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Old May 4, 2009, 09:16 AM   #76
Webleymkv
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Sounds to me like farmer sees his truck being stolen and goes to the barn to investigate. Farmer doesn't know who may be in the barn, so he takes his gun (seems prudent to me)

And that escalated the situation. Hence the carapace in the next life.
So someone who investigates the in-progress theft of their truck is "escalating" the situation and therefore stands on shaky moral ground? Come now WA, that's a bit of a stretch.
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Old May 4, 2009, 09:30 AM   #77
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And since you are now "staff" and have evidently free reign to indulge in personal attacks
You know what Ken, You have illustrated this entire thread, accidentally, by your own postings. You have put yourself in the shoes of the thief, or the young lady accomplice by trying to interject "morality" and intertwine it with a purely legal topic on ground where that is usually frowned upon. You have put others in a position to question you on those "principals" (like the farmer) and then screech when shots are fired at your argument. Question is: were we justified in our dissection of your argument?
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Old May 4, 2009, 09:51 AM   #78
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My .02 cents and I don't much care who likes it or not, "Accountability for your actions' In some cases will get you killed. We have become a nation of "do nothings" We have quit holding people accountable for there actions no mater what they have done, Murder, Rape, Theft, and so on and so on. My taxes are paying for the incarceration of untold numbers of garbage, because of a society that sits on there thumbs and watches there country and there civil rights slowly disappear, where criminals and foreign enemies have more constitutional rights than an "American". Yes a tragedy, but if your waiting for tears for a scum bag and accomplice that would rather take "yours" instead of "working" for there's don't hold your breath. I would like to see in my life time our country stand together with a back bone, fix and preserve this "Nation Under God" or so help us forever.
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Old May 4, 2009, 10:12 AM   #79
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under fl law deadly force is justified if you are trying to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. The use of deadly force must be absolutely necessary to prevent the crime.
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Old May 4, 2009, 10:57 AM   #80
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"Im in the profession of selling tools to responsible gun owners for hunting, sport, target shooting and legitmate self defense."
Does legitimate self defense mean cowering in your bedroom, and allowing criminals to run through your home and business, stealing whatever they please?
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Old May 4, 2009, 01:50 PM   #81
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Let's all get back on track here. The morality issue is moot.

The issue before us is one of legality.
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Old May 4, 2009, 02:08 PM   #82
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Oh, that argument that a life that's lost can't be replaced? What about that part of my life that went into working to get those funds to buy that vehicle? Sure, I can work some more... But who is going to replace those years of my life that were stolen? An insurance policy, for all that it will pay, will not replace those lost years.
Well, I believe addressed that actual point in one of my posts, and it's the reason I'm not entirely opposed to the use of deadly force to protect property (though I'd argue that the value of the property and whether it's your own property or that of another may factor in).

Also, if we're talking about simple property then assuming it's insured no years were lost. If my $10K car is stolen, I'm probably out at most $1K or so (figuring deductible and increase in premiums...maybe $2K). After paying the deductible I will be able to purchase what is basically an exact functional replacement for the vehicle, and I'll be out a total of $2K...which hardly represents "years" of the average person's life (more like a couple months).

Those months/years also still won't balance out against the entire rest of somebody's life. You're talking about a year (at least the working portion) at most versus...well, who knows, but statistically something on the order of decades. At the same time, I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable to place even one year of your own life above decades of another's, assuming the other person is attempting to unlawfully take that year of your life.

Which is to say that our positions are probably not all that far apart, I just find the attempts to characterize this as "self defense" (in the traditional sense of the term, not the "property=life" sense above) to be more than a little disingenuous.

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No lethal force for property crimes: so Arson, Piracy, and Treason are out.

What about rape, WA? You don't mean to tell me that you would shoot to prevent someone from raping a woman? After all, she probably gives it away for free, anyway. She lost nothing but a few minutes of her time, after all. Hardly worth killing over. Dressing like that, she put herself in the position where the rape was unavoidable.
Arson, piracy, and treason are hardly simple property crimes. Arson generally presents a legitimate danger to the lives of others, piracy certainly carries an implied threat to the lives of the crew, and treason...well, is treason. Other examples of crimes that definitely involve an implied threat against person in addition to property would be armed robbery (which you mention) or carjacking.

