Whose Fault Is It?

I think enough of you know me by know through this blog. You know me well enough to know how much I love golf, politics and a good bottle of wine. Know me well enough to know I despise laziness, bad service at a restaurant and the designated hitter rule in baseball.

Well, here’s something else that drives me crazy: the lack of personal responsibility . Case in point, a case in Atlantic City New Jersey in which a woman is suing several casinos in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Her suit claims her gambling addictions ruined her life, causing her to lose $1M. She says she would spend days sitting at the tables gambling .. spending her clients’ money .. and that the casinos were at fault for not noticing her compulsive gambling. She is seeking $20M.

OK, where do I begin, This woman – an educated attorney – is actually blaming the casinos for her addiction? That’s like me going to a restaurant and eating everything on the menu and then blaming the establishment for throwing up afterwards. Are you kidding me?

Her stance is that she is doing this for all the people whom the casino takes advantage of on a daily basis. Well, I will be the first to agree that the casinos do indeed prey on those who can least afford it. If you have ever been on a casino floor like I have, you will see more people on oxygen tanks than any local hospital. Still, this woman – Arelia Magarita Taveras – is not a 70-year-old confined to a wheelchair. She is smart enough to get her college degree and go onto law school. She should be smart enough to know better at the gaming tables.

She says she has lost everything – her home, her savings and her parents home – and for that I am truly sorry. However, no matter what mental illness she has, she needs to take personal responsibility for her actions like we all do. I doubt any of you would bring a suit against the Pennsylvania lottery because you bought a ticket every week for five years and did not win.

Finally, if she is trying to send a message and help others, why sue for $20M. She only lost $1M. That’s the difference between making a statement and just trying to get rich.

Personal responsibility. It’s not much to ask of our citizens. Sure, the little guy gets screwed a lot in our society and often needs to cry foul. However, when stuff like this happens and needless lawsuit ensue, it’s not crying foul. It’s crying wolf.
photo courtesy: Associated Press
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