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Glenn E. Meyer
January 28, 2008, 12:33 PM
Usually our scenarios are on whether you would shoot someone and there is a nasty debate.

There are stories of a bad guy getting shot fleeing a property crime and the good guy following and shooting him. Sometimes the good guy gets in trouble. One can google quite a few incidents.

Ayoob recently had an American Handgunner column of a good guy who is shot by a clearly bad guy and survives. He chases the bad guy as the BG had his wallet and guys and 'might' go to his house. Or so he says later (no way to know).

Chasing the BG he fires quite a few rounds and nails also an innocent quite badly. Not charged for that but she sues and it is settled with insurance.

So here we go:

A good guy is robbed (not shot though). The BG runs from his store and the GG follows as he isn't letting the BG get away it with it. A gun fight ensues. The GG's gunfire happens just to injured the innocent:

1. You are an innocent and you get shot such that you are significantly injured and will have lots of expenses, disability, etc. even with your own insurance.

2. Your significant other gets nailed - kid, wife, husband, etc. whatever - same serious injury and expenses.

Do you sue or does your RKBA nucleus in your noggin say that you should NOT sue for the cause? Do you eat the costs and disability even though one could argue that the GG should not have pursued even though the BG got 'what he deserved' and it showed that we stand up to crime, etc.

chris in va
January 28, 2008, 12:47 PM
That's a tough one and I can only make the call if it ever happens.

I can't comment further, only say that firearms aren't the perfect answer to self defense. My instructor pointed out you own every single bullet that leaves the barrel. They don't stop at the BG.

threegun
January 28, 2008, 12:52 PM
I have to be made whole. Either by the bad guy or the good guy.

The Tourist
January 28, 2008, 12:52 PM
You are responsible for every round you fire.

If you hit an innocent, you are responsible. An innocent party shouldn't have to sue you to make you do the right thing.

You're talking bullets. Would it matter if you ran them over with a truck?

grymster2007
January 28, 2008, 01:00 PM
I've sued a few renters for unlawful detainer and I don't feel bad about that. In general though, I believe it's far too easy to sue and win for all sorts of petty crap. But in this case, I'd probably try suing both the GG and the BG. If the GG accidentally shoots me in defense of his life is one thing, but the scenario posted makes that seem unlikely.

TexasSeaRay
January 28, 2008, 01:03 PM
Tough call, Glenn,

Me personally? No, I don't sue--whether it was me or my wife that were shot.

I've been shot before. Three times as a matter of fact between the service and law enforcement. I figure the fourth one will be the last one. Nobody can be that lucky.

My wife and I also have invested wisely and could cover the costs of such an incident.

If I, or her, were the good guy doing the shooting and an innocent were hit, I would offer to take care of their bills and everything related. But again, that's just me.

I've been there. I've been shot and know the recovery process, the nightmares, et al. I've also seen innocent people shot and have seen the same recovery process.

And finally, KNOWING that my wife and I would unhesitatingly help someone that either of us shot inadvertently/accidentally while in self-defense plays a significant role in our decision-making process.

Good question, good food for thought, although I suspect your overwhelming number of responses will be "Hell, yeah I'd sue!"

Lawyers are our society's modern day version of the hired gunfighter--and anyone can be a lawyer and a laywer will work for anyone.

Jeff

Yellowfin
January 28, 2008, 01:14 PM
Sue the BG because the whole incident wouldn't have happened if they hadn't caused it.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 28, 2008, 01:17 PM
I just thought of a nuance.

Your own insurance may not want to pay health costs if they think there is another person responsible. Even if you just wanted the other guy to pay your deductibles, your health company might want the other person to pick up the whole show.

So even with good intentions, you might (depending on coverage) be stuck with a tremendous bill, independent of any punitive damages you might want (if those could be proven).

There is also the difference between getting your reasonable costs covered and going for the 'big, get rich' settlement. Costs can be large if you look at lifetime costs. However, punitive damages - unless the GG -was totally reckless - seem excessive to ask for, IMHO.

The Lovemaster
January 28, 2008, 01:18 PM
1. GG shouldn't have shot in the first place. Robbery is not a reason to shoot. Property can generally be replaced.

2. Tough call on whether to sue. I've never sued anyone, nor am I much of a lawsuit person. Having said that, I'd be inclined to say yes, sue, for reason given in number 1 above. Innocent party should be made whole, and whole thing wouldn't have happened had GG used better reason.

The Tourist
January 28, 2008, 01:24 PM
Your own insurance may not want to pay health costs if they think there is another person responsible.

Finally, a good use for lawyers--pitting them against each other.

My truck got hit once, and my personal insurance paid. I did sign papers of subrogation to allow the insurance company to recover their cost.

Now, TSR is in Texas. He gets his spurs sharpened and big ol' plug of chawin' tobacky. If he loses an ear, he can get as much as four bucks, silver.

chopz
January 28, 2008, 01:26 PM
i agree. might as well ask "what if someone hit you with their car?" as a pedestrian, i was hit by a car. my adrenaline was pumping and after going over the car and landing on the other side i got up and started getting really ******. i told the lady driving she better leave quick or we might both be sorry. stupid thing to do, especially since i couldn't walk for a while after the effects of the injury set in. anyway, it woulda been nice if her insurance paid for her stupidity.

so, although i may believe the guy was in the right - which i wouldn't if he was trying to shoot someone in the back while they fled - my belief isn't strong enough to sacrifice my home and livelihood for it. and if it was a serious injury that's just what it might amount to.

lets say the bad guy stole the shooter's wallet. am i really gonna have to pay with a limp for the shooter not to have to cancel some credit cards and change the locks to his house? is it worth it to him to possibly kill or cripple me so he doesn't have to apply for a replacement driver's license? now that i think about it, the guy might be lucky if i only sue him.

threegun
January 28, 2008, 01:28 PM
Don't want anything more than being made whole by the good guy if the badguy can't do so. The badguy can be responsible for the pain and suffering if they ever make any money again. In a perfect world the badguy is pushing up daisies.

9mmHP
January 28, 2008, 01:35 PM
Of course, you're responsible for every round you fire. Why should an innocent bystander bear the burden?

David Armstrong
January 28, 2008, 01:40 PM
Do you sue or does your RKBA nucleus in your noggin say that you should NOT sue for the cause?
You bet. I support your right to defend yourself. I do not defend your right to chase BGs down the street to fulfill some macho need you have. I would be less apt to do so had you actually been defending you and yours and an errant round got out, depending on the situation.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 28, 2008, 01:57 PM
Suing the BG is a nonstarter - he has no assets or insurance company. You might get a court to assign him to give you a $100 a week when he gets out of prison. So what - most of these victim compensation schemes don't get paid.

If he gets a job after prison - he might give you a free burger.

Remember health costs are tremendous.

Erik
January 28, 2008, 02:08 PM
I would likely sue if insurance couldn't work it out, as with other forms of accidents, while harboring ill will toward only the bad guy.

I'd want the bad guy targeted first.

If I could get what I needed out of the bad guy, the shooter's suit wouldn't be necessary.

If I couldn't, then I'd file against the shooter, because as mentioned you're responsible for every round sent down range.

BillCA
January 28, 2008, 02:20 PM
This is a good post, Glenn and an interesting judgement call.

It would be one thing if the GG was chasing down the BG who fired and missed or who coldly shot a customer on the way out of a store. Lacking that, one has to look at the facts of the incident and determine if the GG's actions were negligent and reckless in causing the injury. If so, then the GG needs to pay the medical costs.

