Newtown Shooting Lawsuit: $100M Claim Against Connecticut In School Shooting Is Dropped: via HuffPost

Newtown Shooting Lawsuit: $100M Claim Against Connecticut In School Shooting Is Dropped: via HuffPost The bogus lawsuit is gone. The idea that every building has to guard against every foreseeable risk, however improbable, is dangerous and uneconomical. Should everybody have to provide ten foot thick walls in case of nuclear attack? It’s a foreseeable risk. Foreseeability in law needs to have a hard line cutoff in terms of probability and in terms of cost. School mass shooters are so extremely rare that any protections put in place will be absurdly inefficient, and as seen with Columbine, are dubious in terms of making a difference. There needs to be some statistical connection, with an absolute cutoff at say each $100,000 spent should statistically save a life, or similar measure, as an absolute bar to liability for less efficient protection in most cases. That is on top of traditional liability defences. Virginia Tech was not negligent and it is a national embarassment that they could be sued, or settle for the amounts they did. Created hazards are a separate issue. There should be a high onus to find liability against a person, business or institution for hazards they don’t create and that a risk is only forseeable should not be enough for a claim to go to a jury, or for a judge to sign off on a settlement. If you create the risk, such as a nuclear power plant, it should be on you to make it safe and in most cases it should not be an answer that the creator of such a risk followed all standard procedures or was not negligent. Rylands v. Fletcher should be codified in statute. Another thing that needs to be covered off is if there is no duty of care, but say a school goes and installs unnecessary security anyways, that there is no cause of action if the unnecessary security is performed negligently. The problem is that if there is a security system it may be used negligently, creating cause for lawsuits where there would be no cause if no action had been taken, which is a perverse result. If a school takes steps to improve its security it will actually increase its exposure to liability by making the school safer. Take the security system the Newtown school had just installed. If they had not installed the system there would be no liability if Lanza just walked in. But if he had come later, and fast talked his way in, or grabbed a closing door and come in behind someone else, there could be a liability issue.


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