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Has the age of personal responsibility gone by the boards? There have been so many claims for personal injuries before the courts recently one would think so.

Yesterday a woman who had sued the Irish National Parks & Wildlife Service following a fall on a boardwalk section of the Wicklow Way was awarded €40,000 in damages for her injuries - a gash to her right knee which required seven stitches - she had been looking for €60,000!

This judgment will have serious repercussions for all national parks. Surely all hillwalking, climbing and rambling are activities that everyone knows can be dangerous and may result in personal injury or death. Should not all participants be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement?

We often hear these days about ‘who is to blame’ for something going wrong or someone being hurt. I'm glad to see that this particular award is being appealed.


We live in a litiginous society. I think that's a pity.

- Erulisse (one L)
Is it any wonder insurance is so expensive in all areas?
It is crazy!

Whatever happened to taking responsibility or accepting that accidents sometimes happen?

As a kid, I gashed my leg on some broken glass and needed ten stitches (still have the scar) but I don't recall anyone suing anyone!
Not having all of the facts as to why there was such a large financial outcome, I'm more curious as to that reason without jumping to "this is an outrage!"

Like I said below, there are a number of times where reports of a court order seem terribly unfair when reported by non-lawyers but make more sense with more facts that were omitted in the reporting (like the McDonald's coffee case, Liebeck v. McDonald's).
Is it any wonder insurance is so expensive in all areas?
It sounds more like people are asking for other people to take personal responsibility for things. How is not asking to be reimbursed for an injury wrong (which, from your post, it seems you think it is).

The bigger question isn't outrage about why her damages were so high but why were they that high. As my contracts professor constantly said, it shouldn't be called "law school" but "fact school" since the slightest fact can totally change a case.

It sort of reminds me of the outrage over the McDonald's coffee case here in the US back in the 1990s (Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants). The short of the story that got reported to make people outraged was that a woman spilled a cup of coffee on herself, sued, and then got millions of dollars.

What was left out, however, was that the 79-year old woman had asked the drive-through to put her sugar and creamer in her coffee, but they refused to. So, she parked her car and tried opening her cup to put in the sugar and creamer in when the cup spilled onto her. The pants she wore acted like a sponge and soaked the hot liquid up holding it closer to her. She had to have two years+ of surgeries and skin grafts. Before suing she just asked that the company pay for her damages for $20,000).

What was found out in the suit was that the coffee was extremely hot (82–88 °C) and that McDonald's knew that their product was being served at a dangerous temperature that easily could injure the public. She originally won over $2 million dollars, but eventually settled for less than $600,000.
Why must it always be somebody's else's fault? Must the Park's Service lay out carpets over the mountain in case someone slips? This woman claims she has walked across the foothills of Everest and across the world. She must have made a bomb by now if she made claims in those other countries!
It isn't always someone else's fault, but sometimes it is. Why are you attacking her rather than checking to see if there is some factual reason for her claims?
It's outrageous. It's a bad problem over here for the park system- especially for Yellowstone park, where people sue because someone walks in a thermal area and gets horrifically burned- usually killed- and while I can see damages, they *knew* it was a thermal area and they weren't supposed to be walking in it.

I just ran into an instance of the damages suing does: I got new keys made for my (old but new to me) car and went to try them out before I left the place that made them in case they didn't work. I didn't realize the car had electric locks and that turning the key locked the entire car.. end result was the key *locked* the car but would not *unlock* it. Found out that the police, who formerly unlocked cars for free, didn't do it any longer, because they damaged the paint on one person's car doing it and sued.

Thanks, person that sued. It's pretty obvious when you're fishing with a metal hook that damage is possible but you had them do it anyway!

I could go on; this is really one of my soap boxes. But this is long enough now..
wait - a public facility has to be safe
a boardwalk is a walkway - not a rugged path
people on a public walk have the right to expect it to be safe

If she with a gash that required that many stitches there was obviously a problem in that area of the walkway
The park service because it is their responsibility to maintain a safe walkway

a sin of omission

areas must be marked - even private property - which have a possible danger must be marked for the owners to avoid liability
For heaven's sake, the reason the walkway was put there at all was to protect the natural ground on which it was put because people were walking all over the place.
all the more reason the park service is responsible - they are indicating it is the place to walk - the required place - they then have the responsibility to make sure it is safe and maintained
I just hate it when people do this and get away with it. It happens in the US all the time. If you are in a place like that use some common sense. If you are clumsy then don't go there. If you slip and fall it's your own damned fault.
Because of the huge growth in the number making claims for the smallest of reasons. Why must it always be someone else's fault but never our own!