I was actually expecting one of two different questions when I started reading this thread;

- Would you, as the victim of a robbery/shooting sue the BG even if it's unlikely to gain much from him?

- If you were a bystander during a robbery and the victim's bullet struck you, would you sue the GG? (one could optionally set it up that you're hit with an FMJ after it passed thru the BG).

DMK
January 28, 2008, 02:39 PM
I believe in the RKBA for self defense. I do not believe human beings have a right to use deadly force to protect or recover property. I do not believe human beings have a right to use deadly force to satisfy an urge for revenge. What this man did hurts our rights to own guns at all.

Not only would I sue the guy for negligence, I'd press for criminal charges against him.

jfrey123
January 28, 2008, 02:46 PM
My school of thought is still that property isn't worth a life. GG shouldn't be chasing down a BG over some cash out of the register. However, according to some states (even my own) he can be well within his right. That DOESN'T give him the right to be a bad shot.

Hits me or any one of mine, I'm suing for at least medicals (he causes permanent disability, it's on like Donkey Kong). Luckily for GG it's a business so I should be able to sue said insurance. But that's not to say I won't go after him personally, cause I will if need be.

Don't feel like I should have to pay for someone else's bad shot. And to remove any Devil's Advocates out there, I fully expect to get turned inside and out if I ever shoot an innocent.

Derius_T
January 28, 2008, 02:59 PM
I believe in the RKBA for self defense. I do not believe human beings have a right to use deadly force to protect or recover property. I do not believe human beings have a right to use deadly force to satisfy an urge for revenge. What this man did hurts our rights to own guns at all.

I also believe in self defense. I DO believe in the right to protect my property with deadly force in certain circumstances. I DO believe that in certain circumstances one has the right to vengence. A man kills one of your own, he fully deserves to die. PERIOD. He forfeited his right to live when he took that right from one of mine. Maybe that is where we differ.

As to the OP, I think if I were disabled by the GG, or one of mine was killed by him acting illegally or negligently with his firearm, he should be responsible for his actions. We assume that responsibility when we strap on that gun. Just like we assume responsibility every time we get behind the wheel, or anything else.

Samurai
January 28, 2008, 03:54 PM
I sue for actual damages, but not punitive damages. The guy is responsible for his actions, and he needs to pay the hospital bills if he accidentally shoots someone. But, I don't sue for any of the punitive or "pain and suffering" damages.

Depending on where he shoots me, I might have to sue for "loss of consortium." I'm just saying... :p

Capt Charlie
January 28, 2008, 04:19 PM
Suing the BG is a nonstarter - he has no assets or insurance company.
We have an officer working for us that's a bona fide, real life multimillionaire. Yup, a regular McMillan.... on paper that is ;).

He sued a BG about 20 years ago and was awarded an astronomical amount of money.

Problem.

The BG's only possessions were a welfare card and a pair of stolen Nike tennis shoes. That's why a multimillionaire drives a 14 yr. old vehicle and works two side jobs. :D

TexasSeaRay
January 28, 2008, 04:21 PM
I believe in the RKBA for self defense. I do not believe human beings have a right to use deadly force to protect or recover property. I do not believe human beings have a right to use deadly force to satisfy an urge for revenge. What this man did hurts our rights to own guns at all.

Here is where I philosophically and geographically disagree.

Having grown up in a rural, ranching area of Texas, no sheriff or grand jury would ever indict you for chasing down a guy who'd just stolen your horse or some cattle.

In many cases, your property is how you make your livlihood. And not everyone can afford the requisite insurance--or the costs it often takes to recover/replace property in time to not fall behind on bills/business expenses.

My property is MINE. No one else's. No one else has a right to it. The law says it is illegal to steal my property or otherwise take it without my express consent.

I lost count growing up of the number of times our neighbors, and even my own grandfather, would get in the pickup or saddle up and go hunt down some vagabond that we'd let sleep in the barn, only to find he'd stolen some tack, leather, clothes or whatever.

Nine times out of ten, the property was recovered at the point of a lever-action rifle. Sheriff was never called. No fuss was ever made and no one ever got hurt.

In today's politically correct and lawyer-laden society (which, incidentally experiences a MUCH higher crime rate than when and where I grew up), it is generally accepted that so long as you're not hurt, it's okay for scumbags to steal your property, point guns at you in the stealing of your property, and generally threated to come back and "get you" if you cause any trouble during the stealing of your property.

I do not buy that. I didn't buy that growing up. I didn't buy that as a soldier. I didn't buy that as federal agent. And I don't buy it today as a private semi-retired citizen who just wants to be left the hell alone.

And as far as vengeance, I won't do that over property. But hurt me or my wife or my dogs, and you better never stop running.

Not only would I sue the guy for negligence, I'd press for criminal charges against him.

Best you'd get in most (sane) states would be negligence (reckless). Intent would have to be proved, and nobody "intends" to shoot an innocent bystander.

BUT . . . negligence is usually a HUGE deciding factor in the awarding of both damages and punitive damages.

Jeff

9mmHP
January 28, 2008, 04:39 PM
Punitive damages are not available for purely negligent behavior. Punitives are to punish an intentional behavior, but negligence is an unintentional lapse of care.

chopz
January 28, 2008, 05:16 PM
TexasSeaRay:

unfortunately, not everyone in the usa can afford the luxury of living on a rural ranch. and laws have to be made that can be applied to all fairly, rich or poor. lets make the comparison a little more fair.

lets say i did get robbed. i followed the thief to your house (of course you weren't complicit in his actions) where he sought refuge in your living room. he left the door open in his haste and was running out the back way when i shot through the open door. your wife was sitting there in the living room nursing the baby, but i'm a pretty good shot so i'm confident i'm not gonna hit them. anyway - he stole my stuff!

for those of us that are in more densely populated areas i feel this would be a more apt comparison. when your neighbors hunted down these vagabonds, they weren't in a place where stray fire was likely to hit someone, were they?

i'm not trying to be snarky, but i'd like to ask for your thoughts on the situation in the place of the victim, who loses a loved one, rather than the goodguy retrieving his stuff.

RevoRick
January 28, 2008, 05:18 PM
Based only on the info you have provided I would sue his a$$ to the fullest extent. He has no business doing the cops job. Having a gun is for self defense only, not retaliation or to recover property.

Double Naught Spy
January 28, 2008, 05:19 PM
Do you sue or does your RKBA nucleus in your noggin say that you should NOT sue for the cause?

What the hell does RKBA have to do with whether or not you sue? We aren't talking about suing to remove firearms from the shooter, are we? We are talking about $$ compensation.

If you are wrongfully injured, be it by the good guy driving a car or shooting you, you deserve to be compensated for you damages, lost wages, etc. I don't care if the good guy shooter is legally attempting to stop a crime for the purpose of recovery of property or to protect his/her own life. The shooter does not have the right to shoot me as a non-aggressor or bystander.

Perldog007
January 28, 2008, 05:34 PM
Based on the example, I am going to sue that clown for playing rambo and chasing the guy and shooting after the threat was over.

When I recover I will find a way to tie his homepage to my webcam every morning while I do my PT exercises :eek:

Seriously, My RKBA brain tells me not to chase people when I am not getting paid to do so and not legal to do so. Even in that case you still owe a high duty of care to any bystanders.

Mas Ayoob
January 28, 2008, 05:38 PM
A few points that should go into the discussion...

