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PI and North Korea?

The plaintiffs' personal injury trial bar has been surprisingly quiet since it became a useful tool in the North Korean attempt to impose censorship on America's movie industry.

The first, if not second, thing mentioned by theater owners when confronted by threats from North Korea and their decisions to give in to demands for censorship was the costliness of the inevitable lawsuits that would follow any kind of mishap, even criminal mishaps caused by foreign criminals. And with the abrogation (at least in Florida) of assumption of the risk as a complete defense, it would be to no avail for theater owners to warn ticket holders of extant threats.

Am I wrong?

Just watch the endless commercials on TV I keep waiting for the one that says "Have you been injured? Do you want to be injured? We'll show you how and get you tons of money."

The simple cost of litigation was enough to impose censorship, whatever the outcome of the cases. This was certainly an unintended consequence in this situation, but does it really differ from numbers of other situations such, for example, where groups that cannot get their version of "gun control" adopted through democratic means bring lawsuits in the hope that the cost will drive these legal businesses into bankruptcy? I see no difference in outcome in these and many other types of cases.

Perhaps it is time for someone to rethink the use and abuse of the legal system for political or policy purposes rather than redress of wrongs. I have no specific answer, and I am quite happy to be retired and, thus, on the sideline for this one. The issues are extremely significant and whatever the resulting remedies--or even none at all--could have important bearing on our existence as a free people. And it goes without saying that the entire organized Bar (not just plaintiffs' lawyers) must be involved in a review of the law and procedures.

Steven R. Berger


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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Berger, Steven R.
Publication:Florida Bar News
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Feb 15, 2015
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