And rape is not a property crime either, it's a crime against person (on par with aggravated assault, at the least).

The false analogies in this thread are flying fast and furious, now.

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If my wife collects the $500K or so in life insurance I have, she can't use that $500K (plus a small deductible) to buy a replacement for me.
Sure she can. She can get married again.

Will she get an exact replica of you? No, but then again the person who loses a car to theft likely won't get the exact same car, either.
Maybe I'm the odd one here, but I can't think of a single piece of property I own that I would put on par, in terms of "irreplaceable," with a human being.

I have a few that might come close, and certainly stand out above the others. A few relics from high school, or from military service, from deceased family members, maybe a few others. Still, not one of those is even on the same order of magnitude as my wife. I'd generally be heartbroken if I lost them, but if she was killed in the same incident (fire, robbery, whatever) I'd probably never give them a thought.

I've certainly never owned a car that I elevated to that position. Sure, I'd not be able to buy the exact same car with whatever insurance I collected...but I'd certainly be able to buy the functional equivalent. Now, I've seen a few restored classics that might be a different story, where you can tell a lot of the owners time went into them. At the same time, if my wife died in an accident that destroyed such a car I'd probably not give the car much thought...how about you?

The comparison between life insurance and property insurance was absolutely absurd, and I'd like to think that anybody continuing to defend it is arguing for arguing's sake.

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Old May 4, 2009, 02:11 PM   #83
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Well, on the topic. All we know is what the papers tell us which is not a lot, and you cannot always believe it anyway. We can surmise, however, from the local LE's chosen course of action, that there was a reasonable aspect of self defense. My $.02
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Old May 4, 2009, 02:13 PM   #84
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Let's all get back on track here. The morality issue is moot.

The issue before us is one of legality.
Well the legality seems pretty clear cut.

At the time he fired, his life was obviously threatened. Whether or not he placed his life in danger unnecessarily shouldn't be relevant; any law trying to make the distinction would just be (as I said before) weakening the rights of citizens to self defense. Which wouldn't be worth it even if the morality were clear and more or less universal, which as we can see here is not the case.

Whether she was an accomplice or bystander is also largely irrelevant, since the legal responsibility for that death should (and in Florida apparently does) fall on the guy committing the felony that led to it.


Out of curiosity, though, how does that work for civil liability? Assuming she was a bystander, would he be exposed to civil liability for her death? I know the laws protecting you from criminal liability for self-defense don't always extend to civil.
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Old May 4, 2009, 03:52 PM   #85
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Out of curiosity, though, how does that work for civil liability? Assuming she was a bystander, would he be exposed to civil liability for her death? I know the laws protecting you from criminal liability for self-defense don't always extend to civil.
In Florida, if your shooting is ruled justified, you are protected from any civil lawsuits.
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Old May 4, 2009, 09:11 PM   #86
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In Florida, if your shooting is ruled justified, you are protected from any civil lawsuits.
...that might be filed by someone you shot lawfully on purpose.
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Old May 5, 2009, 12:50 AM   #87
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In many states if you are a "party to the difficulty" you are not protected by Castle Doctrines or similar legislation.

Was he a contributing factor here? Most definitely. So now the argument is whether or not at the point he decided to shoot was he "legal." He was investigating a disturbance on his property, that's legal. He discovered a theft in process and presented a weapon and yelled "Stop." That's kind of like a citizen's arrest I guess, which is legal where I am (I don't know about where he was). So even if we say he was legal up until now, there's the problem of the "threat" that he described.

I have a huge problem with the idea that shooting at a car is ever going to help. If it is barreling towards you, careening around you, or rolling slowly in your general direction, how will shooting it help? Even if you put one through the driver's dome I don't think the car will flip or explode. It will still be doing whatever it was doing before the driver died. Shooting at a car just makes you feel better.