1. Brad, the shooter in this case, had already been wounded in the forehead by the perpetrator, an intentional execution shot with a .22 that fractured the skull and temporarily knocked him out.

2. Brad was not worried about money. His conscious concern was that the suspect had stolen his keys to his home, and his wallet with the address to that home, where his elderly bedridden mother lay helpless.

3. When Brad fired the shots in question, the man who had shot him was attempting to enter a van occupied by a woman unknown to him, who had stopped at the corner. He aimed at Brad and Brad fired. The suspect fell. It was apparently at this point that the woman driving the car -- an about-to-be carjacking victim, apparently, who had not been seen by Brad as he aimed -- was hit.

Full story appears in the current (March/April 2008) edition of American Handgunner magazine, beginning Page 36.

spacemanspiff
January 28, 2008, 05:39 PM
I don't think its a tough call to make. I would sue. However, you can't expect insurance to cover it. Such a claim would likely be rejected by the company. Very likely the supposed good guy would have been charged with reckless endangerment, at the very least, and since the good guys reckless behavior led to it, his insurance wouldnt pay out. Who else you going to sue? the robber?

Perldog007
January 28, 2008, 05:42 PM
Now the real case mentioned is a bit different from the hypothetical store owner not letting the BG get away.

That takes more thought. In the real case from the article I would be more likely to have some compassion for the shooter. In the example case if the shopkeep had taken one in the dome.

The way I read the OP we were talking about a hypothetical shop keeper not letting the BG get away.

So here we go:

A good guy is robbed (not shot though). The BG runs from his store and the GG follows as he isn't letting the BG get away it with it. A gun fight ensues. The GG's gunfire happens just to injured the innocent:

1. You are an innocent and you get shot such that you are significantly injured and will have lots of expenses, disability, etc. even with your own insurance.

2. Your significant other gets nailed - kid, wife, husband, etc. whatever - same serious injury and expenses.

Do you sue or does your RKBA nucleus in your noggin say that you should NOT sue for the cause? Do you eat the costs and disability even though one could argue that the GG should not have pursued even though the BG got 'what he deserved' and it showed that we stand up to crime, etc.

Fremmer
January 28, 2008, 06:03 PM
It seems to me that one who shoots has the responsibility (or the duty) to make sure that no rounds hit anything other than the target (the BG). I don't care what caused the shooting. If you shoot, and you cause damage to an innocent, then you get to pay. That includes property damage, or damages for injury or death.

The answer for most people will be to sue. They don't care about what stuff was stolen, or about anything else. All they know is that you shot them, they didn't sign up to be shot by you. That's just the way it is.

Of course, you always have the option of choosing not to shoot, in which case there will be no liability. It's your choice. You have to live by it.

grymster2007
January 28, 2008, 06:21 PM
Suing the BG is a nonstarter - he has no assets or insurance company.

I know, but indicated I would as a matter of principal. Some of my former tenants still owe me a lot of money that I'll never see. I collected some, but, every time I'd garnish their wages they'd just go get another job and at some point, I'd lose track of them and that's that.:mad:

9mmHP
January 28, 2008, 06:54 PM
I don't think the added facts change anything at all. Tort law is about compensation, not about whether someone is a good person or not.

panino
January 28, 2008, 08:45 PM
The idea behind guns being available to the citizen is that not everybody is a reckless fool who would abuse of them, either by committing crimes or neglecting a responsible behaviour. So why not suing the "good" guy would be sticking to the cause? But i must say i'm not familiar with the US legal system, so i will limit myself to say that the one who shot the bullet would have to pay for the medical bills, the missed incomes and the eventual permanent damage.

By the way, this is a question separated from reality. I.e. how many women have said "I don't care if you don't want this baby, i'm keeping it and i will raise him on my own" only to ask a judge a few months later to force the irresponsible father to pay alimony?

ludwig1138
January 28, 2008, 08:50 PM
If some reckless person shot me, I wouldn't sue him, I'd shoot him (if able). If a GG shoots me, he becomes the BG to me, no matter what his intentions are. If you shoot, you are responsible for where your bullets go, no ifs ands buts or maybes, you are responsible.

Yellowfin
January 28, 2008, 08:56 PM
Let us not forget that part of the reason that most of us carry is that it is THE effective deterrent to crime. It is the criminal of any stripe who should be the one afraid of the scenario, not their intended target. I for one would not like to be an example of deterring the deterrence.

4V50 Gary
January 28, 2008, 09:11 PM
Classic tort case of battery.

James K
January 28, 2008, 09:14 PM
You bet your A$$ I would sue, and for plenty. The idiot's right to self defense ended when the BG fled; pursuit was reckless and irresponsible conduct. The RKBA implies the obligation to use firearms in a safe and responsible manner. Suing someone who fails to do that is not against the RKBA, it is in support of it.

Jim

Mas Ayoob
January 28, 2008, 10:11 PM
I always enjoy Glenn Meyer's posts, because the guy knows what he's talking about and, more important, what he has to say makes people think.

This thread is a classic example.

First, Glenn gave a brief precis of the actual case. Then, he asked a hypothetical that is different in critical ways. In the hypothetical Glenn presents, the good guy has NOT been shot, merely robbed at gunpoint. The hypothetical chase then goes out in the street, shots are fired, and an innocent bystander is hit by the Good Guy's gunfire.

That's two prisms through which to view the same question, should the armed citizen pursue an armed felon or not?

As we watch the thread unfold, we see a couple of things. First, it's human nature to judge one's own kind more harshly, since their actions reflect on us, consciously or subconsciously. Second, it's easy for folks who came in late to get a skewed perception of the actual encounter. On threads like these, by the second page some people will be responding without having read all that went before.

Let's look through that prism from another angle.

You are the driver of a van, unarmed and untrained in these things, minding your own business as you roll to a stop at an intersection. Suddenly, a man appears at the door of your van, armed with a gun. Unknown to you, though you'll find out later, he is attempting to carjack you and has just shot another helpless, innocent victim in the center of the forehead and left him for dead. Suddenly, someone shouts at the armed offender, and he turns and raises his gun to shoot that person. The person who shouted fires his own gun, dropping the offender and also unintentionally wounding you. His actions have physically harmed you, but he has also saved you from probably being kidnapped by a man who shoots his victims in the forehead.

Does this change your outlook at all, as a plaintiff with the option of suing the man who kept you from being carjacked, and/or kidnapped, and/or murdered?

kgpcr
January 28, 2008, 10:16 PM
Sue the bad guy is a great idea but a joke. What are you going to sue them for?? his property. Great you wind and get a worn out crap pipe LOL. The bums dont have pot to **** in or a window to throw it out of so what could you gain. Yes the court may say he owes you a million but how can you even collect ten bucks from them?

MWM
January 28, 2008, 10:19 PM
Is either a lesser hell?
MWM

chopz
January 28, 2008, 10:52 PM
You are the driver of a van, unarmed and untrained in these things, minding your own business as you roll to a stop at an intersection. Suddenly, a man appears at the door of your van, armed with a gun. Unknown to you, though you'll find out later, he is attempting to carjack you and has just shot another helpless, innocent victim in the center of the forehead and left him for dead. Suddenly, someone shouts at the armed offender, and he turns and raises his gun to shoot that person. The person who shouted fires his own gun, dropping the offender and also unintentionally wounding you. His actions have physically harmed you, but he has also saved you from probably being kidnapped by a man who shoots his victims in the forehead.

that seems to me like an entirely different scenario than the one in original post. to me the main difference is that in this one, the criminal at the door has already brought the van driver into the equation. at this point the shooter is possibly aiding and protecting the van driver - possibly unknowingly.

if it's just a person who happens to be walking on the same sidewalk as the criminal and they get shot, then i'd say holey-forehead-guy is the one who dragged the bystander into it.

how many shots were fired? it could be that the shooter unloaded a dozen rounds in the direction of the bg after the bg went down on the first shot. i wouldn't count that as using very good judgement - especially if there was an appreciable lapse in time between the first and last shots. in fact, maybe he saw someone stirring in the van and assumed it was the bg's accomplice.

