I used to play softball with a guy who litigated large-scale torts, like airplane crashes due to negligence. At a party one night, I suggested that jury awards were way out of proportion, and that this was driving up costs for everyone. Here is essentially the response he gave me at the time, which I copied from something a current-day reader posted:
If a car manufacturer decides to do a recall, they base that decision on the cost of wrongful death lawsuit totals vs parts, labor and awareness advertising of the problem. Recalls for a gas pedal recall will only happen if the cost of life is more than the pedal alteration. Which means that lives are literally quantified by car parts. Someone out there has a job where they weigh out the math and on one side of that equation is a person’s life. Many industries have a cost of life equation of their own. As schools open back up, there is probably some district who has hired someone to put the cost of teacher and student life in an equation.
I wonder what those variables are. I wonder if the teacher death will pace vs the student death pace will facilitate consolidating classrooms. Waivers are already being sent out to be signed. I wonder what is in the equation for the cost of a teacher or students life.
My friend went on to explain that low jury awards only mean more injury and death of innocent people. I’d never thought of it that way.