Morally I'm with Wild, I am not going to kill someone over an object. If your state law provides for a citizens arrest, and you are acting in accordance with that and it becomes a self-defense situation you'd be cleared most likely.

Shooting someone just to prevent a theft? In most places totally illegal. This guy just got to tell the only version of the events (It was comin straight for me!). The car thief fled the scene and his accomplice is dead. Now when the thief says, "Run him over? No way, we were trying to get away!" who will believe him? He's a thief and deserves death.
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Old May 5, 2009, 01:35 AM   #88
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MA, Presented? I do not know... the land owner said he thought the truck stopped and also saw passenger arm go out side window opening... thinking the hand held a firearm he fired... thus far he is clear. In florida we can carry a firearm in any manner we choose on our land. We can use said firearm to circumvent violent crime any way we choose. A vehicle regained forward motion against an armed land owner and got fired upon for endangering the life of legal occupant of the land, accomplice of GTA was shot and killed when thought to have a gun and primary suspect is charged with the death according to the law... barring any premeditation on land occupant's part or nefarious "conjunction" (don't know right term) he is free and clear of charges...
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Old May 5, 2009, 10:13 AM   #89
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I have a huge problem with the idea that shooting at a car is ever going to help. If it is barreling towards you, careening around you, or rolling slowly in your general direction, how will shooting it help? Even if you put one through the driver's dome I don't think the car will flip or explode. It will still be doing whatever it was doing before the driver died. Shooting at a car just makes you feel better.

You might want to read the account of what happened in the original post but, let me help;

Quote:
He said he could see two people in the SUV as it backed out of the barn, according to the affidavit. He said he saw the passenger's arm reach outside the vehicle, and believed that person might be holding a gun.

He shot at the vehicles' passenger because he perceived a threat in the form of a weapon. The driver escaped unharmed, and ran away, to be caught later. he was not shooting to stop the vehicle but to mitigate the weapon threat. I am pretty certain that if I saw someone pointing a gun at me and I could fire and stop that threat it would make me feel more safe.

Quote:
This guy just got to tell the only version of the events (It was comin straight for me!). The car thief fled the scene and his accomplice is dead. Now when the thief says, "Run him over? No way, we were trying to get away!" who will believe him?
That's a pretty broad assumption on your part.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, if the farmer wanted the driver dead, why did he concentrate fire on the passenger side ? and why did he not shoot the fleeing driver, no witnesses at all ?

Think about it.
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; May 5, 2009 at 04:20 PM. Reason: To clarify that I am not suggesting that the driver should have been shot! Geez !
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Old May 5, 2009, 12:45 PM   #90
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He said he saw the passenger's arm reach outside the vehicle, and believed that person might be holding a gun.
That's what the report says. Would a reasonable person with the same information have done the same thing? That is, given the evidence, did the shooter have reason to believe that he was in imminent danger of death or serous bodily harm, or that his use of deadly force was necessary to prevent a forcible felony (treason, murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, aggravated stalking, aircraft piracy, unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb, or any other felony which involving the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual)? It appears that the charging authority will now have to decide whether it is appropriate to let a jury decide that.

None of us were there. "Might be holding a gun" seems a little uncertain to me.

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why did he not shoot the fleeing driver, no witnesses at all?
I'm not sure what prompted that question. Maybe the guy realized the fleeing driver did not constitute a threat; maybe he reasonably understood that a lack of witnesses would not help at all in the presence of incriminating forensic evidence. The former seems more likely to me.

In any event, the law in question seems largely irrelevant to this case, to me. It does not legalize the shooting of someone to prevent theft, as has been suggested, nor did the shooter say that that was his intention. Yes, it prevents the shooter from having to first pursue the avenue of retreat before using deadly force, and while that provision of the law may be important in a lot of cases, I cannot see how anyone could reasonably expect a person on foot, out in the open, to try to escape a person with a firearm. Maybe the law does remove one evidentiary burden, but I cannot see how it would be critical here. Any Florida attorneys care to comment?
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Old May 5, 2009, 01:22 PM   #91
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why did he not shoot the fleeing driver, no witnesses at all?