TexasSeaRay
January 28, 2008, 11:36 PM
As we watch the thread unfold, we see a couple of things. First, it's human nature to judge one's own kind more harshly, since their actions reflect on us, consciously or subconsciously. Second, it's easy for folks who came in late to get a skewed perception of the actual encounter. On threads like these, by the second page some people will be responding without having read all that went before.

Exactly.

My stance and views on property rights notwithstanding, and not wholly relevant to this discussion, my original viewpoint still stands:

I will never sue a Good Samaritan whose intentions were good. It is my wife and mine's personal belief that such actions only serve to deter otherwise honest, decent-minded citizens from even thinking about going out of their way to help their fellow man.

And, as stated before, should I ever be the shooter in such a situation--and having BEEN in such situations as a cop on many occsions--I will do whatever it takes to ensure that whatever innocent individual that might be wounded by me is properly taken care of.

If it were my wife who was shot during an attempted carjacking in the situation you describe, there would not be any lawsuit filed nor charges requested whatsoever.

Jeff

Perldog007
January 29, 2008, 04:30 PM
Does this change your outlook at all, as a plaintiff with the option of suing the man who kept you from being carjacked, and/or kidnapped, and/or murdered?

I might still want to sue if seriously injured - BUT - would now worry about my standing to do so. The man did unintentionally shoot me, but he arguably saved me from greater harm. I can see a duty, breach of duty, injury, and causation . Or can I ?????

Were his actions truly neglingent, or was he acting in good faith to the best of his ability even though injured?

Tough call for sure.

HKuser
January 29, 2008, 04:46 PM
I can see a duty, breach of duty, injury, and causation . Or can I ?????

Of course you can:

Duty- He's responsible for whatever he puts downrange of himself

breach- He shot you

damages- you have medical/burial expenses

causation- He pulled the trigger

It ain't hard.

ibfestus
January 29, 2008, 05:22 PM
... and one of the reasons is because if you sue, you have to sue everybody. Doesn't matter what their intentions, if they were part of the incident they are part of the suit.

A guy gave me a job once when I needed one. A few months later I was in intensive care with permanent injuries due to negligence on a manager's part and incompetance by the Work-comp Doctor.

The lawyers told me I would have to sue the company, the owner, the Doctor, the insurance... everybody, I could have ruined the company. I am still glad I didn't. I took what Workman's Comp I could get and walked away.:rolleyes:

Th0r
January 29, 2008, 05:38 PM
This subject reminds me of the case of the UK farmer Tony Martin. Martin shot two burglars with a shotgun, killing one and seriously wounding the other. So although Martin was prosecuted for the killing, the man he wounded tried to sue. This whole thing ended when a tabloid paper showed pictures of the wounded man, breaking into another property.

If I was shot by a robber or another "bad guy", and I was seriously injured and maybe left disabled I would probably want to get insurance rather than to sue. Legal action costs alot of money, and as a result of that I would probably lose alot of the money I was owed. If I could no longer work and the insurance money was inadequate, meaning not able to support myself and replace an income, and the chances of that are high. I would be in a position where I would need to sue.

I think a large sum of money should be given by the state, to those who cannot work because of a crime commited against them. And Im not talking about something like welfare, but money that has been confiscated, as it is the proceeds of crime.

panino
January 29, 2008, 07:29 PM
Let's take the lawsuit out of the equation of the carjacking example. Should the good guy pay the hospital bills of the van driver? This if he doesn't die, in that case his help in preventing the carjacking woundn't be that necessary,

Ohio Rusty
January 29, 2008, 07:59 PM
If a BG hurt me while commiting a crime against me. I'd sue him criminally or civilly for physical and emotional damages just the same as he would sue me.
I'd try to take away every thing he owns, and everything he would ever own again .......
Ohio Rusty

ShootemDown
January 29, 2008, 08:39 PM
Yes I would sue.

DMK
January 29, 2008, 08:44 PM
You are the driver of a van, unarmed and untrained in these things, minding your own business as you roll to a stop at an intersection. Suddenly, a man appears at the door of your van, armed with a gun. Unknown to you, though you'll find out later, he is attempting to carjack you and has just shot another helpless, innocent victim in the center of the forehead and left him for dead. Suddenly, someone shouts at the armed offender, and he turns and raises his gun to shoot that person. The person who shouted fires his own gun, dropping the offender and also unintentionally wounding you. His actions have physically harmed you, but he has also saved you from probably being kidnapped by a man who shoots his victims in the forehead.
That is an interesting viewpoint.

However, it is hard to say what conversation went on between the driver and the running gunman. He could have been telling the driver to get out, in which the driver would have exited the van unharmed to let the gunman drive off. But before that happens, this other guy comes running down the street and shoots the driver. Saving the car in trade for a gunshot wound.

On the other hand, the BG could have just been ready to shoot the driver and the other guy stopped that chain of events. But then again the driver got shot anyway. Which would have been the worse gunshot, the one from the badguy or the one from the goodguy?

This is exactly what courts are for. To analyze and solve these questions for the actual events. Sometimes the individual folks that were there don't even realize what actually happened. They only see the elephant two dimensionally from their perspective.

DMK
January 29, 2008, 08:52 PM
I will never sue a Good Samaritan whose intentions were good. The problem with that is this: Was he being a good Samaritan? Or was he acting on anger and revenge? Did he shoot that guy to prevent him from carjacking that car? Or did he shoot the guy, completely disregarding the fact that there was an innocent bystander in the line of fire, to protect his own family? In other words, was the driver's life irrelevant in his pursuit of his goal (which by his own admission was to protect his family)?

Again, these are the kind of things that need to be sorted out in front of judge and jury.

bigghoss
January 29, 2008, 09:14 PM
the BG caused the situation, he should pay

Double Naught Spy
January 29, 2008, 09:50 PM
that seems to me like an entirely different scenario than the one in original post.

Right, not Glenn's orginal scenario. However, if it happens as in Ayoob's example, then I might consider it more optional. Regardless of whether or not the good guy saved me from being carjacked, he still had no right to shoot me and I should not have to pay for the consequences of him shooting me.

Since all the sappy background information was provided, it is clear that the shooter was not endeavoring to save me from the carjacking, but in saving his own goodies. He doesn't get to shoot me in order to possibly save his goodies and mom at home. At this point, they are not in the line of fire, but I was.

About to be attempted to be carjacked, being carjacked, and carjacked are all different things. I would hate to be shot by the good guy who is trying to shoot to save his bacon at home. This is especially if all I had to do was to drive away - a common means of successful escape for attempted carjackings where the intended victim is in the driver's seat with the car running.

Mas Ayoob
January 29, 2008, 09:57 PM
Actually, Brad fired because the perpetrator turned from the van and brought his gun up on him: straight-up self-defense, which is why he was never criminally charged.

He had PURSUED the man because the suspect had taken Brad's wallet with home address, and his house keys. When the perp standing by the van came up on him with the gun again, Brad had no cover, tunneled in on the lethal threat, and fired.

