Epileptic fined over $5000
September 10, 2002 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Epileptic fined over $5000 for making a funny face during a seizure. (via Fark)
posted by Espoo2 (25 comments total)
Plaintiff fined eternal damnation by God for having absolutely no soul whatsoever, sentence to be carried out immediately. (Lightning bolt)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:28 PM on September 10, 2002

Disturbing precedent for clowns.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:30 PM on September 10, 2002

Wow, let me be the first to extend a marriage proposal to that woman. Wait, did I say marriage proposal? Cuz I meant a fist. ummmm, to slap some sense into her of course.

Sorry, I didn't want to make my first post smarmy, but that ruling makes me want to be, well, smarmy.
posted by renderthis at 5:30 PM on September 10, 2002

I think a healthy dose of smarm is the only possible response to this.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:32 PM on September 10, 2002

All right. Scotland is officially ahead in the "dumbest lawsuit of the millennium" competition.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:36 PM on September 10, 2002

my contempt for the plaintiff is mitigated slightly (very slightly) by the fact that I'm wondering if someone who can get seizures suddenly enough to wreck cars over it should really be driving.

hmmm... note to self: google around and find out about epileptics and driving laws.
posted by GeekAnimator at 5:59 PM on September 10, 2002

In one state I know you can't drive for at least 6 months after having a seizure of any sort. And even then I believe you need doctor's approval.
posted by neustile at 6:04 PM on September 10, 2002

I am filing suit in the morning against everyone on this Blog who has made a cringing face at any of my previous comments ... and you all know who you are
posted by ElvisJesus at 6:06 PM on September 10, 2002

some assorted driving & epilepsy info.
posted by GeekAnimator at 6:06 PM on September 10, 2002

If you need to look up the law for your state.

My daughter turned 15.5...aced her permit test...got an A in driver's ed...and then her mild form of epilepsy manifested itself.

Her epilepsy is primarily in her temporal lobe. She would miss 20-30 seconds and then get a strong feeling of deja-vu. She quickly reported the attacks and we saw a doctor.

She hasn't been on her medication long. We hope that the seizures are blocked. She wishes she had been able to at least get her license first. She's afraid she'll never have the chance to drive alone along a country road.

GeekAnimator...even with missing out on getting her license she wanted to say she completely agrees with you. If you might have an attack...you shouldn't be driving.
posted by ?! at 6:22 PM on September 10, 2002

There's driving and epilepsy info on epilepsyfoundation.org. They actually have up-to-date info from all 50 states.

In a nutshell, it varies quite a bit from state to state... but we're jumping the gun here, assuming this person had an ongoing diagnosis of epilepsy. 1 in 10 people have a seizure at some point in their lives -- they do not necessarily have epilepsy, per se.

Also, a fair number of people that do have epilepsy can get their licenses back after they prove that they've been able to control their seizures with medication. It depends, state to state, how that works... no idea how it works in the UK, though.
posted by ph00dz at 6:25 PM on September 10, 2002

Can't find anything else about the case online, but I'm guessing Mr. Young was following whatever regulations apply to him as an epilectic driver, or this opportunistic, heartless monst-- er, I mean, young woman, would surely have brought that up in court in order to score more loot-- that is, receive more appropriate compensation for her terrible struggle.

Give. me. a. break.
posted by hilatron at 6:31 PM on September 10, 2002

It is a basic theory of tort law, at least in the United States - which inherited the English common law system - that the person responsible for causing an accident is responsible for the damages it causes. That these damages sound completely ludicrous (if that word is strong enough) to most people isn't really relevant. The judge decided that the defendant did cause the accident, and that the plaintiff had been injured.

Still, she must have either had an amazingly persuasive lawyer to sell that bill of goods, or the judge was an idiot, or some combination of the two.
posted by John Smallberries at 6:55 PM on September 10, 2002

1) Is there an actual chart that these judges go by that actually says how much you should award a person for x amount of stress?

2) Is there a way to measure x amount of stress?

3) Are the judges just making it all up as they go?
posted by filecrave at 7:21 PM on September 10, 2002

I guess the point isn't so much that the judge was wrong - it sucks, but that's the breaks in court - but rather the plaintiff for going through with it. She got paid for a "mild fear of driving she had developed"? Damn, if I had a penny for every mild fear I developed while out in the world ...
posted by risenc at 7:41 PM on September 10, 2002

I was a bit confused for a while there, wondering why a Scotland correspondent was reporting on court cases in Perth, but there must be one in Scotland as well (bit slow today).

I think we can give Scotland the award for "dumbest lawsuit of the millennium" now - hard to see how this could be topped. Now don't forget everyone, if you have a car accident and are in excruciating agony, don't make a face in case you upset someone. "Mild fear of driving" - what kind of fucking joke is that?

ElvisJesus, if you could only see the face I am pulling now, you would do more than sue me :-)
posted by dg at 8:12 PM on September 10, 2002

Are the judges just making it all up as they go?

I think they're judging the best result as they see fit. Hence them being called "judges," ya know? ;)
posted by The God Complex at 8:31 PM on September 10, 2002

Actually, dg, Perth in Western Australia is named after Perth in Scotland (I know this only as a consequence of having grown up there).
posted by hot soup girl at 8:43 PM on September 10, 2002

Yeah, hot soup girl, I sort of figured that, as most cities and towns in Australia are named after somewhere or someone in the UK. Good link, by the way.
posted by dg at 9:14 PM on September 10, 2002

It is a basic theory of tort law, at least in the United States - which inherited the English common law system

I believe the US legal system is based on case law.
posted by Mick at 9:32 PM on September 10, 2002

The US legal system is based on English common law, except in Louisiana (who's legal system is based on french napoleonic code)
posted by reverendX at 9:41 PM on September 10, 2002

MeFi props to GeekAnimator for realizing his own shortcomings of knowledge, and enriching the thread with his research.
posted by dhartung at 10:09 PM on September 10, 2002

no idea how it works in the UK, though.

...damn, I should know this, as my brother was diagnosed epileptic whe he was 8 or 9. Didn't suffer any fits post mid teens though, and had no problems getting a drivers license at 18. Although his insurance premium was a little out of the ordinary, IIRC.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:33 AM on September 11, 2002

When my father had an epileptic incident he reported it and was banned for driving for 6 months. Fortunately the anti-convulsants sorted him out. If you're fit free for 6 months you can drive, but I'm not 100% sure the law is the same in Scotland.
posted by prentiz at 8:19 AM on September 11, 2002

we should just nuke Scotland now
posted by tolkhan at 10:27 AM on September 11, 2002

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