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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Friday, February 04, 2005


That'll Teach 'Em

No good deed goes unpunished...

Durango - Two teenage girls decided one summer's evening to skip a dance where there might be cursing and drinking to stay home and bake cookies for their neighbors.

Big mistake.

They were sued, successfully, for an unauthorized cookie drop on one porch.
Just as dusk arrived a little after 9 p.m., Taylor and Lindsey began their mad spree. They didn't stop at houses that were dark. But where lights shone, the girls figured people were awake and in need of cookies. A kitchen light was on at Young's home.

Court records contain half a dozen letters from neighbors who said that they enjoyed the unexpected treats.
But Young, home with her own 18-year-old daughter and her elderly mother, said she saw shadowy figures who banged and banged at her door. When she called out, "Who's there?" no one answered. The figures ran off.

She thought perhaps they were burglars or some neighbors she had tangled with in the past, she said.
Young left her home that night to stay at her sister's, but her symptoms, including shaking and an upset stomach, wouldn't subside. The next morning she went to Mercy Medical Center.
So the woman who just couldn't get herself under control after there was some knocking on her door at night gets $900 to cover her medical costs. What a wonderful legal system we have.

Now, I must concede that I would not advice two young girls to go knocking on doors even late-ish at night...especially if those doors belong to other than close, personal friends. On the other hand, these girls were essentially convicted of scaring a woman by knocking on her door. This just seems ridiculous to me. Although I would also disagree if they had been convicted of trespassing, at least that is a definable offense. This decision, on the other hand, does nothing more than continue the long-developing trend in our legal system of blame someone else.

As some unsweetened icing on this fine bit of judicial cake, the poor, scared woman apparently didn't even need the cash to pay for her expenses. No, she had another purpose in mind...

The families had offered to pay Young's medical bills if she would agree to indemnify the families against future claims.

Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person. The matter went to court.
"The victory wasn't sweet," Young said Thursday afternoon. "I'm not gloating about it. I just hope the girls learned a lesson."
Ah yes, the age-old lesson:

Never do anything nice for anyone you don't know.

I hope some day to teach my own children just that. Maybe I should find a copy of the decision just to keep it fresh.


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