Perldog007
January 29, 2008, 10:13 PM
Since Brad had taken a cap to the dome, I wonder how this factors in.

Do courts recognize any sort of reduced capacity defenses in civil cases? Clearly the criminal system had no problem with him taking the shot.

Very interesting situation. What about the driver? Did Brad owe them any duty to exercise care, or was this obviated by his mental state and physical condition?

I like to consider myself well read and trained on these matters, but I am at a loss on some of the finer points.

Nnobby45
January 29, 2008, 10:34 PM
If some reckless person shot me, I wouldn't sue him, I'd shoot him (if able). If a GG shoots me, he becomes the BG to me, no matter what his intentions are. I


Incredible. Even after it becomes known that the victim had been shot in the head and seriously injured by his would be murderer who was likely heading for his home and invilid mother, there are those on the board who would sue him, shoot him, or put him in prison.


The next victim of the creep could have been one (or more) of your loved ones. If not-- somebody elses for certain.

Ordinarily, he should not have persued-- but this wasn't ordinary considering bullet damage to his brain and his invilid mother home alone.

Don't much like the chances of the carjack victim surviving, either, if he'd let him go--given the homicidal nature just demonstrated by the creep.

ludwig1138
January 29, 2008, 10:44 PM
Quote:
If some reckless person shot me, I wouldn't sue him, I'd shoot him (if able). If a GG shoots me, he becomes the BG to me, no matter what his intentions are. I
Incredible. Even after it becomes known that the victim had been shot in the head and seriously injured by his would be murderer who was likely heading for his home and invilid mother, there are those on the board who would sue him, shoot him, or put him in prison.

These threads become confusing. I was referring to the original senario not whatever the second one introduced into the discussion.

Nnobby45
January 29, 2008, 11:20 PM
These threads become confusing. I was referring to the original senario not whatever the second one introduced into the discussion.


Perhaps your right--especially if I was referring to the second scenario and you the first.:D

Never the less, there are those not under the slightest stress who hold a man to an extremely high standard after he went thru the extraordinary traumatic experience of taking an execution bullet to the fore head and was still able to fight back, protect his mother, and likely save the life of the victim who was unfortuneatly shot while hidden from view by the gunman.

To accuse him of being selfish because he was fighting on his own behalf, (and his mothers') is somewhat selfish in it's own right.

chopz
January 29, 2008, 11:49 PM
i think, in this multifaceted scenario it needs just one more facet to consider, especially for those who said "i'd only want my medical bill paid": bringing a lawsuit may be the only way the victim would receive any compensation from an insurance company.

i'm not sure, if any LE officers here might know, if an officer accidentally injures a bystander while doing his job, would the municipality by which he's employed compensate the bystander? if so, then how much more so should a person be compensated in this case?

there's a lot of background needed to understand the situation. the guy was shot with a .22, "execution style." was he a fellow gumbah of the perpetrator? did he get in too deep with a loan shark or something? was it his drug dealer to whom he owed a lot of money?

i'll mention one last thing, and i hope i'm not being annoying - please let me know if i am. as a private citizen i figure i have one shot in my life that i can ever actually use a firearm for self defense or to harm another in any way, no matter how urgent the need or how valid the reason. after that it's pretty much over, i'd lose my privileges, probably do my time and perhaps lose everything. it's a given. it's the sort of thing one would probably only trade for a loved one, or if his life is on the line. whether the shooter recognized this or not, i reckon us as being equals under the law. so he should assume the same degree of responsibility.

Rifleman 173
January 30, 2008, 01:27 AM
Don't some states have a victim's compensation fund of some sort? Illinois does. If you're the victim of a crime, you could have your insurance cover your expenses and then go after the bad guy and/or file for funding from the victim's compensation fund.

BillCA
January 30, 2008, 02:14 AM
Since all the sappy background information was provided, it is clear that the shooter was not endeavoring to save me from the carjacking, but in saving his own goodies. He doesn't get to shoot me in order to possibly save his goodies and mom at home. At this point, they are not in the line of fire, but I was.

Double Naught,
Not trying to be overly critical, but is this opinion apply only because he was pursuing the BG or would it be the same regardless of where/why/how he fired?

PT111
January 30, 2008, 06:05 AM
In many cases you would have to sue both the BG and the GG for your insurance to pay off but that really isn't the question. One of the things I worry about is either hitting a by-stander or being hit by an over zealous GG. Everyone thinks they can be 100% accurate with their headshot from their .45 and after one clean shot everything is over except for the clean-up. In real life a 50% hit rate is outstanding so where do those other bullets go? I think the OP talked about a robber running away and you bet your sweet bippy I would sue in a case like that. Every case is different and I can't say that I would in all cases but a Dirty Harry wannabe better have a good lawyer.

9mmHP
January 30, 2008, 08:55 AM
You have a robber fleeing, who gets chased into your path, who then tries to carjack YOU in order to get away from the guy he robbed, and the victim shoots YOU, and there is some question as to whether YOU should be compensated? I just don't see the dilemma. The law assigns a reasonable man standard in tort cases, not the individualized circumstances of this particular defendant. Tort law is about assigning compensation to those harmed, not deciding whether the robbing victim is good or noble or righteous.

zukiphile
January 30, 2008, 10:21 AM
You have a robber fleeing, who gets chased into your path, who then tries to carjack YOU in order to get away from the guy he robbed, and the victim shoots YOU, and there is some question as to whether YOU should be compensated? I just don't see the dilemma. The law assigns a reasonable man standard in tort cases, not the individualized circumstances of this particular defendant. Tort law is about assigning compensation to those harmed, not deciding whether the robbing victim is good or noble or righteous.

Precisely. Further, we assign the costs of a person's acts to that person. This let's each individual weigh the risk that his own acts will endanger another. Suing the GG doesn't make him bad, it just makes him accountable.

brickeyee
January 30, 2008, 11:09 AM
"Your own insurance may not want to pay health costs if they think there is another person responsible. Even if you just wanted the other guy to pay your deductibles, your health company might want the other person to pick up the whole show."

No, your insurance can be forced to pay (by legal action if necessary) and then THEY must go after the party.

I have NEVER seen a health insurance policy that places restrictions like this, and without a written restriction in the plicy the insurance company WILL lose.

easyG
January 30, 2008, 11:28 AM
Do you sue or does your RKBA nucleus in your noggin say that you should NOT sue for the cause? Do you eat the costs and disability even though one could argue that the GG should not have pursued even though the BG got 'what he deserved' and it showed that we stand up to crime, etc.
I would first attempt to sue the bad guy and get him to pay for my medical expenses and time off from work.

But if that failed, then yes, I would sue the good guy.

Everyone who knows me on this forum knows that I'm all in favor of ridding our society of criminals.....however....I'm also a firm believer that you do not needlessly endanger others while chasing a criminal.

If you can shoot the criminal without endangering others....then yeah, shoot him!
Heck, shoot him three times!

But if there is even a remote chance that you will hit an innocent bystander, then NO, you do not take the shot.
Ask yourself this:
Is getting your wallet back worth killing an innocent bystander?

"Yep! I killed four children, three soccor moms, and two firefighters....but I got my wallet back!"

Glenn E. Meyer
January 30, 2008, 12:14 PM
Thanks to Mas for entering the conversation. His work has been seminal for me to investigate such issues. I guess I got the school's money's worth for them sending me to LFI-1.

