Here
and
Now

kuchikomi

Fukui accident victim wins claim against fellow victims

48 Comments

It would be a gross understatement to say that large numbers of Japanese take to the roads and highways during Golden Week. One of the topics drivers have been discussing among themselves over the holiday period, reports Shukan Post (May 8-15) is the judgment handed down by the Fukui District Court last April 13, concerning a fatal accident that had occurred on a national highway the previous Dec 4.

On that day, the driver of a car dozed off behind the wheel and crossed the center line, colliding head-on with an oncoming vehicle. The male passenger in the front passenger's seat in the car whose driver had dozed off was killed. The driver, a university student, and the operator of the oncoming car both suffered serious injuries.

The family of the deceased blamed the student, and filed a lawsuit. The court ordered payment of 67 million yen in damages. But on top of that, the court also ordered the man who drove the oncoming car to pay the deceased's family an additional 40 million yen.

In other words, the driver of the car that never violated the law or deviated from its own side of the road was judged culpable in the passenger's death.

What is the logic in that?

The driver of that vehicle maintained that he was not at fault; the court ruled otherwise.

It was this decision jammed the Internet bulletin boards with lively exchanges.

The attorney representing the defendant was quoted as saying "To my knowledge, a decision that puts liability on a car that is struck head on by another car that had veered across the center line is irregular to the extreme." He added however, "In this case, the attorney for the plaintiff claimed that the driver was liable because he had made no effort to avoid the head-on collision."

The attorney for the plaintiff declined to comment to Shukan Post.

The court decision was based on extenuating factors, such as the car whose driver fell asleep had veered across the line at a distance of about 80 meters before the collision. This particular national highway had one lane in each direction, and as there were other vehicles in the same lane as the car that fell asleep, even if the other driver had swerved across the center lane to avoid colliding with that car, he would have stuck another oncoming vehicle. In other words, an accident would probably have been unavoidable in any case.

The plaintiff, however, claimed that the driver of the car had sufficient time to react -- either by braking hard or at the very least by sounding his horn -- so with the right presence of mind it was argued he could have avoided a collision. Therefore he should be judged at fault, and obliged to pay compensation.

"A motor vehicle has the capability to cause death or injury, and Japan's Automobile Liability Security Act is designed to support accident victims," attorney Takayasu Kamo tells the magazine. "To be relieved of responsibility in an accident, a driver must clear three conditions of the law."

Those conditions are 1) That there was no negligence in attention while operating the vehicle; 2) that an accident be due to the fault of a third party apart from the injured party or driver; and 3) it would be clear that no fault can be assigned.

Kamo points out that the ruling to pay the 40 million yen was made without any means of conclusively proving that the driver of the oncoming vehicle was at fault due to negligence in attention.

The unfavorable ruling brings with it other penalties to the driver as well. The amount of discount on auto insurance will be reduced at least three grades, so he'll be paying higher premiums. And as unbelievable as it may sound, losing a civil claim may possibly even leave him open to the filing of criminal charges, as well as the revoking of his driver's license.

People need to remind themselves that driving can carry all sorts of risks, Shukan Post cautions its readers.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
Login to comment

In other words, the driver of the car that never violated the law or deviated from its own side of the road was judged culpable in the passenger’s death.

After this there should be no more posts about the lunancy of some awards in the U.S, justice system.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

The judge who made this ruling should be put in the same situation. Absurd to say the least.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Japan might be a safe country, but it's incredibly lawless.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

This is similar to the nonsense where a vehicle that causes an accident is only partially responsible since the other vehicle assumes some responsibility for just being on the road.

This has happened to a couple of my friends. Here's one instance.

A large trailer truck pulled out onto a road without seeing my friend coming down the road on his motorcycle and he ended up sliding under the trailer and breaking his foot.

Although it was the truck driver's negligence which caused the accident, he wasn't held 100% responsible (even though he was).

My friend was also held responsible for "being on the road". The road laws need to be changed. Maybe infused with some common sense.

