A colleague of mine (Professor Mark Mitchell, Marketing) passed on some of the new TV ads being run by DirectTV to encourage consumers to switch from cable TV to their direct service. They are hilarious. The one below had me thinking on the issue of "proximate cause" when we teach about torts in our legal environment classrooms. Who really is responsible for injury? Who really should pay? What are the limits of the logic? Is the cell phone company responsible for the distracted driving that leads to an accident or is it the maker of the device itself, or the road, or the car company who didn't warn not to look at the GPS screen while driving? The road to netting potential tortfeasors could be endless and only the courts, juries and legislators put some limitations on it. Common sense and personal responsibility often get lost in the legal "static."
The big complaint about the U.S. legal system and raised in debates on tort reform is the expansion of tort theories, by plaintiff attorneys seeking new ways of making cases and cashing-in for "victims" and themselves. So the DirectTV might be a funny way to approach the topic. Is the cable tv company the proximate cause of this individual's "assault." Does he have a cause of action against his cable company for various forms of tort liability and compensation?
Editor's Comment: Maybe this guy could sue Direct TV for not speedily convincing him to switch from cable?