Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why everyone I know should go to law school; or, "When Cats Attack!"

Sure, law school's boring. Yes, it can destroy your self esteem. And I'll agree it's expensive, time-consuming, depressing and confusing. Odds are you'll pack on the pounds and begin to feel a lot of rage toward the world. But every now and again, during your awesome summer gig, you'll be researching, and during that research you will run into gems that remind you why what you're doing makes a difference in the world. May I present Exhibit A:

Overview: According to the undisputed facts, the cat had never bitten anyone, nor exhibited any aggressive tendencies prior to this incident. The individual alleged that the cat owners acted negligently in allowing their cat to roam freely and to attack her. The individual did not allege that any particular circumstances existed that should have put the cat owners on notice that their cat would be violent or that they needed to prevent it from coming into contact with the individual. Rather, the individual argued that any contact between a cat and a human being was fraught with danger. Such contacts occurred frequently, were not normally dangerous, and, absent an owner's knowledge of particular facts that would render an injury foreseeable, did not present circumstances for which liability arose. Furthermore, the attack by the cat was unforeseeable, as there were no circumstances that alerted the cat owners to the possibility that their cat would act aggressively. Absent foreseeability, the cat owners owed no duty to restrain their cat under the common law, municipal law, or state law.

Translation: Mean cat posing as nice cat bit a lady's hand. Lady whose hand got hurt thinks the cat's owner is a jerk and should have to pay $40,000 for the infection she got when the bite aggravated her previously medically stable autoimmune disorder. Court says look lady, it's a cat.

How can you hate law school after something like that?


Natalie said...

"fraught with danger" - seriously? I am dying! Oh the stupidity of the human race.

Linds said...

I love that picture. I too have often wanted to put a hat made of lime rinds on a cat.

Mar said...

I like cats in little green hats. I found your blog on Natalie's and I make it a regular read--it's hilarious.

Erin said...

gurrbonzo, you are in luck, because the law is fraught with cases involving cats. most notable is the case involving blackie the talking cat. you can see for yourself at 551 fsupp 349.

most notable, though, is this footnote: In ruling on the motions for summary judgment, the Court has considered only the evidence in the file. However, it should be disclosed that I have seen and heard a demonstration of Blackie's abilities. The point in time of the Court's view was late summer, 1982, well after the events contended in this lawsuit. One afternoon when crossing Greene Street in an automobile, I spotted in the median a man accompanied by a cat and a woman. The black cat was draped over his left shoulder. Knowing the matter to be in litigation, and suspecting that the cat was Blackie, I thought twice before stopping. Observing, however, that counsel for neither side was present and that any citizen on the street could have happened by chance upon this scene, I spoke, and the man with the cat eagerly responded to my greeting. I asked him if his cat could talk. He said he could, and if I would pull over on the side street he would show me. I did, and he did. The cat was wearing a collar, two harnesses and a leash. Held and stroked by the man Blackie said "I love you" and "I want my Mama." The man then explained that the cat was the sole source of income for him and his wife and requested a donation which was provided. I felt that my dollar was well spent. The cat was entertaining as was its owner. Some questions occurred to me about the necessity for the multiple means of restraint and the way in which the man held the cat's paw when the cat was asked to talk. However, these are not matters before the Court and are beyond the purview of a federal judge. I do not know if the man whom I saw with the cat was the plaintiff Mr. Miles.