My scenario was different as I wanted to remove the motivation that Brad had. I had no disrespect for his actions intended. I wanted a pure pursuit thread which did not have a possible continuing threat. But it is interesting to see how the real scenario is playing out.

In my original, the RKBA nucleus comment was intended to separate out how one would deal with the practicalities of expenses vs. one's ideological position. How would a progun community deal with someone who seems to be upholding the 'stand up to the bad guy's view' when it goes awry. That's what I get for reading all the jury research.

Mas Ayoob
January 30, 2008, 01:06 PM
One poster writes, "Tort law is about assigning compensation to those harmed, not deciding whether the robbing victim is good or noble or righteous."

Ummm....NO, actually.

If that were true, every monster righteously shot defense of others or self by police or law-abiding armed citizens, would automatically win every bogus lawsuit they filed.

zukiphile
January 30, 2008, 01:37 PM
One poster writes, "Tort law is about assigning compensation to those harmed, not deciding whether the robbing victim is good or noble or righteous."

Ummm....NO, actually.

If that were true, every monster righteously shot defense of others or self by police or law-abiding armed citizens, would automatically win every bogus lawsuit they filed.

I think you misread the post, especially in the context of prior responses. You may have implied an "exclusively" into the first clause.

That a GG was trying to do something laudable, but made an error, would not and should not bar recovery for the harm he causes. The putative defendant's goodness isn't relevent to the fundamental theory in torts that people are liable for their actions.

9mmHP
January 30, 2008, 03:54 PM
Exactly. In addition, Mr. Ayoob misunderstands the law. Placing YOURSELF in danger by committing a crime and suffering damages because you were stopped by lawful and reasonable use of force bars recovery. It's about responsibility, not morality.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 30, 2008, 04:02 PM
"Your own insurance may not want to pay health costs if they think there is another person responsible. Even if you just wanted the other guy to pay your deductibles, your health company might want the other person to pick up the whole show.

No, your insurance can be forced to pay (by legal action if necessary) and then THEY must go after the party.

I have NEVER seen a health insurance policy that places restrictions like this, and without a written restriction in the plicy the insurance company WILL lose. "

I've been there on that in a car accident. The other party's company decided that the care my doctor suggested was inappropriate and unwarranted. My plan said I had to deal with them. Tremendous hassle. Suing my health care plan sounds like a wonderful use of my time and expense.

As an aside, our plan has told cancer victims that their proposed treatment is 'experimental' and refused to pay. There were lawsuits over that. Hope you don't die before they settle.

Fremmer
January 30, 2008, 04:09 PM
Theory is great in law school. But in real life, and in real lawsuits, Mr. Ayoob understands the law enough to realize that certain facts may cause a jury to award much less in damages, or no damages at all. ;)

brickeyee
January 30, 2008, 04:25 PM
"My plan said I had to deal with them. Tremendous hassle. Suing my health care plan sounds like a wonderful use of my time and expense."

You start by filing a complaint with your state insurance commision against BOTH companies.

It often does the trick right there.

"Suing my health care plan sounds like a wonderful use of my time and expense."

All depends on how many $$ are involved.

stephen426
January 30, 2008, 05:59 PM
I'm under the one should be responsible for each and every bullet that left his or her gun. That means that you had better practice on a regular basis and know what the heck you are doing. I would not expect any sympathy from an innocent bystander (or his or her family) because I missed. I know its impossible to be 100%, especially under duress, but the odds must be calculated before pulling the trigger. For instance, is there a crowd of people behind the target? Is the bad guy actually still a threat to the person "defending" him or herself? If someone wants to be a cowboy and starts blazing away with total disregard for the safety of others, you better believe I'm going to sue. Even though I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, someone has got to put food on the table and pay the mortgage. As Captain Charlie pointed out, chances are you're not going to get much from the bad guy. I'm not going to just take a loss of wages and eat the medical expenses because of someone elses carelessness.

Lets put it this way. Can a police officer fire on a suspect that is in the middle of a crowded area? What if there is collateral damage? Would you sue the police department or at least try to recover damages? The police officer should recognize that there is too much danger to the general public and seek cover.

I'm not sure who posted the part about returning fire on the good guy, but he has a very valid point. Unless you are watching this whole thing unfold, how do you know who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Lets assume for arguement sake that the bad guy is not in a ski mask or wearing gang colors. First reaction should be to take cover as soon the first shot is fired. If someone keeps firing in my direction, you better bet I will return fire.

zukiphile
January 30, 2008, 06:40 PM
Theory is great in law school. But in real life, and in real lawsuits, Mr. Ayoob understands the law enough to realize that certain facts may cause a jury to award much less in damages, or no damages at all.

I don't believe anyone disputes that, or that it pertains to the point at issue.. The comment contradicting a fair description of the purpose of tort law was wide of the mark. Anyone can misread. Happens to the best of us.

Don Lu
January 30, 2008, 06:49 PM
Yes, I would sue. I read the article referred to in the OP. bottom line is the GG had already been shot in the head before he chased the BG. Surely he knew this would have a negative effect on his ability to shoot acuratley, the article described him as having lost his hearing during the altercation and also described he felt like he would black-out at any moment. he knew he was not fit to shoot accuratly at a moving target that he was chasing after being shot in the head.. He also shot someone who was fleeing and was no longer a threat to him. I dont feel bad for the BG and think he deserved whatever negative happend to him..however, If it were my wife, child or me that was shot by the "GG" I'd sue. the innocent in this story was hurt pretty bad and that may have affected her money making ability...she and her family, if she had one still need to eat..who better to be held responsible than the person responsible.

the article focused on the point that the BG had the GG wallet and the GG was worried about his elderly mom who was home alone since the BG now had his address...best thing would have been to call the cops ASAP..chances are they woulda been there waiting for the BG. after knowing he had already shot the GG in the head. and if GG had blacked out, like he felt like was happening, he would chased in vain and no help would have been on the way for him or his elderly mother..It worked out for him in this case but dont think it was the best course of action.

Caeser23
January 30, 2008, 06:54 PM
I would sue for all expenses and most likely not wanna file charges.

I WOULD NEVER PAY A DIME TO THE FAMILY OF A BG in case of a civil suit, hopefully I'm never put in that situation but nonetheless.

Nnobby45
January 30, 2008, 11:09 PM
We should all go back and read Glenn Meyers' origianal post, as well as Ayoobs post below.

Seems we've mixed up the original incident with the hypothetical posted by Glenn-- and some of us are responding from one context and some the other. If we're going to disagree, then lets do it from the same context!:cool:


Ayoob:
I always enjoy Glenn Meyer's posts, because the guy knows what he's talking about and, more important, what he has to say makes people think.

This thread is a classic example.

First, Glenn gave a brief precis of the actual case. Then, he asked a hypothetical that is different in critical ways. In the hypothetical Glenn presents, the good guy has NOT been shot, merely robbed at gunpoint. The hypothetical chase then goes out in the street, shots are fired, and an innocent bystander is hit by the Good Guy's gunfire.

That's two prisms through which to view the same question, should the armed citizen pursue an armed felon or not?

As we watch the thread unfold, we see a couple of things. First, it's human nature to judge one's own kind more harshly, since their actions reflect on us, consciously or subconsciously. Second, it's easy for folks who came in late to get a skewed perception of the actual encounter. On threads like these, by the second page some people will be responding without having read all that went before.

Let's look through that prism from another angle.