Perhaps some actual police work and insurance claim investigating would help, too.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Insane. When innocent people are punished, it isn't long before lawlessness becomes the norm. Damned if you do and damned if you don't? Then dammit all to hell. This is seen over and over again throughout history.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This shows the TRUE reason for the court system and the laws. Not to ensure fairness, but to rule over people.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Whatever the laws and statutes say the court should have used common sense and ruled for the driver who did nothing wrong and in fact suffered a head on collision through no fault of their own. The phrase "adding insult to injury" is appropriate here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This decision isn't as crazy as it seems.

To those who can't see the logic, try to bear in mind that this was a head-on collision. This means that:

If the car being hit (car B) is going faster then it INCREASES the force of the collision. In a rear-end collision (the type most of thing in terms of) the front car going faster REDUCES the force of the collision, but the opposite is true in a head-on collision.

If the plaintiff could show that a reasonable decrease in car B's speed before the accident would have resulted in significant reduction in the force of the accident, and that his client probably wouldn't have died, then I can see how this ruling was made. The equation for kinetic energy is 0.5 x mass x velocity squared.

To illustrate let's assume that Car B was going at 80km/hr (22.2 m/s) in a 1500kg car. Car B's kinetic energy would be about 369KJ. If Car B slammed on brakes and reduced speed to 60km/hr (16.6 m/s) before the accident then Car B's kinetic energy would be about 206KJ.

As you can see from the equations, even a modest decrease in speed by Car B would have substantially reduced the amount of force that Car B added to the collision, and a collision that was less violent then the passenger in Car A might have survived.

At the very least the failure by Car B to brake could be seen as negligently failing to take reasonable steps to avoid a loss of life.

To use a simple example, if you see a car coming up BEHIND you at speed and you can't get out of its way, then wouldn't it be reasonable to increase your speed to reduce the speed difference between the two cars and therefore the force of the collision? That's why this guy is got sued, because he didn't take reasonable steps to reduce the force of the collision.

-16 ( +4 / -19 )

This takes the case for idiocy. That judge epitomizes the old lawyers' joke about what you call a lawyer with a 40 IQ (Your Honor). What the innocent driver could have is a matter of retrospection. What happens in a split second is impossible to judge. Even an ordinary should know that.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think it's safe to claim now that court rulings are ridiculous and useless. Humankind should get rid of them! If even judges cannot maintain a considerate and logical mind then the law system is pointless.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Frungy, you make a very sound and logical argument. But the plaintiff's case smacks of vindictiveness, opportunism and greed.

In the end no matter how much money they are awarded it will not bring back their son. I hope all the money makes them happy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

samwattersMay. 10, 2015 - 01:37PM JST @Frungy. Well said (no sarcasm intended) but the key word is "if." Kuchikomi articles are rarely well written but I think that if the scenario you described had in fact played out then it would have been in the story. Then again, this is a Kuchikomi article so I guess it's ommission is possible.

I would suggest that the argument I present is the only logical one. I would, however, note that the defendant probably didn't defend himself very well. My defence would gave been something like this:

The accident happened on a national highway. Assuming both parties were going 60km/hr or 16.6m/s (the speed limit on most national highways) - for a combined closing rate of 33.2 m/s as both cars were heading towards each other - and the car crossed over 80 meters ahead of Car B then the driver in Car B would not have had sufficient time to brake enough to make any difference or react. After all, one hardly expects a car to be heading towards you and that can slow down one's reactions. The confusion paired with normal reaction time (which is detailed in driver safety handbooks available at most prefectural driving centres) is sufficient to explain the lack of a reaction.

Unfortunately an adversarial justice system requires that both parties make good arguments, and if the defendant was just blinking in surprise at this ludicrous charge then he may have been unable to mount a good defence. But that's what the appeal system is there for.

-1 ( +6 / -6 )

A judge with a room temperature IQ.

7 ( +6 / -0 )

The idea that the defendant is at some fault for not doing something to avoid the accident is based on one faulty premise - what person wouldn't do everything they could, if they could, to avoid a car that crossed into their lane and was coming straight at them? The idea that they could have done more is ridiculous, as it's pretty much guaranteed they would have instinctively done whatever they could to avoid the accident if they could have.