I'm not sure what prompted that question. Maybe the guy realized the fleeing driver did not constitute a threat; maybe he reasonably understood that a lack of witnesses would not help at all in the presence of incriminating forensic evidence. The former seems more likely to me.
I can tell you what prompted the question, it was the statement in a previous post;


Quote:
Shooting at a car just makes you feel better.
And;

Quote:
This guy just got to tell the only version of the events (It was comin straight for me!). The car thief fled the scene and his accomplice is dead. Now when the thief says, "Run him over? No way, we were trying to get away!" who will believe him?
I think that the poster implied that the farmer only shot to "feel good" and that somehow in the milliseconds it took for this shooting to occur, the farmer calculated that if he let the driver escape he would, somehow be free of the charges for shooting the passenger as no one would believe the drivers' story. If I am wrong I am sure the poster will correct me.
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Old May 5, 2009, 02:08 PM   #92
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OuTcAsT, I took Michael Anthony's post a little differently.

He made the statement "shooting at a car just makes you feel better." In the context of his complete statement, I took that to mean that since you cannot reasonably stop a car that is coming at you with gunfire, maybe shooting makes you think or feel that your are accomplishing something.

Mr. Anthony then pointed out with some sarcasm that the credibility of the driver, who is the only surviving perp, is likely suspect because he is a thief, and that any claim he might make that he was not trying to run over the shooter would carry little weight. Reasonable assumption, in my view.

I still do not understand how that leads to your question, "why did he not shoot the fleeing driver, no witnesses at all?". He would have a very tough time justifying that.

We still do not know the facts. We do not know if there was a weapon in the truck. An we really don't know at whom the shooter actually aimed. Perhaps he did shoot at the driver and miss. Only he knows. Only he knows whether after the fact he thought that, had he shot at the driver and missed, he would stand in better stead by saying that he willfully shot to defend himself against the person he hit. Forensic evidence, whether there was a gun, and how consistently the shooter's story remains may determine the outcome.

We can assume that all but a few people who shoot someone are very likely to try to say that they thought they were in grave danger at the time, whether that was true or not, and of those who do not, an unfortunate, naive few may say they fired to prevent the taking of property or to stop a fleeing felon.

We'll see where this case goes.
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Old May 5, 2009, 04:04 PM   #93
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In Florida, if your shooting is ruled justified, you are protected from any civil lawsuits.
...that might be filed by someone you shot lawfully on purpose.
The Florida law protects you from all "civil action from the use of such force." It does not limit protection only to civil action from the BG you shot.

Quote:
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.--

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/...20032#0776.032
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Old May 5, 2009, 04:16 PM   #94
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I still do not understand how that leads to your question, "why did he not shoot the fleeing driver, no witnesses at all?".
It was a rhetorical (kind of) question, My interpretation of his post was that the shooting, in general might have been reckless. The question was merely emphasizing that if that were the case, why did he (the farmer) not "finish the job"

I was not advocating homicide...
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Old May 5, 2009, 04:33 PM   #95
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why did he (the farmer) not "finish the job"
If the farmer is truthful in that he thought they were trying to run over him, then he probably stopped shooting when he no longer thought there was a threat.

If he was shooting because he was PO'd because someone was stealing his vehicle, then there probably would not have been any "witnesses" left.

The fact he let one of the offenders run away tends to lend credence to his story.
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Old May 5, 2009, 05:04 PM   #96
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The Florida law protects you from all "civil action from the use of such force." It does not limit protection only from civil action from the BG you shot.
I wouldn't want to try to interpret any statute by using dictionary definitions in a context that did not encompass other laws, such as tort laws in this case, and case law.

You might want to consult an attorney who knows the case law. The Missouri law, which came later, was modeled after the Florida law. I think you will find that the phrase "immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force" refers (1) to immunity for being prosecuted for any crime if the action was justified and (2) immunity from civil action by the person against whom force was used ("for the use of such force"). Consider that the law makes an exception on the basis of the identity of the person "against whom force was used." One does not "use force against" bystanders.

