What could go wrong at an oil change? You could get sued!

Fudster

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We don't have all the facts, but from what we do have it's pretty likely that the case against the vehicle owner will be dropped in my opinion.

Neither law nor lawyer in my opinion need be cursed here: both imperfect, and my tendencies to bash either noted.

The law, well intentioned, wants to incentivize owners to leave their vehicles with responsible operators. The reason the defendant is likely to face no liability here is that is reasonable to conclude, with no inquiry on the part of the defendant, that when you drop your vehicle off at a service center (or if you prefer, a valet garage,) and the operating features of that vehicle are not so out of the ordinary (a manual transmission being well within ordinary) that personnel at the service center handling it know how to, and are licensed to operate it.

Other well intentioned law seeks to assign damages one employee may inflict on another at the work place in the hands of insurers, not directly the employer.

The latter sounds unfair...? Okay, let's make the employer (dealer) directly responsible. Your oil change will now cost $325, the price increase going to the increased liability cost the employer faces

The lawyer for the deceased is seeking redress from the only party the law allows. He didn't likely write the law at play here, likely isn't thrilled with the fact that he has to do this--both for the moral and lack of deep pockets defendant issues doing so causes, and has an obligation to his client.

 
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Heimkehr

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The lawyer for the deceased is seeking redress from the only party the law allows. He didn't likely write the law at play here, likely isn't thrilled with the fact that he has to do this--both for the moral and lack of deep pockets defendant issues doing so causes, and has an obligation to his client.
...an obligation to a client that he is voluntarily representing, whether through his solicitation to the widow or vice versa.

It's difficult to envision Mr. Femminineo losing any sleep over the matter, much less not being "thrilled" with the task before him. This claim isn't occurring in a vacuum.
 

roaniecowpony

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We don't have all the facts, but from what we do have it's pretty likely that the case against the vehicle owner will be dropped in my opinion.

Neither law nor lawyer in my opinion need be cursed here: both imperfect, and my tendencies to bash either noted.

The law, well intentioned, wants to incentivize owners to leave their vehicles with responsible operators. The reason the defendant is likely to face no liability here is that is reasonable to conclude, with no inquiry on the part of the defendant, that when you drop your vehicle off at a service center (or if you prefer, a valet garage,) and the operating features of that vehicle are not so out of the ordinary (a manual transmission being well within ordinary) that personal at the service center handling it know how to, and are licensed to operate it.

Other well intentioned law seeks to assign damages one employee may inflict on another at the work place in the hands of insurers, not directly the employer.

The latter sounds unfair...? Okay, let's make the employer (dealer) directly responsible. Your oil change will now cost $325, the price increase going to the increased liability cost the employer faces

The lawyer for the deceased is seeking redress from the only party the law allows. He didn't likely write the law at play here, likely isn't thrilled with the fact that he has to do this--both for the moral and lack of deep pockets defendant issues doing so causes, and has an obligation to his client.
Lawyers need to be cursed whenever the opportunity arises. They can handle it. Maybe even sue someone for cursing them.

As for "obligation", I suggest that he looked for another "O" word...opportunity. If he were a man of good morals, he could simply decline the case based on his own sense of fairness. He isn't acting as a public defender here.
 

roaniecowpony

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This world of "someone has to pay for this" has driven us to this nonsense. The kid that ran the man over is responsible for his actions. If we were to play this game of chasing money of anyone connected to the kid, why not blame his parents or their parents for raising a kid that did something stupid? Sounds asinine? About the same as suing the vehicle owner to me. Why not sue Jeep? They made the stupid antiquated clutch system.

In some foreign countries, they criminally prosecute people for negligence like this. When I worked for Boeing, the exercised caution about sending employees to certain countries during accident trials for fear of the engineers being arrested and prosecuted for negligence. And we're not just talking about China or Russia.
 

Fudster

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...an obligation to a client that he is voluntarily representing, whether through his solicitation to the widow or vice versa.

It's difficult to envision Mr. Femminineo losing any sleep over the matter, much less not being "thrilled" with the task before him. This claim isn't occurring in a vacuum.
That is an enormously fair point James. You made it too @roaniecowpony .

But it's also true, I think you'd agree, that the deceased's survivors deserve justice, and that this is the only remedy available, and that some lawyer, if not the one who took this case, will.

In a sense, the lawyer who did take this case, if on retainer, is actually (gasp) one of the better ones morally. He's fighting for the rights of the survivors in a case where big ticket payouts aren't likely to arise.
 


CarbonSteel

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There are worker's comp laws that prevent suing the employer. But the lack of a litigated avenue against the employer doesn't magically invent a basis to claim against the car owner. I cannot imagine grounds for bringing a claim against the owner unless the owner had made some unknown custom modifications to the car that made it more dangerous to operate (it does not sound like this is the case).

The lawyer no doubt filed suit hoping that the owner's insurance company will pay some quick and easy money to settle. I consider it grossly unethical and the lawyer involved should be sanctioned or disbarred. I would expect the lawsuit, if it proceeds that far, to be easily dismissed on the basis that there is no plausible claim stated against the owner on these facts.