Unless they can show that the person was suicidal, the judge failed miserably on this one.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

Absolutely ridiculous judgment. The law in its current shape needs to be changed by the sound of it. Politicians seem to have enough energy and time to focus on changing the constitution so they should have no problem changing this absurd and obsolete law either.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

StrangerlandMay. 10, 2015 - 05:12PM JST Unless they can show that the person was suicidal, the judge failed miserably on this one.

This is a common misunderstanding. The judge makes their decision based on the facts and arguments presented... not on the facts and arguments the plaintiff or defendant SHOULD have presented.

The reason is pretty simple, one can't put all the pressure on the judge to do the job of both the plaintiff and defendant's lawyers.

And that's why I disagree with your assessment Strangerland. If the plaintiff presented a good case and the defendant simply had no answer then it isn't on the judge to tell the defendant what to say. The judge isn't at fault here.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Frungy:

I don't know all the details of Japanese law in general...but I had always assumed that a person is innocent until proven guilty (on paper anyway...we all know rulings and procedure actually go...)

That said, how could the prosecution prove that he didn't do all he could? I mean, we have to be talking about a split second reaction here- one that is by all accounts completely unexpected. Is it not on the defense to prove they did all they could, but on the prosecution to prove that they didn't?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Being on the road makes me at fault when a dozy driver crosses over the highway dividing line? It's so easy to blame the individual in Japan where the state legal system protects Japanese ministries And only in this Japkaesque nightmare where Japanese insurance companies reduce their liabilities in the world of tit for tat insurance payments can judgements like these make any sense.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

kaynideMay. 10, 2015 - 09:08PM JST I don't know all the details of Japanese law in general...but I had always assumed that a person is innocent until proven guilty (on paper anyway...we all know rulings and procedure actually go...)

Actually the "guilty until proven innocent" thing is a criminal court distinction. Civil courts tend to work on "balance of probabilities", which is a far lower standard, and a big part of the "probabilities" being balanced is how well the lawyers argue their cases.

That said, how could the prosecution prove that he didn't do all he could? I mean, we have to be talking about a split second reaction here- one that is by all accounts completely unexpected. Is it not on the defense to prove they did all they could, but on the prosecution to prove that they didn't?

How would I do it if I was the plaintiff's lawyer? Well here's a hypothetical argument:

I'd start out with the standard reaction tables in the Prefectural traffic safety manuals and show that under normal circumstances the 2.4 seconds that the driver had to react were more than sufficient time for a normal and unimpaired driver to decrease speed substantially. The normal reaction time is, for reference, 1.5 seconds, allowing nearly a full second of braking time, which would have shown up as physical evidence in the form of tire tracks.

The evidence that he did not brake hard is clearly shown by the lack of tire tracks from hard braking at the scene of the accident. Therefore the driver was either driving while impaired in some way (over-tired, with slowed reactions from alcohol or some other substance, or merely too old to be driving safely), OR made a conscious decision not to brake hard for some reason known only to the driver.

Either way, the driver's impairment or decision constituted negligence as it resulted in a far more forceful collision, which resulted in my client's death. Had the driver braked it is highly likely that the softer collision would not have resulted in my client's death. The failure of the driver to take even the most minimal action, such as using their horn, shows a complete lack of any action to avoid the accident, and had the driver both used the horn and slammed on brakes it is possible that the combination of actions could have woken the oncoming driver and/or alerted the passenger and avoided the accident entirely.

Therefore it would be my argument that the physical evidence and witness testimony shows that the driver of Car B was negligent in taking no steps to avoid the accident, and therefore shares some of the liability for the death of my client, who was a third party in this matter.

That's how I'd argue it. I'd expect a decent defence attorney to then turn to the judge and apply for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that the standard reaction charts are not designed for unusual circumstances like a car heading the wrong way down the highway, and that the delay can be explained by the unusual circumstances, the difficulty assessing the speed of an oncoming object from straight ahead,and so forth. Once the additional delay for the perceptual difficulties and unusual circumstances are taken into account there was no possibility that the average individual could be expected to brake in the time allowed.