You are the driver of a van, unarmed and untrained in these things, minding your own business as you roll to a stop at an intersection. Suddenly, a man appears at the door of your van, armed with a gun. Unknown to you, though you'll find out later, he is attempting to carjack you and has just shot another helpless, innocent victim in the center of the forehead and left him for dead. Suddenly, someone shouts at the armed offender, and he turns and raises his gun to shoot that person. The person who shouted fires his own gun, dropping the offender and also unintentionally wounding you. His actions have physically harmed you, but he has also saved you from probably being kidnapped by a man who shoots his victims in the forehead.

Does this change your outlook at all, as a plaintiff with the option of suing the man who kept you from being carjacked, and/or kidnapped, and/or murdered

Nnobby45
January 30, 2008, 11:12 PM
But if there is even a remote chance that you will hit an innocent bystander, then NO, you do not take the shot.
Ask yourself this:
Is getting your wallet back worth killing an innocent bystander?

"Yep! I killed four children, three soccor moms, and two firefighters....but I got my wallet back!"

That's what Sarah Bradys' bunch says. You may die if you don't shoot, but if there's a minute chance I'll be hit, you shouldn't be able to defend yourself.

Mas Ayoob
January 31, 2008, 07:21 AM
Brad was CHASING the offender primarily to retrieve the wallet containing his mom's address, and the keys to her home. However, he did not FIRE at the moment in question until the man at the van, who had already shot him once and left him for dead, turned and raised his gun at him yet again.

Thoughts?

grymster2007
January 31, 2008, 07:52 AM
Tough one, but the fact remains, Brad should not have been chasing someone for a wallet, an address and keys. This may well have ended without further bloodshed had he stopped the chase.

Brad could have asked the cops to check on his mother after the commotion of the shooting and carjacking and it would have been unlikely that the perp went straight to Mom's house.

I get the feeling that Brad just wanted his wallet back. Buy hey, tough situation and I'm not saying I would have done things differently.

easyG
January 31, 2008, 09:32 AM
That's what Sarah Bradys' bunch says. You may die if you don't shoot, but if there's a minute chance I'll be hit, you shouldn't be able to defend yourself.
Not in this senario....the GG was chasing the BG down the street.
There's a world of difference between shooting at someone who is actively shooting at you, and shooting at a fleeing criminal.
The GG could have just stopped and called the police to check on his mother at his home.

HKuser
January 31, 2008, 09:57 AM
You seem to be expecting this to change something. Brad chases this guy after the initial threat was over, which was not reasonable. Supposedly, the reason for the chase was because the robber had keys to Brad's mother's house. His mother was not in the zone of danger, Brad could call police and change locks, etc., any threat to his mother was remote and theoretical at that point. Brad then chases the BG toward our innocent in the van, who otherwise may have never come into contact with the BG. Brad, through his actions, drove the danger to the van driver, placing him in jeopardy. He then corners the BG between himself and his gun and our poor, innocent, heretofore uninvolved, van driver. The BG points his gun at the guy chasing him with a gun (our Brad). Brad may now have had a private necessity to shoot, but how that means that our guy in the van should pay for it I don't know. Instead of shooting the BG he shoots wildly whizzing one into the van driver, who he had already placed in danger by chasing the BG to his door. I'm not sure if you think the driver should suck it up and take one for the cosmic good or what. Brad was blameless for being a victim, but he was responsible for creating the danger our van driver was in and then harmed him by negligently placing a bullet in him. Should the van driver be happy with his wheel chair and starving kids so that Brad's insurance company could post a slightly higher profit. That's one heck of a lot to expect from anybody.

Brad was CHASING the offender primarily to retrieve the wallet containing his mom's address, and the keys to her home. However, he did not FIRE at the moment in question until the man at the van, who had already shot him once and left him for dead, turned and raised his gun at him yet again.

Thoughts?

zukiphile
January 31, 2008, 10:40 AM
I believe MA's point in stressing that the GG didn't shoot until the BG raised a gun in his direction was to highlight the reasonable quality of retruning fire.

One of the other ideas basic to tort law is that a man should be liable for harm he could reasonably foresee. Do you think it is reasonably foreseeable that chasing a mugger would result in harm to others?

Fremmer
January 31, 2008, 10:55 AM
The comment contradicting a fair description of the purpose of tort law was wide of the mark. Anyone can misread. Happens to the best of us.

It usually happens to guys like me who are just too impatient to read what we should read. :D There are a couple of different factual situations being described. Sorry about that, I'm getting confused! :)

Regardless, if you're gonna shoot in defense of another, you'd better be darn sure to hit what you shoot at, and to not hit an innocent bystander. If you do hit an innocent bystander, you'll probably get sued. The facts make all the difference in whether a judgment is entered against you, as well as the amount of the judgment. That transferred intent deal is a heck of a legal fiction. The law can be an ass. :o

In some states, I wouldn't be surprised if you were sued by the BG after you shot an innocent bystander -- intentional (or negligent) infliction of emotional distress....:D

Double Naught Spy
January 31, 2008, 11:01 AM
One of the other ideas basic to tort law is that a man should be liable for harm he could reasonably foresee. Do you think it is reasonably foreseeable that chasing a mugger would result in harm to others?

Chasing on foot? Not so much. Firing at the mugger he was chasing? YES. While he may not have foreseen that there would be harm to others as a direct result of his actions, he had to know that there would be the risk of harm to others and in knowing that there is a risk, he would have foreseen the potential for his actions harming others.

stephen426
January 31, 2008, 11:02 AM
I believe MA's point in stressing that the GG didn't shoot until the BG raised a gun in his direction was to highlight the reasonable quality of retruning fire.

Lets take this from a legal stand point. If the good guy was robbed and then pursued the bad guy and shot him, would it be considered a justifiable shoot? I don't believe so since lethal force is being used to protect (retrieve) property rather than "the prevention of death or grave bodily injury". Those are the requirements place by the state of Florida on the use of deadly force.

So the good guy pursues the bad guy and shots are exchanged. Would the bystander have been hit if the good guy did not pursue him? Was the good guy's mother in imminent danger at the time? I believe that is a major stretch at best. The good guy's actions should have been to call the police and report the incident and be the best witness possible. He then should have called his mother and told her to leave the house until the locks could be changed.

As an innocent bystander, I still have bills to pay. I will still go through pain and suffering. Am I going to just eat the medical bills and lose wages because someone was protecting PROPERTY??? Can the good guy prove that he was acting on my behalf to prevent me being car jacked? Can he prove that I would have been killed had he not intervened? I'm almost certain he was after his wallet and I'm going to hold him liable for my injuries.

This bring up an interesting twist though... What if you are shot (by accident) by a good samaritan trying to help you out? Say a woman is either being kidnapped or about to be raped and a good samaritan interrupts the bad guy. The bad guy points a gun at the good samaritan and shots are fired. The woman is hit by the shots. In this case, I don't believe the woman should sue since the good samaritan probably saved her from getting kidnapped, raped, and/or murdered.

finity
January 31, 2008, 11:14 AM
This was posted in response to another thread:

"IC 35-41-3-2
Use of force to protect person or property
Sec. 2. (a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against
another person to protect the person or a third person from what the
person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force.
However, a person:
(1) is justified in using deadly force; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to
prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the
commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be
placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the
person or a third person by reasonable means necessary."

