Editorials - June 17, 2022
We all pay the price
From the strange-but-true files, a Missouri woman has won a $5.2 million dollar settlement from Geico after contracting human papillomavirus (HPV) resulting from having unprotected sex in her partner’s car, that was insured by Geico. Despite Geico’s claim that “damages claimed did not arise out of the normal use of the vehicle”, the award was upheld on appeal. The insurer is now seeking a federal ruling on whether there is coverage in this matter.
While it appears to be another frivolous lawsuit, there must be some basis in law in order to have passed a circuit court and a state court of appeal. What is going to be the real test of the law is whether it holds up in a federal court. If it does, what does that mean for insurers going forward? Is any illness or circumstance that happens in a car insured? Does the same litmus test extend to homeowner’s insurance? Obviously every STD is contracted somewhere and one can only imagine the litigation nightmare once this precedent is set.
What if this woman had become pregnant instead of contracting a STD? Would the insurer be liable for child support, and what would that mean for millions of teenagers over the years? The questions are endless and the repercussions could result in exorbitant cost increases to our insurance policies. Not to minimize the pain and suffering this woman has experienced, but it simply doesn’t seem logical that it would be covered by an automotive liability insurance policy. – DS
Same coup, different day
As the Jan. 6 Committee embarks on its mandate, to get to the bottom of what happened that fateful day at The Capitol as the results of the U.S. election were set to be certified, many, both north and south of the border, are receiving the news as if it’s just another day.
Perhaps it is. Perhaps this is the result of more than two years of a pandemic and living in a world in which there are more mass shootings than days in a year, but the evidence continues to pile up showing that Donald Trump made moves to wrest control of the United States back after the will of the voters had clearly sent him packing. That coup attempt (along with other chicanery from Trump seeking to “find” votes and invalidate others) should cause Americans to stop and take stock. But it isn’t. Maybe it’s the four years of Trump that created a culture in which no one was surprised at how low he could go, but the committee’s findings are not creating the sense of outrage they should.
It’s worth thinking about how far the public consciousness has fallen. Remember when Bill Clinton was impeached for having an inappropriate relationship with one of his interns? Television coverage, books, tabloids - the world couldn’t get enough. Here we have a legitimate attempt to overthrow the will of the people in the U.S. and news channels can barely keep people from turning the dial.
Aside from the work to overturn the results of the election, nine people died as a result of the day’s events. The work of the committee to find out what happened, who’s responsible and how to ensure something like it never happens again is important, even if the average American on the street doesn’t seem to think so. – SL
All the wrong moves
Common sense is a way of life for many people, but for those in Canada’s federal government, it might need to be renamed uncommon, or even rare sense after a Canadian bureaucrat attended a celebration at the Russian embassy in Ottawa late last week.
Russia Day, which was June 12, annually marks Russia’s establishment as a country at the end of the Soviet Era. Among the revelers celebrating the reviled country was Yasemin Heinbecker, Deputy-Chief of Protocol for the country’s Global Affairs department.
While Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has come to condemn Heinbecker’s attendance, that wasn’t the ministry’s first response. Shortly after the event, Joly’s department defended Heinbecker’s and Canada’s presence at the party with a representative saying it was to maintain “a diplomatic relation with Russia on matters of Canadian interests.” That representative later apologized on behalf of the government for Heinbecker’s presence at the event. However, the damage has been done and the cries of “never again” from Joly, followed up by assuring the public that Canada sides with Ukraine in Russia’s “special military operation”, did little to explain how it happened.
The question remains: who thought this was a good idea? We have a country that, at best, is guilty of war crimes, bombing civilian targets and hospitals, and, at worst is in the middle of an attempted genocide of the Ukranian people. From a public relations standpoint, noshing on hors d’oeuvres and sipping bubbly with Russian representatives would be right up there with going to a dinner party with Kim Jong-un.
Anyone with an ounce of common sense (or uncommon or rare sense) should have seen what a huge disaster this could be, regardless of how they dress it up, and shut it down long before it came to pass. – JDS