Clearly the defense lawyer messed up. It sucks, but it happens. It doesn't make the judge an idiot, nor does it make the law wrong.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Frungy, Thanks for the interesting insight post.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

+1 to that Frungy. It's not what any of us would hope for, but it makes sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Frungy, we should also consider the reason given: that the defendant had 80 meters to make an attempt to reduce the damage, if not avoid the collision altogether. Given that both cars were traveling at 80kph (like your example) that means that the distance of 80 meters closed at a rate of about 44 meters per second, so just under 2 seconds. Typical brake reaction time is about 2.5 seconds. Brake reaction time is the time it takes from recognizing the need to brake to the point that actual braking starts. In other words, the defendant got his foot on the brake about 0.5 seconds after impact. Either the defending lawyer is an idiot and did not present these facts, or the judge is an idiot for ignoring them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Dan LewisMay. 11, 2015 - 12:43AM JST

Hi Dan,

Frungy, we should also consider the reason given: that the defendant had 80 meters to make an attempt to reduce the damage, if not avoid the collision altogether. Given that both cars were traveling at 80kph (like your example) that means that the distance of 80 meters closed at a rate of about 44 meters per second, so just under 2 seconds.

I actually revised that time down in my later posts. It was my error, I was thinking about the expressways where the limit is 80km/hr, but actually this accident happened on a national highway where the speed limit is normally 60km/hr (but could be as low as 40km/hr in some places).

Assuming 60km/hr (the maximum) that would allow 2.5 seconds, not under 2 seconds.

My bad.

Typical brake reaction time is about 2.5 seconds.

The average represented in the Japanese road safety manuals used in Prefectural driver safety centers (or at least the one I have) is based on the 1.5 second average.

This is based on a very old and arguably inaccurate paper by Olson and Sivak (1986).

More modern and thorough estimates (such as Green, 2009) state that 90% of drivers should be able to start braking within 2.5 seconds under normal circumstances.

I agree that the time you cite is more accurate, I'm just pointing out that in court the figure used by the Japanese police would probably carry more weight, even if it is inaccurate.

Brake reaction time is the time it takes from recognizing the need to brake to the point that actual braking starts. In other words, the defendant got his foot on the brake about 0.5 seconds after impact. Either the defending lawyer is an idiot and did not present these facts, or the judge is an idiot for ignoring them.

I'd say that the defending lawyer is probably at fault. If he let the plaintiff's lawyer get away with low-balling the reaction time by presenting the average reaction time from an outdated source as representative of a situation like then one can't really blame the judge.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's contributory negligence, though whether the facts support that ruling is unclear. I will say that I find the way Japanese courts conceptualize traffic accidents to be bizarre and incomprehensible...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The ruling conforms to the long held tenent in Japan that all drivers are responsible to maintain situational awareness and be ready to react to unforeseen dangers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Frungy, I didn't read your second post until after I had posted. I wanted to mention that (but we all know about the wonderful editing functions available here...)

I'm rather sensitive to the topic at the moment as I was recently backed into by a driver who thought that the best way to back into a parking lot on the left side of the road was to exit the lane to the right side of the road and then re-enter the lane at about a 60 degree angle and cross over traffic to get there. It wasn't a high impact at all, but we're currently discussing exactly how I should have known to avoid someone who decided to pull such a maneuver, and how responsible I am for damages.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If there is no uproar then people have decided to accept this kind of stupidity. I can now understand why so few people get fined or charged for driving badly in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whenever there's an accident the police spend what appears to be interminable hours letting traffic pile up while they measure skid marks, make little chalk marks on the pavement and engage in longwinded radio communications with headquarters. So it could also be argued that everyone whose vehicle is anywhere near that portion of the road is passively punished for the crime of just being there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much time you have to react if the car veered 80 m before the collision and both cars were at lowest road speed (lets say 40 km/hr)?

My calculation is 0.36 seconds!!! (2x40km/h passing 80m)

Go escape the oncoming car - RIP for the victim but the judging is horrendous adding that the B car driver also had to be in hospital and covered his expenses.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bogvaMay. 11, 2015 - 03:55PM JST How much time you have to react if the car veered 80 m before the collision and both cars were at lowest road speed (lets say 40 km/hr)? My calculation is 0.36 seconds!!! (2x40km/h passing 80m)

I'd suggest converting to meters per second since that makes the calculations much easier and you're less likely to make errors.

