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500lb man sues FDNY for droping him

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The New York Sun

A 500-pound man who dropped down a flight of stairs during an emergency evacuation is suing the New York City Fire Department for $5 million in damages.

James Maietta called emergency services on November 23, 2006, with health complaints, and requested to be taken to the hospital, a member of the law firm representing Mr. Maietta, Kenneth Berman, said.

Ten firemen rigged a pulley-operated plywood lift to carry Mr. Maietta down the staircase of his Midtown apartment, but failed to tie him down, Mr. Berman said.

Mr. Maietta, who is now living at a Yonkers nursing home, suffered injuries to his neck, back, and legs, Mr. Berman said.

The New York City Law Department could not comment last night because they had not yet received the legal documents.

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That's a no win situation for FD right there. Show up, and inevitably drop him, and you're sued.

Show up and refuse to carry him because you know you can't safely do it without dropping him or hurting yourself, and you're sued.

I think this guy figured it out and this is exactly what he was hoping for.

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And how do you justify $5 million?

Lost wages? Loss of sexual satisfaction? "They have stolen my dream to be a ballet dancer!?"

Maybe he'll get his money, but it should be paid out in installments...to end at the time of his death.

That should cost the city about $300,000.00 or so....

Dwayne

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Maybe he can now afford to join weight watchers ;)

:shock: I didnt say that lol :wink:

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Here's a thought. Maybe fewer people would engage in frivolous law suits in the US if the damages they got was just enough to cover the actual damage.

I realize that sometimes a punishment is needed for the one who caused the damage, but we could easily do both. Give people proper damages for what happened - punish the company/city/whatever with a large fine. The fine would go to the government.

If that man did what Dust implies, i.e. willingly created a situation where the FDNY could be sued for something whatever they would do - just for money, then that's fraud.

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I realize that sometimes a punishment is needed for the one who caused the damage, but we could easily do both. Give people proper damages for what happened - punish the company/city/whatever with a large fine. The fine would go to the government.

What happens when the government is the offending party? The government is the most frequent and flagrant causer of damages in the U.S. Although I don't think the above situation is one where punitive damages are warranted, if it were, who would the government pay the fine to?

Moot point, of course, since the government enjoys immunity from such claims.

But screw that. I see no reason why the government should enjoy the fruits of such fines. These are not crimes on the books. These are simple cases of adjudicated liability. Big difference. Either the victim gets the money, or nobody does. Although, currently, it's the friggin' lawyers that get the lions share of it all.

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What happens when the government is the offending party? The government is the most frequent and flagrant causer of damages in the U.S. Although I don't think the above situation is one where punitive damages are warranted, if it were, who would the government pay the fine to?

Moot point, of course, since the government enjoys immunity from such claims.

Well, I don't think a fine would be the right way to punish the government - those are our common funds. Individuals within the government could be punished, though.

I agree with you, the example you provided should not call for punitive damages - my comment was just a general wondering on frivolous lawsuits.

But screw that. I see no reason why the government should enjoy the fruits of such fines. These are not crimes on the books. These are simple cases of adjudicated liability. Big difference. Either the victim gets the money, or nobody does.

A lawyer friend of mine once explained to me why people get more money from lawsuits in America than Europe. The reason was that in America, damages included a fine, in a way, so the amount is decided not from the amount of damage (at least not directly), but from how much was needed to properly punish the offending party. So, if Bill Gates were to cause you harm, you would become a millionaire...if I would cause you the same harm, you could invite two more friends to your wedding. ;)

The problem with the victim getting all the damages, punitive and otherwise, is that it encourages frivolous lawsuits. We still need punitive damages, though, because otherwise the offenders probably wouldn't feel the need to avoid causing damage.

Although, currently, it's the friggin' lawyers that get the lions share of it all

This is something the whole world can agree on; we don't like lawyers. :lol:

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