Nothing funny about this humerus lawsuit

The SE Texas Record Jun. 25, 2012, 10:53am

In the 2002 caper comedy, "Stealing Harvard," the ethically-challenged Duff (Tom Green) convinces his more scrupulous friend John (Jason Lee) that it's okay to burglarize a rich man's house because his insurance company will reimburse him anyway, and who can feel sympathy for an insurance company?

"Have you heard of insurance, John?" Duff asks. "Have you heard of insurance? It's called insurance. No, the man's not gonna miss the money. He's not gonna have to pay for the money! The insurance guys have to pay for the money, and they deserve to pay!"

Tom Green's send-up of the self-justifying small time criminal is a comic gem, but we can't help worrying about those viewers who miss the joke and find themselves agreeing with – maybe even identifying with – the dastardly Duff.

The prevalence of slip-and-trip suits in courtrooms all across America suggests that quite a few of our fellow citizens would draw the wrong conclusions from this scene.

Either the terrains of our stores, restaurants, parking lots, etc., are more slippery than skating rinks and more hazardous than minefields or we're a nation of uncoordinated goofs – or, worse still, a nation of amoral opportunists.

We wonder if Alice Day isn't one of those people who would learn the wrong lessons from Stealing Harvard.

Day tripped at a kids' ballpark in Beaumont last June and fractured her right humerus. Now, a year later, she is suing the West End Little League in Jefferson County Court.

Tripper Day's alleged accident occurred on a "poorly marked elevated walking area" that, she insists, West End Little League should have maintained in pristine condition or festooned with warning signs.

Did Day exercise sufficient caution on this "poorly marked" pathway? Was she distracted by a game in progress or absorbed with anticipation of a cheese-laden chili dog from the concession stand? Should she consider the economic impact that her suit may have on the West End Little League?

Why should she care? The League has insurance, right?

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