We talk pretty regularly around here about how personal responsibility is a dying concept, but I think I’ve finally found a story that to me not only kills it, but also knocks over its tombstone and pisses on its grave for good measure.
In May 2004, 19-year old Sandra Bergen bought some crystal meth from a man named Clinton Davey. Not surprisingly, she used it. She subsequently suffered an overdose, nearly died of a heart attack and spent 11 days in a coma.
A little more than 2 years ago, she along with her parents decided to sue Davey for negligence. Well, the decision was handed down recently, and even though it was a default judgment because Davey refused to give up the name of the original source of the drugs he sold,
and can now collect damages.
I can’t imagine what this is going to mean for an already screwed up and backlogged legal system. Actually I can, but I’d rather not. By finding in their favour no matter how flimsy the technicality, the judge in this case has opened the door for any idiot who willingly ingests lord knows what to sue the strange dirty man on the street corner when something goes wrong.
I know that the law is the law and that judges sometimes have to do things they don’t like. I also know better than to expect common sense from a drug user, but I’ll say this anyway. Use your fucking head! If you go out into the street, give money to the creepy guy in exchange for something he probably brewed up in his bathtub using industrial chemicals and then willingly ingest it, you’re taking a risk. He isn’t taking that risk, you are. Suing a drug dealer because you had a bad night is like suing a brewery because you drank 18 beers and passed out on a sidewalk. Actually it’s even worse than that because at least beer is a regulated product, meaning that there are safety standards. When you’re buying meth on the black market you have no such protections, nor do you deserve any. So if anybody should be held responsible for your drug problems it isn’t the dealer, nor is it the police who failed to arrest him or you before the transaction could be made or you could take the stuff. The person you need to worry about is looking at you every day when you look in the mirror.