About the author

Stuart Silverstein is assistant editor at FairWarning.

2 comments to “Storefront Crash Suit Against Cumberland Farms Yields $32.4 Million Verdict”

  1. Douglas Baldwin

    I reviewed the article and Mattew Mabewy’s comment. First, it is indeed utterly fascinating how often this occurs. I myself never would have guessed so much mayhem goes on in parking lots. It seems possible to assert, from data in the article, that there were probably 2000 such incidents just at two chains in 7 years. And there are dozens of similar chains. I think what Mabewy is missing is the whole very important legal principle of prior notice. Once you have notice that you have an unsafe condition, everything changes. this is not about ending all risk, it is about ending revealed recurrent risk. America is built on that. This is why we are a stellar safe sane society. So, yeah, once you have numerous instances of a serious problem, you do have a duty to do something about it. That is what we do, identify problems and fix them. Where is the line? Well, that will always be the question. This isn’t about blaming, this is about preventing something from happening again, that is likely to happen again based on experience. Mabewy talks about holding individuals responsible for their own actions. But corporations are individuals also, as decided by the courts, and doing nothing is also an action to be responsible for.

  2. Matthew Mabewy

    So when cars start pinning pedestrians against all these new bollards, are juries going to start handing out big awards against the stores for that too? How about when grandpa is killed or injured when he slams his car into one of these proverbial immovable objects and sues because the crash was more severe than crashing into the wall of the building would have been? How about if a robber shoots a customer in a convenience store? Is the store responsible? There are lots of convenience store robberies, just like there are a lot of wall crashes. I don’t think that the stores should be liable for any of these things that they don’t perpetrate.
    We need to be holding individuals responsible for their own actions and not just look for a company’s pocket to pick. If a car hits a pedestrian that is on a sidewalk, it is the driver of that car that is responsible. Expecting someone, or a corporation, to eliminate all risk, regardless of the irresponsible actions of others, is a fools errand and will simply result in more irresponsible behavior by those “others.” If more families were loosing all their inheritance because they didn’t have the gumption to take the keys away from grandpa, then maybe more families would be more responsible. If more insurance companies were paying out more for octogenarian drivers, then maybe they wouldn’t be willing to insure octogenarian drivers without clear evidence of their abilities and health. If octogenarian drivers were thus not allowed to drive, then maybe society would develop better ways for them to get around. If all that money to be spent on bollards and repairing the damage they do, and have done to them, were instead spent on transit for octogenarians we might have a much better outcome.
    Blaming, and charging, the wrong party for misdeeds makes it easier for society to ignore the real problems and thus doesn’t produce improved results.

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