Does the above statute prevent the van driver from sueing the GG or is that just for criminal charges? If just for criminal charges, what prevents the BG from sueing for damages received from a legal use of force for (self-)defense?

chopz
January 31, 2008, 11:42 AM
it's really a scenario that needs to be examined in a courtroom, or something similar. the story leads one to assume brad as facing the driver's side of the van and that the bg was standing outside the driver's side door. what if brad was facing the passenger side of the van and actually fired through the van, hoping to miss the bystander? what if the bg deliberately used the bystander as a shield? is it a correct action to return fire then? or to take a pre-emptive shot because the bg raised his weapon to fire? i'm just saying, where are the lines drawn between good samaritan and being irresponsible in such a situation?

9mmHP
January 31, 2008, 11:44 AM
This is an Indiana criminal statute concerning defenses. Remember, everything hangs on reasonable. It would not be directly applicable to civil torts.


You should have included this part of the statute:

(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a), (b), and (c), a person is not justified in using force if:
(1) the person is committing or is escaping after the commission of a crime;
(2) the person provokes unlawful action by another person with intent to cause bodily injury to the other person; or
(3) the person has entered into combat with another person or is the initial aggressor unless the person withdraws from the encounter and communicates to the other person the intent to do so and the other person nevertheless continues or threatens to continue unlawful action.

(e)(1) clearly applies to the BG, he's excluded from protection
(e)(2) and (e)(3) may apply to our GG, he may be excluded from protection

HKuser
January 31, 2008, 11:48 AM
Absolutely, you start chasing an armed mugger, while you're waving a gun, and I think it's not only foreseeable, but probable that someone, including third parties are going to be hurt or killed. This wasn't softball they were playing

I believe MA's point in stressing that the GG didn't shoot until the BG raised a gun in his direction was to highlight the reasonable quality of retruning fire.

One of the other ideas basic to tort law is that a man should be liable for harm he could reasonably foresee. Do you think it is reasonably foreseeable that chasing a mugger would result in harm to others?

alligator94
January 31, 2008, 10:29 PM
What about a slightly different scenario? The shooter is in his house/apartment and is the victim of an armed home invasion. Lets say for the sake of arguement that he hits the BG but the bullet goes through him and the wall and hits you. What then??

BillCA
January 31, 2008, 11:48 PM
Though they were not mentioned, there could be some mitigating factors here too. If Brad had heard or read news accounts of hold-up victims returning home to find they'd been burglarized shortly after a robbery, then he would have legitimate concerns about the safety of his bedridden mother (unable to leave without assistance).

The foot pursuit of a felon, of itself, should not lead to charges of endangering the public or injury to bystanders unless directly caused by the GG (i.e. pushing someone down).

If the van appears from a cross street and the BG runs to the front door, it puts the van operator (VO) in the line of fire. This depends on distance between Brad & the BG plus where Brad fired from in relationship to the van.

IdahoG36
February 1, 2008, 12:45 AM
Do you sue or does your RKBA nucleus in your noggin say that you should NOT sue for the cause? Do you eat the costs and disability even though one could argue that the GG should not have pursued even though the BG got 'what he deserved' and it showed that we stand up to crime, etc.

Yes, I would sue. The shooter is liable for every shot they fire. The GG chased the BG and fired shots, even though the BG no longer posed a threat. Obviously, with the BG running, if he was to be shot, it would be in the back. If you were hit, as a result of reckless behavior by the GG, and severely injured, then yes, you should sue. I have a feeling any sensible jury would agree.
The prosecutor would paint a picture of the GG as being reckless and needlessly endangering peoples lives. The BG was running and being shot at, and in the process you were hit. The prosecutor would say that it is the job of the police to investigate and arrest criminals, not the job of the "average joe" to gun down criminals like it's the wild west.
I don't agree with all of that, but that is likely what would happen. If you were seriously injured, medical bills would mount quickly. If you were disabled, unable to work, and had a family to support, that leaves you in a very bad position. How else, if unable to work, would you support your family, let alone try to pay the extremely high cost of medical care these days?

TexasSeaRay
February 1, 2008, 12:56 AM
If . . . if . . . if . . . if. . . . if

If a frog had wings, he wouldn't whomp his ass everytime he jumped.

Jeff

9mmHP
February 1, 2008, 01:28 AM
I think alligator94 and BillCA may be looking at this through the lens of criminal rather than civil liability. Having some perceived necessity for use of force, even if reasonable, does not give you the privilege of using everyone else in the world as your backstop. Civil liability would still attach, though I don't see any criminal issue for the GG. Whenever you choose to use a gun for self-defense, you can reasonably foresee that any shot you fire that does not reach its intended target is going to reach an unintended target which may be an otherwise uninvolved third party.

predator86
February 1, 2008, 03:41 AM
i would sue both the good guy and bad guy.....there is no reason that i live my life crippled or paralyzed because he has crappy aim......


would i feel bad about suing him? yes without a doubt, hopefully he feels bad for shooting me, if i was the shooter i would pick up the tab of the innocent that i hit....

PT111
February 1, 2008, 06:40 AM
Change the whole scenario. You are on the second floor of a gun friendly mall that welcomes legal carrying and see a gunman standing at the rail firing down on the people on the first floor not paying attention to anyone on the second floor. GG on the other side of the BG, on the second floor pulls out his Glock and starts emptying it toward the BG. Of the 17 rounds 2 hit the BG, non-mortal, and the other 15 hit innocent by-standers on the crowded second floor including you. You pull out your XD, one head shot, the excitement is over and the BG is dead. However you are now paralyzed from the waist down. Do you sue and who?

HKuser
February 1, 2008, 09:10 AM
Who cares, this is getting ridiculous.

TexasSeaRay
February 1, 2008, 10:53 AM
You're at the Super Bowl. The game is in double-secret probation sudden-death overtime. Eli Manning has suddenly hurled the ball downfield to Plaxiwhatever Burress. A field goal and world championship is imminent.

Suddenly, thousands of panicked Patriot fans, upset and frustrated over their governor's ban on everything gunpowder, pull out their CCWs and began blasting at the football in the hopes of deflating it and sparing the Patriots the agony of having their perfect season ruined.

You are on the other side of the field when the lead starts flying. You and hundreds of others are hit right in your beer mug. The beer flies all over you. Your wife/sweetheart did not accompany you to the game. You get home and reek of beer. She accuses you of flirting with the beer maids. You deny it. She conks you over the head with a cast iron skillet.

Do you sue your wife/sweetheart or do you sue the thousands of Patriots fans who unloaded at the football while trying to stop the Giants from winning the world championship?

Do you sue Patriots coach Bill Belichik for not preparing his team well enough to let the game get into double-secret probation sudden death overtime, and thus causing the angst felt by frustrated Pats fans?

Do you sue Mitt Romney for his anti gun actions and urgings, which exacerbated the frustrated Pats fans?

Do you sue Anheiseur Busch or Miller for not de-odorizing their beer?

Do you sue the maker of the cast iron skillet for manufacturing a dangerous weapon?

Do you sue the NFL for even having the Super Bowl, of which if they didn't, you wouldn't have been at the game?

According to some around here, the answers would be yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

Sheesh.

Jeff

Tennessee Gentleman
February 1, 2008, 10:58 AM
As a policeman once told me: "A man can't hurt you running away from you" IMHO, anyone who shoots at a fleeing thief should be liable for ANY damage they cause. Talking about shooting fleeing thiefs lend credence to the anti-gunners arguments that CCW holders just want to go out and shoot somebody.

Capt Charlie
February 1, 2008, 12:21 PM
Who cares, this is getting ridiculous.
Yep. Shame too; this started out as an interesting and somewhat unique thread, but it's pretty much run its course.

Closed.