These are the lawyers that give the rest a bad name. As with every other profession, most are OK and there's always that 5% of lawyers, doctors, plumbers, car mechanics, etc. that are problematic.
^^^^ this all day ^^^^

I also find it incredulous that the family of the deceased employee has no grounds for a lawsuit despite whatever workman's comp laws are in effect. The family did not work for the employer and there has to be an equally slimy lawyer who can make a case.
 
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Fudster

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This world of "someone has to pay for this" has driven us to this nonsense. The kid that ran the man over is responsible for his actions. If we were to play this game of chasing money of anyone connected to the kid, why not blame his parents or their parents for raising a kid that did something stupid? Sounds asinine? About the same as suing the vehicle owner to me. Why not sue Jeep? They made the stupid antiquated clutch system.

In some foreign countries, they criminally prosecute people for negligence like this. When I worked for Boeing, the exercised caution about sending employees to certain countries during accident trials for fear of the engineers being arrested and prosecuted for negligence. And we're not just talking about China or Russia.
I completely agree that in this case the incentive structure of the law is out of whack. Maybe a better solution would be mandatory on the job death benefit insurance in exchange for the insured consenting to hold all else harmless.
 

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...Knowing how lawyers operate, they want every single dime they can suck out so on top of litigating the WC claim they decided to that's not enough money in their pockets so let's go after the innocent oil change customer :facepalm:
Very true. My favorite line from Back To The Future II was when Doc Brown said the justice system became more efficient after abolishing all lawyers (still remember the theatre audience clap/cheer/laugh at that one).

My take: the lawyer is slouching! The lawyer is missing a bunch of others complicit if he's using the established "logic" to bring suit to the uninvolved vehicle owner: the vehicle owner's parents for giving birth to him; the teachers and schools that educated the owner so he could earn a living and buy a Jeep; Jeep itself for building a vehicle that required oil changes; the gas station where the owner fueled up to get to the dealer; the contractor that paved the roads traveled on to get to the dealer and, of course, the contractor who actually built the dealership. Maybe even throw in the oil companies who supplied the oil because they have deep pockets. If none of those others did what they did, the accident would not have occurred. There's a lot of money to be had from those involved if that lazy attorney just did his job properly given the legal logic thus far. /s
 

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Car owner trusted the dealership with his vehicle. Dealership failed in their responsibility resulting in a death. Car owner should be able to sue the dealership for allowing an unlicensed driver to move his vehicle.

He should sue the dealer for the cost of his attorney fees, emotional distress and the loss of value to his vehicle since with was now involved in an accident resulting in a death.

Just my opinion and I hope it works out for him/her.
 

Fudster

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There are worker's comp laws that prevent suing the employer. But the lack of a litigated avenue against the employer doesn't magically invent a basis to claim against the car owner
So true. But what the lack of a litigation avenue against the employer does do is leave less worthy targets as the only ones left, if not morally, then under the law, a law the plaintiff's attorney likely didn't author, to blame.

I'm all for holding the Wrangler owner faultless. I believe the judge will concur. But I'm also all for the survivors being compensated.

Tough choices here.
 


Fudster

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Our legal system is a millions miles from perfect but better than none or other ones.

Laws are often made by stupid people with bad intention, just as sure as the smart well intentioned politicians bend over backwards to set up what they think and hope is a fair compromised system, only to find that their best laid plans blow up in their face.

Lawyers are often money hungry dirt bags...not all. They're also the reason why those hurt get the compensation they deserve, and that some institutions (hospitals, workplaces, etc.) have become safer places.
 

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Very true. My favorite line from Back To The Future II was when Doc Brown said the justice system became more efficient after abolishing all lawyers (still remember the theatre audience clap/cheer/laugh at that one).

My take: the lawyer is slouching! The lawyer is missing a bunch of others complicit if he's using the established "logic" to bring suit to the uninvolved vehicle owner: the vehicle owner's parents for giving birth to him; the teachers and schools that educated the owner so he could earn a living and buy a Jeep; Jeep itself for building a vehicle that required oil changes; the gas station where the owner fueled up to get to the dealer; the contractor that paved the roads traveled on to get to the dealer and, of course, the contractor who actually built the dealership. Maybe even throw in the oil companies who supplied the oil because they have deep pockets. If none of those others did what they did, the accident would not have occurred. There's a lot of money to be had from those involved if that lazy attorney just did his job properly given the legal logic thus far. /s
you forgot the employer of the owner, since they gave him the money to be able to buy the jeep.
 

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Wow, doesn't anybody do a bit of research before commenting? Here is an article that explains a lot more, and the lawyer everyone is ragging on even admits its unfair, but the way MI law works. He also points out that the owner is indemnified by the dealership and their insurance, so the owner will not pay a dime.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ship-oil-change-sued-15M-family-mechanic.html

My favorite quote from the article that made me LOL:

DailyMail.com reached out to the Jeep's owner inquiring about why the 19-year-old mechanic had been hired given that he did not know how to drive a manual gearbox, but the attorney declined to comment.
 

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Civil lawsuits are about money, not about justice.

This lawyer is going after the one party that in his view offers his client the best chance of financial remuneration.

If this lawyer were to win this lawsuit — big IF — the Jeep owner would then be forced to sue the dealer for reparations. Which is what the lawyer should have done in the first place but, IMO, chose not to do because the deceased was employed by that dealer. It would be sort of like biting the hand that feeds you...
 

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