to invoke, when you said Bridgegate was no different than someone causing a traffic jam because his car broke down due to negligent maintenance, then,

                            (i) don't understand what all that long discussion had to do with the far simpler point that you don't think these plaintiffs suffered any real losses.  You seemed at some pains to deliver a long lesson in tort law and

                            (ii) in the immortal words of Emily Litella, "never mind."

                          •  Ah, Emily Litella, too, had a listening problem. (0+ / 0-)

                            Never mind.

                            “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

                            by SpamNunn on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 06:43:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok, you can have the last word n/t (0+ / 0-)

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