5/16/2007

Lawsuits

Of the hundreds of lawsuits filed every year, why does the Tribune elect to give this one front page, in-depth coverage? (And don't miss the Mercy Flight Tragedy Photo Gallery at the link!) Why are the victims of the Mercy Flight crash inherently more newsworthy than the thousands of people maimed or killed every year at the hands of another?

Exploitation?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe some agenda to show how lawsuits & trial lawyers are a necessary (pardon me, truly) evil?

By the way, what do you think the balance sheet on this will look like when the dust settles? Any idea on the financial break out for the family vs legal teams?

Treasure State Jew said...

Geeguy;

I have to defend the Trib here. A paper writes about what people will read. They are, after all, a business designed to sell ads and in the process, move papers.

This story is more newsworthy than the others you mention because of public interest. My old journalism professors used to talk about "a good murder" vs. "an everyday killing".

Everyday killings end up on page 64. Good murders end up on page 1, above the fold. They are so because a domestic brawl doesn't rate the same level of public interest as the Boston Strangler.

Sensationalism and exploitation? Absolutely. What business to you think the news media is in?

free thought said...

TSJ makes a valid point, that papers want stories people will read, but a monopoly source like the Trib can be assured that its readers will follow whatever story is elevated above the fold on page one.

Even if it is just the novelty of a plane crash, why not do more with the sad loss of two local musicians in a wreck?

But, even if I am totally wrong, and the Mercy Flight story is just more interesting, at some point, decency says drop it.

GeeGuy said...

Why was the MEIC lawsuit against the City buried? TSJ, do you believe the Tribune plays favorites?

Treasure State Jew said...

Does the Trib play favorites?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Does 2+2=4?

The unanswered questions of our time.

Oh, and freethought? Don't worry; the Trib will run plenty more stories about the loss of two young musicians. Newspapers aren't in the business of decency.

Anonymous said...

I will go slow for the benefit of the first anonymous commenter in this thread.

The insurer has DENIED COVERAGE. No coverage = no benefits (aka "money").

Therefore, whatever "the financial break out" ultimately is, the family will not be any worse off than they are now with nothing on the table and having been told, essentially, to go screw themselves.

Rooster said...

Geeguy;

I gotta go with the Tribune on this one.

First, sensational as it may be, I do believe it is newsworthy.

Second, I found myself questioning what limitations my life insurance policy would include. Death by drowning on a trout stream? Death at the hand of another while pheasant hunting? Death while On-Call, driving to the E.R. in the middle of the night?

I mean, who reads the fine-print of those insurance policies anyways (other than Geeguy)?

P.S.; Any idea why the flags where at half-staff yesterday?

Treasure State Jew said...

By the way, I think that Pinski has a good point here. As long as Benefis was paying the company that owned the aircraft, its employees could well be considered fare-paying passengers of the aircraft.

I can understand why AFLAC is taking this position; after all, they have shareholders to protect. However, selling such a policy to someone whose job it was to be on that airplane seems pretty unethical.

Anonymous said...

Rooster: The flags were at half-staff for National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070511-9.html

GeeGuy said...

Even though I posted more, above, I want to make a couple responses here. First, Rooster, you had better read the fine print. But you are assuming a) that this was a life insurance policy and b) that they are refusing to pay any death benefits. Tough assumptions because these are unusual exclusions for a 'standard' life policy.

TSJ, you're awful quick to pull the 'ethics trigger' considering you know nothing about the circumstances of the sale and almost nothing about the nature of the policy. Perhaps these exclusions were discussed?

Did any of you stop to wonder if maybe these people had actual aviation life policies? That, just perhaps, these policies were never designed to cover on the job plane crashes and were never sold to them that way?

Or do we just let emotion decide our contract cases? Just like Mr. Pinski is banking on...

WolfPack said...

We all know what a fare is in relationship to air travel. Why are we entertaining the idea that chartering an airplane is the same thing as buying a ticket? A fare paying passenger has no control over the aircraft. A chartered planes operation is clearly more influenced by the passengers as to cargo, flight times and what not. This passenger influence brings unknown risk. We all know in our guts that a Delta flight is safer than a Mercy flight. So who is the one really pushing the envelope of the contractual language of the policy? I also thought I read that at least one of the parties did not list flight personnel as part of their job description. I don’t believe AFLAC’s “regular Joe Policy” is the proper place to lay blame here if only a “Regular Joe” premium was charged. Benefis and/or the charter company should have carried or offered the proper coverage for this type of accident knowing that regular Joe insurance would not cover an accident.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon II -

My questions where rhetorical. There is not enough information to make a serious conclusion about "evil" AFLAC until ALL the right questions are asked.

From the way the press is possibly tainting public opinion, it seems the attorney believes there is a chance for some type of financial settlement.

After all, it is all about monitarily helping the couple who died in a horrific skydiving mishap, right?

Still, it is interesting the MEIC lawsuit was burried... Hmmm....will public outcry will be equal to the AFLAC outrage once all the documents on the subject are discovered, produced, and openly discussed?

Anon I

Treasure State Jew said...

Geeguy;

You are right. It is too early to pull the "ethics trigger." Sorry to fly off the handle.

Aaron