Wildfire settlement

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ezdays, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Yeah, and UP will probably appeal and that will take 10 more years.

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yep, that's why those lawyers get the big bucks, the longer they can delay something, the more they get paid. I'll bet if you offered a lawyer a flat rate to defend your case, you would get swift justice.:rolleyes:

    I'm not defending UP in this, but notice the amount of fine vs the actual cost of damage done and that I guess is because UP has deep pockets. A few years ago, two people set two fires here in Arizona that combined to create the largest fire here in history, some 500,000 acres. One set a signal fire because she was lost and got no jail time, no fine. The other guy set it on purpose since he was a volunteer firefighter, he was looking to create some extra work. He got a bit of jail time, but no fine. I'm wondering where's the justice here, UP had an accidental fire, even by neglect, it was a accident. Here we have two people who set intentional fires and they basically get off Scott-free.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    If you look in your local phone book, you will find that there are more attorneys than doctors. I know, I have done it (I have alot of time on my hands)
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    People don't trust each other anymore. People don't trust the government, and the government doesn't trust people. It seems that people assume disguised intent when dealing with someone else. But who can blame them? After hearing of enough scams, dealing with a few sneaky boyfriends or girlfriends, or having the government promise not to raise taxes only to raise taxes - why should we trust anyone?

    And that is where lawyers come in. I work for the state government, and many of the public that I deal with want to get their attorney involved before saying anything. And at the government level, we want to get our attorneys involved before anythign gets disseminated to the public. It really keeps me from being able to act as a "nice guy" instead of a distrusted "public servant". Having to work through lawyers all the time really slows things down.

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I wonder if the difference in the cases is the difference between the system in California vs Arizona? A fine would not have made much difference to the loss of forest or the cost to fight the fires since an individual who is less wealthy than Bill Gates can't pay a big enough fine to cover much of anything . I'm a bit surprised that the woman didn't get any consequences for her actions. The hunter who started the fires in San Diego a few years ago while trying to set a signal fire received jail time and a fine, I think.

    The case will not continue with U.P., a settlement means that UP has agreed to pay, and drop further litigation. The only way it continues is if the government decides that the fine is not big enough and rejects the settlement offer.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    I agree, adding lawyers to the mix only adds more time and cost to everything. I'm not anti-lawyer, just that it has become a way of life where no one takes responsibility for their actions and everyone is innocent. Somehow, I find it hard to even trust a judge, and they have the ultimate power over how we live our lives. Wouldn't it be great to have someone get arrested and say, "yeah, I did it, I'll take my punishment"? Suppose UP owned up to their accidental fire and pony up, say 20 mil at the onset, rather than spending probably a couple of mil on lawyers and ultimately paying a fine of over $100 mil. The state would have saved a bundle in lawyer and administrative costs and it wouldn't have tied up the courts for eight years. Kinda like a real win-win situation and UP would look like heroes.

    And yeah, there are more pages in the yellow pages for lawyers than for any other profession, and a constant bombardment on TV for your right to sue for anything you can think of.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Actually it didn't cost the state anything, unless they hired additional lawyers for that specific case on a contract basis. I would bet those lawyers were already on the state payroll drawing a salary. If they had not been on the UP case, they would have been doing something else. It is just a chance for the state to recoup some of the money they already pay out to staff the judicial system.
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I should also point out that in my brief time as a state employee, I have noticed that those that get their attorneys involved in every dealing with the government are often found to be doing something illegal on their property.

  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yeah, you're probably right, but think about it, if there wasn't litigation after litigation, these lawyers could actually be put to work doing something constructive like building roads or something...:mrgreen:
  11. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    At least there is a lawsuit and a settlement to argue over. The Hayman fire in Colorado was deliberately set by a demented female park ranger, and the Colorado taxpayers shouldered the entire cost while she essentially went free.

    My wife and I lost a lot because of that fire, even though our home survived.
  12. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Wow I would sure say it took a long time.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Don, are you suggesting that lawyers should get their hands dirty doing actual physical labor?
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I think the system would work a lot better if the lawyers shared the fates of their clients.
  15. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    Kevin, if you can take to subtitle, you ought to watch Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru.
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Here in Arizona, the same thing is true. I've yet to see anyone get more than a slap on the wrist for starting a wildfire. The only one that spent any time in jail for intentionally setting a fire so he could get paid as a firefighter, is a native American, and then the tribes all yelled, "discrimination"....wall1

    I can't see how that is possible, seeing how slick most of them are, I doubt that dirt would stick anywhere :p :p

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