Who should get the Covid vaccine first? How about plaintiff’s lawyers? After all – aren’t they needed to sue doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, first responders, and businesses that try to survive by giving work to their employees? More than a thousand cases and class actions have been filed in a matter of months which claim that Covid-related ills are the fault of the aforementioned entities. And heaven knows – there’s lots more to come! Maybe Dick the Butcher (Henry VI by Shakespeare) was right . . . . .
When you go to the hospital emergency room, the first person you see after checking in is a triage nurse or physician’s assistant who will determine the nature and severity of your injury or illness. And then you will be treated accordingly.
In the judicial system, there is a triage system to determine the merit of criminal cases. It’s called a “grand jury” or a “preliminary hearing.” If a case does not have merit, a judge will throw it out (or a grand jury will vote down taking the matter further). But for civil cases, there is regrettably no triage system for determining their merit. Result? Many of America’s civil cases have little or no merit. Yet you hear plaintiff’s lawyers squealing like stuck pigs whenever someone talks about limiting their right to bring lawsuits — or limiting the fees they might collect. Pardon me — I mean limiting the damages their client might recover. Even in Plato’s Apology (399 B.C.), he explains how any case that one wanted to bring needed the threshold approval, of one fifth of the 501 jurors of Athens. There was a triage system for new civil cases – 2,500 years ago.
One of the biggest costs to America’s health care system is lawyers. But for lawyers, doctors would not perform needless procedures and order unnecessary testing. But for lawyers, damage claims might be held within reason. It is because of lawyers that tort reform and damage caps need to be put squarely on the table (especially if our ailing health care “system” is to survive). Maybe loser should pay. There needs to be discussion and implementation. If there’s pushback from the lawyers, it may be Dick the Butcher (Shakespeare’s Henry VI) was on to something . . . . .
In my post of January 16, 2013, I wrote about Joe Miller’s Jests — the famous compilation of 247 numbered jokes published in 1739 by John Mottley. Well, there’s another “Joe Miller” that played a role in my life.
Fifty plus years ago, when I worked at Camp Napowan (the Boy Scout Camp in Wild Rose, WI), the chap who owned some of the property was Joe Miller (no relation to the joke book persona). Joe had an ancient olive drab pick up truck that (Scout’s Honor) had no doors. Floor stick shift. And of course there were no seat belts and no handle above the door to grab. His favorite line – while cruising, weaving and wobbling on the back roads of Wild Rose – was “If there’s no one coming around that bend, we’ll see the sun rise tomorrow.” I swear if we were driving with Joe, we’d grab under the glove compartment and hang on for dear life.
Today, there’d be a lot of “tsk tsking.” There’d be an article in the New York Times. There’d be an “inquiry.” Joe would be criticized. Maybe tossed in the clink. Unsafe vehicle. Endangerment. Et cetera. The usual assortment of plaintiff’s lawyers would sue anyone and everyone to scam a buck.
You should know — I would definitely not want – or allow – my child or grandchild to be one of Joe’s passengers. But looking back on it — I’m privately glad that I rode with Joe . . . . .