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Friday, October 30, 2009

Passing The Buck

Here's what we know:
  • A radio station held a contest to see who could drink the most water without going to the bathroom.  The winner would win a new Wii video console ("Hold Your Wee for a Wii").
  • All contestants had to sign a release stating that if anything went wrong - including death - the radio station would be held harmless.  Twenty adults signed the release and participated in the contest.
  • During the radio program, a person who identified herself as a nurse, called into the station and said the drinking of excess amounts of water could lead to death.
  • A 28-year old woman who was in the contest died from, "Water Intoxication".
  • Her family sued the radio station and was awarded $16.5 million.
It is very easy to feel bad for the family of the dead woman.  She had a couple of kids and a husband, and they will no longer have her in their lives.  I can't even imagine their pain.

How does that justify a radio station paying for her horrible lapse in judgment?  Of her own free will, SHE decided to enter the contest.  SHE signed a release acknowledging the risks.  SHE decided to not go to the bathroom.  SHE decided to place her life at risk for a toy worth a couple of hundred dollars.  The radio station never held her down and poured water down her throat.  She brought this on herself.

This blog, and our business are ALL about personal responsibility.  While our focus is on personal safety training and emergency preparedness, our underlying philosophy is that you are in charge of your own life.

Lawsuits such as this reinforce the perception that people are too stupid to think and act for themselves.  Only some bureaucrat in the government is smart enough to know what is best for us.

We end up with laws that tell us what kinds of fats we can eat, what kinds of loans we can take, and what types of contests we can enter.  Play grounds can't have monkey bars and swing sets because the insurance that is required to defend against lawsuits is cost-prohibitive.  These lawsuits and regulations perpetuate the belief among the citizenry that the government will, "come to the rescue" whenever something in our lives goes awry.

Sadly, that belief is shown to be true time and time again.  We're all paying for this - both in cash and personal liberty.

Accept The Challenge

Live your life by example.  If you screw up, accept the consequences, and learn from it.  Support causes that promote personal responsibility.  Teach your kids about the consequences of their actions.  Live like a free American.

Copyright 2009 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

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