40 km/hr is 11.11 meters per second, for a combined closing rate of 22.22 m/s.

That's 3.6 seconds to react.

Dan LewisMay. 11, 2015 - 08:12AM JST I'm rather sensitive to the topic at the moment as I was recently backed into by a driver who thought that the best way to back into a parking lot on the left side of the road was to exit the lane to the right side of the road and then re-enter the lane at about a 60 degree angle and cross over traffic to get there. It wasn't a high impact at all, but we're currently discussing exactly how I should have known to avoid someone who decided to pull such a maneuver, and how responsible I am for damages.

Sorry for my slow response, but if I could venture a little friendly advice I'd suggest dropping by the police station and asking for the official report and their opinion on the percentage fault. If you agree with their assessment then get a copy and forward it to the insurance companies. They rarely recommend 100% responsibility, but it has been known to happen, and the insurance companies would be very unlikely to disagree with a police document.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In Japan, leaving the scene of the accident makes a lot more sense now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor: In Japan, leaving the scene of the accident makes a lot more sense now.

Eventually, all parties leave the scene of an accident.

0 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, my bad - 3.6s is correct - still not clear the outcome - tough one...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was in a similar situation. I was driving on a 2 lane highway at 90 km/hr through the wilderness and an oncoming driver of a huge truck fell asleep on the curve and angled across the road towards me. His vehicle blocked both lanes so I couldn't swerve around him, and the road was crossing a waterway so there was no shoulder, just posts with steel cables on either side. I had my wife and two small children with me, and we were seconds from certain death! I leaned on the horn and braked, and saw him jerk awake at the noise and steer back into his lane just in time to avoid a collision. I don't think I am exceptional, I think most people would do the same! So the fact that the driver in the car under discussion did not sound his horn or brake is evidence that he was not paying attention to what was happening. As I understand the law, you are at least partially responsible if you do not do all you legally can to avoid a collision. And that includes sounding your horn and braking. After all, that's what a horn and brakes are for!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Jim Poushinsky - I agree. Sadly the posts decrying this as a miscarriage of justice are still sitting at the top of this thread with 14 or so thumbs-ups, showing once again that common sense is a sadly uncommon virtue.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Frungy - while agreeing with the gist of the dynamics of your explanation and decrying the perhaps woeful(in) action of the defending lawyer, your ridiculing protesters of the decision as lackiing in common sense is quite harsh.

I htink many peoples objections to the decision are compounded by the questionable sum of money awarded as damages. The sole instigator of the accident, who killed and maimed, has to pay 67mil. The severely maimed other driver whao had no hand in the instigation of the crash has to pay 60% of that or 40mil/ How such an apportioning of monies was arrived at certainly would raise more than a few eyebrows.

It has nothing to do with common sense.

I have no legalistic background, but deciding on culpability as if it is a science set in stone is questionable.

Who can possibly declare outright that a 0.5sec faster braking reaction time would have resulted in non-death? Who? How many fatalities have occured in lower speed head on impacts? At a combined speed of 60kmh? 70kmh? 80kmh? 90kmh? !00kmh? Was the deceased weraing a seatbely? If so was it secured and fitted correctly? Did the car have airbags? If so were they functioning correctly? Did they inflate as manufacturers intended? What was the poiunt of impact of the 2 vehicles? Would a veering by the oncoming driver, initiating an angled impact resulted in similar damage to cars and occupants? Would an angled impact as the result of trying to avoid the collision have brought other unforseeen dynamics into play? Would a side collision have forced the cars into other traffic? What are the results of the 1,000s of simulation conducted by safety experts in such head on scenarios. What is the exact science defining individual reaction modes and times in cases of sudden, startling catastrophic stimuli being applied? Can a judge who may or may not be a driver, asses such variables and extrapolate a monetary penalty?

For me just too many ifs - which all leads back to my earlier comment, that your application of "lacking in common sense" upon posters only cuts it if you think inside the box.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

browny1May. 12, 2015 - 09:05PM JST Frungy - while agreeing with the gist of the dynamics of your explanation and decrying the perhaps woeful(in) action of the defending lawyer, your ridiculing protesters of the decision as lackiing in common sense is quite harsh.

