Riccardo, in some states, drivers are required to have insurance in case they negligently injure someone else. Also, many people are covered by medical insurance for medical expenses they incur. If a driver negligently injures someone, and that someone sues and wins money, the medical insurance company will try to get paid back from the money the injured person has won in the lawsuit. So this is one way in which the insurance companies are after each others' money. I hope this doesn't sound so complicated that it's not understood . . . but maybe it does! Sorry, it's the best I can do right now.
The mob reaction on this thread is not pretty. The woman who is suing has been referred to as "fat" - where does it say that she's fat? That's an assumption. And if it turns out she IS fat, SO WHAT? No one here really knows just what the lifty [and apparently others] did that the woman claims was improper. Falling while unloading from the lift can happen to anyone, especially if the unloading area has an improper hazzard, or if another clumsy skier knocks you down. If that happened to any of you, I'm sure there are stupid ways that a lifty could "help" that would really piss you off, and you just might sue. Now the impression given by the news article is exactly what people here are assuming - that the injured woman is a money grubbing person with overstated injuries and a victim mentality - and we might find out that is exactly the truth! But we don't KNOW that at this point. So ganging up on her now seems like "lynch mob" activity - it's premature. This is not the American fairness and justice for which many have shed blood to protect. For heaven's sake, try to nurture the patience to wait for the facts, if it's so all-fired important. Businesses are sued all the time for many things - they did not pay a bill, they failed to perform as they had contracted to do, they built a structure negligently and the owners want the expenses of repair to be paid by the company at fault. There are, I am sure, a NUMBER of lawsuits against ski areas - some for the kind of negligence being claimed by the falling-getting-off-the-lift woman, some because a ski area employee hit someone in the head with a shovel [yes!], some because the area owes money - whatever. Some of the claims, when examined, are actually sound claims made in good faith, and others are not. Such is life. We never hear about 99.9999% of them. Why some get all this press attention is not always clear - maybe it was a slow news day.
Gonz has, no doubt, developed his own cynicism because of his professional experiences with phony claimants - and I, from my own experiences with clearly stupid claims against business which I have been privileged to represent, tend to share some of that cynisism, including the "victim mentality" thing. But there ARE some valid cases; and without the hard evidence [NOT newspaper articles] we do not necessarily know which is which - that's what courts are for. Is it at least possible to consider this: Before a lynching, there should be a fair trial. You would not like it if people ganged up on YOU for some reason, and especially if they did not even have access to the pertinent evidence. To prejudge a matter such as the one discussed on this thread is not any "nicer" than bringing a phony lawsuit.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 23, 2002 07:17 PM: Message edited 2 times, by oboe ]</font>