Assorted Stupidity #142

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  • One way to get sued, apparently, is to spend millions of dollars doing nice things for people, which is what Marie Holmes did after she won $188 million playing Powerball. A single mother with four children, Holmes took the lump-sum payment option, which came out to $88 million. She did lots of stuff for her family. Unfortunately, she also did lots of stuff for her now-ex-fiance, who is suing her from prison. Did she pay $21 million to bail him out of jail repeatedly? She did. Did she buy him about $1.4 million worth of gifts? She did. Did he sue her anyway? He did.
  • You should be exceptionally careful when making payments on a loan via wire transfer, at least under the circumstances of this case. If, for example, you intended to make a “small interest payment” on a loan but mistakenly sent almost a billion dollars, the full payoff amount, you may not be able to get that money back. The report doesn’t say whether the contractor who checked the wrong box on a form is in any trouble for that $900 million mistake. It is, very possibly, the form designer’s fault.
  • “This has been a bunch of crap!” yelled Richard Barnett during a virtual hearing on Thursday. Barnett, who was part of the January 6 riot and was pictured with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, seemed to be upset that he was still being detained when other similarly situated idiots have been released on bail. A judge ruled Barnett was a flight risk, based in part on his admissions that he tried to evade capture after leaving Washington. “It’s not fair!” Barnett yelled at the judge on Thursday, although it was, in fact, entirely fair.
  • Also still being held is Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman,” who told 60 Minutes+ this week that he wasn’t a bad person. What was he doing in the Capitol during a riot then? “I sang a song,” he replied, “and that’s a part of shamanism. It’s about creating positive vibrations in a sacred chamber.” But vibrating a chamber wasn’t the only good thing Chansley did, because he “also stopped people from stealing and vandalizing that sacred space,” which is what he keeps calling the Senate. Oh? What happened, exactly? “I actually stopped people from stealing muffins out of the break room,” Chansley said. Wow, they not only wanted to hurt Mike Pence, they were ravaging the country’s muffin supply? Shaman, you are free to go, with the thanks of a grateful nation.
  • Usually a death during a cockfight isn’t news, partly because these cruel competitions are now illegal almost everywhere and so are not publicized. It does get reported, though, when the loser of the cockfight was a human being. He wasn’t supposed to be fighting the bird, and in fact was its owner. He was preparing it to fight another bird when it “accidentally” stabbed him instead. According to the report, it is the third human cockfight fatality in India during the past decade.
  • It is the second one reported here. See Man Loses Cockfight” (Feb. 8, 2011). That one I mentioned twice, because the man’s family later sued the owner of the property where the fight took place. See Wrongful-Death Lawsuit Filed After Man Killed by Rooster” (June 14, 2011). A Westlaw search just now ((“wrongful death” OR “premises liability”) AND cockfight) yielded no results in California, so my guess is that lawsuit was unsuccessful (and they did not appeal).
  • Did it yield any results? Of course it did. See Cuba v. Fernandez, 801 P.2d 1208 (Haw. 1990); LaLonde v. Mabry, 489 So. 2d 1076 (La. Ct. App. 1986). In both cases, humans injured during a cockfight sued the property owners, and in both cases those claims failed. They were injured by other humans, but the result in a bird-involved homicide would likely be the same.
  • Speaking of birds, the 23-minute video essay The State Birds are Garbage correctly points out that most states’ choices for this particular state symbol don’t make a whole lot of sense. Of course, you could say the same thing, and I have, about many such choices. At least the birds exist, which is more than you can say for some state symbols.
  • Finally, thanks to Eric Turkewitz of the New York Personal Injury Law Blog for mentioning Lowering the Bar during this podcast last month. The topic, at least at that point, was why in the world people would do this kind of thing for years on end (we have both been doing it for about 1.5 decades). The answer, of course, is that it is so incredibly lucrative.