They called "absurb", the Judge "an idiot", the the ruling "insane" and "lawless", and that's just from the first half dozen comments ... and you're calling me harsh?

For me just too many ifs - which all leads back to my earlier comment, that your application of "lacking in common sense" upon posters only cuts it if you think inside the box.

Thinking inside the box sure beats not thinking at all and just criticizing anything you can't immediately understand. And that's what these posters did. They didn't sit down and say, "Okay, a reasonably intelligent lawyer put an argument to the court, which the reasonably intelligent opposing lawyer couldn't find a valid counter-argument to, and a reasonably intelligent judge ruled in favor of. How could this have happened?".

No, instead they just went, "Boo! Hiss! I can't be bothered to think and so I'm just going to react emotively like this inflammatory article says I should!"

... sheeple.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

80 meters is not much shorter than an (American) football field, search Google Images for "looking down a football field", find a good hit, then picture yourself approaching at 60+ km/hr another car another crossing into your lane at same speed, 80 meters distant.

One photo found by the google starts at the 20 yard line, thus approx 80 meters distance to the other end: http://wellatlcom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/5647809356_5610585af0_b.jpg )

Also note that drivers are encouraged to glance down at their gauges and back at their rearview once in a while.

And searching google images for "福井 国道8" (Fukui National Highway 8) gives at least some indication of the likely road conditions, i.e., not your well-separated giant divided highway free of adjoining obstacles.

(N.B.: Other news articles indicate that the deceased, although in the passenger seat, was the owner of the car, and his family's insurance did not cover the accident because a friend was driving the car, not a family member as required by the policy.)

Maybe the judge is just feeling his oats and tossing up something to see if appeals court will reject it. Or maybe the defendant vs. plaintiffs' attorneys were particularly unbalanced ('unbalanced' as to research ability, theatrical ability, campaign donation imbalances to local judiciary, etc.) Or maybe the defendant made the mistake of bringing in an out-of-town attorney to represent him before the local judge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Despite some people's attempts to exonerate the judge, the fact is that this is an utterly mental ruling.

The argument in favour of this ruling is summed up by Frungy when he says: "At the very least the failure by Car B to brake could be seen as negligently failing to take reasonable steps".

This is nonsense. Even if we accept that the driver of car B should have braked, the failure to do so is NOT necessarily "at the very least" negligence - it is merely an error of judgement.

The notion that a decision - even if mistaken - made in the space of a few seconds can be considered negligent is absurd. Negligence requires a much, much higher threshold.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy - thankyou.

However I stand by my comment that the posters in question lack common sense.

They merely made comment on a situation that most sensible citizens would think was questionable in the least.. That they used such "powerful" words as lunacy & absurd and with those words impact on an open comment forum, just reflects their feelings.

I think you are probably adding to the situation in much the same manner with emotive expressions like boo & hiss.

Not everyone is a film director, but all people can offer an opinion on what they see in a movie. Likewise people can offer an opinion on a situation - perhaps out of their legal depth - on a situation that for all accounts they deem to be absurd. Not everyone has the luxury of a manicured bacground on all topics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One thing lacking in the article was information about the whether the payments and legal fees by the two people being sued were fully covered by liability policies. I've known people who won generous awards by Japanese courts, but who never received one yen due to the defendants being bankrupt or finding ways to ignore the order to pay -- such as by disappearing, fleeing abroad, etc. So the 40 million yen, in the end, might just be a Pyrrhic victory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No a very constructive way of resolving this, but considering the faultless driver is a victim as well, he or his family could sue the people that just extorted 40 millions out of them for failing to wake up the driver...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1May. 13, 2015 - 08:52AM JST

Dear Browny1, thank you for responding so courteously.

However I stand by my comment that the posters in question lack common sense.

That shows integrity, and I'm quite happy to discuss the issue further.

They merely made comment on a situation that most sensible citizens would think was questionable in the least..

I disagree. They responded as the writer of the article wanted them to respond; they were not critical of the reporter, didn't contemplate the obvious bias and didn't consider the situation objectively. In short they were willing accomplices in their own manipulation.