I seriously doubt that if one's bullets happen to strike high value merchandise at the Ferrari dealer or the proprietor that a civil suit would be filed for "the [lawful] use of such force"--rather, the suit would address damages resulting from an accidental shooting. The shooter certainly didn't aim at the car dealer. And I seriously doubt that the dealer would be barred from seeking damages.

To me, any conclusion that the Florida law prevents a third party from suing and being awarded damages in any injury or death case does not pass the reasonableness test. On the other hand, unless there's something in your liability insurance that excludes firearm liability, the accidental shooting should be covered.

The intent of such laws in most places is to prevent a criminal or his estate from filing wrongful death or other suits in cases in which shootings are deemed lawful for purposes of criminal enforcement. Yes, that was too common, and attorneys have told me that before that provision was enacted, you could be fully justified in shooting someone in your house for self defense, but that the survivors of the deceased could end up taking all of your wealth.

The question that I cannot discuss is when the protection "kicks in". Certainly if you are charged, indicted, and acquitted in a criminal trial court for a shooting, you are immune from civil suits. But what if the sheriff sees no reason to bring charges? Is there anything that bars the housebreaker you shot from suing? After all, there has been no authoritative finding that the sooting was justified, and the plaintiff's burden is then limited to a preponderance of the evidence.

Again, it does not seem reasonable to me that the Florida legislators would have intended to prevent a car dealer or anyone else from recovering damages from the stray bullets of anyone, LEO organizations included. States differ, and Florida could be an outlier in that regard, but you will want to find out what the courts have said before relying on that possibility. The only way to do that is to consult an attorney. You cannot Google on civil trial outcomes.

By the way, the criminal liability is another matter entirely. If the car dealer dies because you fired lawfully at an attacker, the attacker, and not the shooter, would be criminally liable (in most jurisdictions; subject to the details; lay opinion).
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Old May 5, 2009, 05:46 PM   #97
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Again, it does not seem reasonable to me that the Florida legislators would have intended to prevent a car dealer or anyone else from recovering damages from the stray bullets of anyone
They can try anything. But should they lose.....

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(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

Most Florida ambulance chasers don't try.
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Old May 5, 2009, 06:17 PM   #98
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If the farmer is truthful in that he thought they were trying to run over him, then he probably stopped shooting when he no longer thought there was a threat.

If he was shooting because he was PO'd because someone was stealing his vehicle, then there probably would not have been any "witnesses" left.

The fact he let one of the offenders run away tends to lend credence to his story.
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That was my point exactly.


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One does not "use force against" bystanders.
Maybe I'm missing something but in the case being discussed there were no "bystanders". Unless you are trying to paint the passenger as such?
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Old May 5, 2009, 06:29 PM   #99
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They can try anything. But should they lose..... The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, ...
Again, that assumes that "they" (third parties) are subject to that provision of the law, which applies to suits "for the use of such force" and may well apply only to one against whom deadly force is used, and may not--probably does not, if common sense holds--apply at all to a person shot by accident. Doesn't where I live, and our legislators started with the Florida law. Doesn't anywhere else I'm aware of. Good law to have, just don't read too much into it.

But if the bullets are demonstrably and undeniably yours, and if there are damages, why would they (innocent bystanders, not an assailant) ever lose? Why would any "ambulance chaser" have any doubts at all about the outcome? Clear cut case... preponderance ofthe evidence... no unanimous verdict required....

One more time: consult an attorney. Another good thing for all of us to do is check the details of our homeowners and umbrella policies.
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Old May 5, 2009, 06:32 PM   #100
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Maybe I'm missing something but in the case being discussed there were no "bystanders". Unless you are trying to paint the passenger as such?
You're not missing anything. The discussion has to do with the terms of the Florida statute. Nothing I've read about in the case at hand applies.

The Brady Bunch bird said something about bystanders that was nonsensical at best.
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