How Our Overly-Litigious Society F*^KED-UP Our Humanity

Last night I read an article that absolutely floored me. Apparently, a man named Torrence Brown Jr., one of the victims in the Aurora, Colorado theatre-shooting, is threatening to sue the Century Aurora 16 movie theatre, Warner Brothers Ent., and the doctors for alleged Colorado gunman James Eagan Holmes. He is suing on the basis that he is now suffering from extreme trauma. Although words can’t express how deeply saddened I feel for him for having to be apart of such a tragic event, I DEFINITELY can find the words for this lawsuit: CLASSLESS.

Every country in the world has faced a time when their society was going through tragedies and horrific incidents, natural and man- made. North Americans suffered through slavery, a civil war, a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, presidential assassinations, the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion, hurricanes, floods, tornados and many more incidents too numerous to mention, but the one important result of ALL of those tragedies is that it brought us all closer together as a united collective – but in today’s overly litigious society, we no longer have THAT unity.

Whether it was a bomb exploding in a building or an old woman falling down on the sidewalk, there once was a time when quick and timely assistance was the FIRST thought on our minds. It doesn’t matter if you owned the building, worked in the building or was just visiting the building, if something terrible happened to it, we ALL helped each other during, and especially AFTER the tragedy. But what Torrence’s lawsuit, combined with MILLIONS of other frivolous lawsuits, we have created a culture that can’t unite as one AFTER a tragedy, because we need to find someone to blame so we can determine who needs to PAY. And our desire to have someone pay is not out of an altruistic desire to see the victims be properly taken care of, it’s to PROFIT off of our PAIN – and it’s absolutely disgusting.

Now I must state, as someone who knows lawyers, that there ARE very reasonable reasons to sue someone, such as:

– Personal Irresponsibility (i.e. Someone falls asleep at the wheel and causes an accident)

– Professional Maleficence (i.e. Store owner doesn’t fix loose hand rail, and it breaks causing someone to fall down a flight of stairs)

– Terrible Oversights: (i.e. the Deepwater Oil Spill)

And obviously there are MUCH more examples.

Lawyers aren’t the full problem, because lawyers DO a LOT of good and help in MANY ways, but the point I want to stress is that we live in a society where we are so quick to sue, that even in moments of abject tragedy we MUST look out for ourselves, as opposed to thinking about the welfare of others.

When I was younger I always envisioned myself being the one to help people whenever they needed it – and then I went to school and learned that a person could be sued for attempting to help save someones life, if they do ANYTHING to make it worse. After that day, I changed my outlook on life, because I figured ‘I’ll be DAMNED if I’m gonna get sued for trying to unsuccessfully resuscitate someone’. And it’s THAT mentality that is so apparent in how companies treat their customers, and how we treat each other.

The reality is Torrence does NOT deserve any money from any doctors, Warner Bros, and definitely not the movie theatre, for he deserves the one thing that he is lucky to have now, despite the pain he’s feeling – his life. If you think this lawsuit is justified, then it would be justifiable to sue the TV network that caught JFK’s assassination on tape, or suing Leslie E. Roberts & Associates [The engineers that built that the World Trade Center] for 9/11. It’s NOT about your pain and suffering, it’s about being first on the scene to GRAB CASH; It’s not about helping your peers cope, it’s about deciphering which one of your peers you can blame. Pain is a part of life, so unfortunately you HAVE to deal with it, and forcing people around you to provide you with compensation for your loss only makes you look like a DOUCHE.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

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