You're attempting to make the "reasonable man" argument, but all you're illustrating is how easily people are manipulated. The irony of the situation is that you're quite willing to accept readers being manipulated and still defend them as "sensible", but not prepared to extend the same logic to the judge.

Not everyone is a film director, but all people can offer an opinion on what they see in a movie. Likewise people can offer an opinion on a situation - perhaps out of their legal depth - on a situation that for all accounts they deem to be absurd. Not everyone has the luxury of a manicured bacground on all topics.

I hear this argument a lot "everyone has a right to an opinion". The hypocrisy inherent in spouting this line is that you're trying to suppress my opinion because it disagrees with yours. There's also a very real danger in this type of logic as it suggests that all opinions are equal. They're not. There's also hypocrisy here in that people are quick to point out physical deficiencies ("do you even lift?!", etc.), but in certain societies (U.S. society in particular) it has become a taboo to point out that the other person is misinformed and their opinion is incorrect. For this reason you see frankly ludicrous ideas in the U.S. acquiring the status of fact, because it is taboo to simply point out when someone is speaking out of their posterior.

As for my "manicured background" (a nice turn of phrase) I received a public education. I simply took advantage of the opportunities. To use your analogy I was my own manicurist, and I wish more people took the same effort with their minds as they do with their nails.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Isn't it also true that unimpaired people put in emergency situations will often panic and freeze? Isn't the 'rabbit in the headlights' syndrome of panic blocking self-preservation, or fight or flight instincts, a well-documented phenomenon? Just sayin'...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy - thank you again.

re - reasonable man argument. I think you need to look at my previous postings and see what the main point of my focus was. Simply being - the non perpetrator was heavily penalized to the tune of 40million yen - approximately 60% of the penalty imposed on the perpetrator who maimed and killed. So all I suggested was it's "reasonable" (your word) to understand that many would raise a few eyebrows at such a percieved disparity. No further need of analysis. I never sided with any party - just made an observation. You were the one with the sheeple, lack of common sense, boo, hiss ballyhoo. re - having an opinion. Can't for the life of me believe I'm trying to "suppress" your opinion. Where on earth do you get that idea? And yes all opinions may or may not be equal - but the right to espouse such is equal. And your delving into the current status of american opinion tabooism may be interesting but is of no relevance to me at all in this discussion.

And I think you feel you are under attack - where no attack has been made on my behalf - I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend yourself as a self-made man when my expression afforded no degree of un-earned privilege or patronising air at all. Just a way of saying some people are specialists in their fields as probably I am in mine.

And as a final knob - my original post stated that I agree with you - just not the level of your tarring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1May. 14, 2015 - 06:51PM JST Frungy - thank you again. re - reasonable man argument. I think you need to look at my previous postings and see what the main point of my focus was. Simply being - the non perpetrator was heavily penalized to the tune of 40million yen - approximately 60% of the penalty imposed on the perpetrator who maimed and killed.

The amount of the award and the man being found responsible for actions contributing the accident are two separate issues. I don't know the value of a human life, do you claim to? If you're objecting to 40 million then what would be a reasonable sum that adequately reflected that this man's actions, in the opinion a judge, resulted in another human being dying?

You were the one with the sheeple, lack of common sense, boo, hiss ballyhoo. re - having an opinion. Can't for the life of me believe I'm trying to "suppress" your opinion. Where on earth do you get that idea? And yes all opinions may or may not be equal - but the right to espouse such is equal.

And here's what you can't grasp. You criticise me for criticising others. You're doing exactly what you criticise me for. If you can't see the hypocrisy inherent in your own actions then I have very little hope this post will help you to understand it.

And your final line?

And as a final knob - my original post stated that I agree with you - just not the level of your tarring.

As I was objecting to the "level of ... tarring" engaged in by the earlier posters. The irony escapes you?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Frungy - well seems like I can't grasp it then. Sorry I'm way out of my depth here as it all appears to have escaped me.

I concede.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Isn't there a law in Japan which penalizes passengers who let drunk people drive? By that logic, the same should apply to people who are in a car where the driver dozes off. The student should sue the dead man's estate for not preventing the accident caused by the driver of the car the dead man was in. What an utter joke of a ruling this is...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites