Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Intolerable Suffering

How dreadfully vulnerable people are. We know of the critical conditions under which people live and suffer in undeveloped countries, in countries where security and safety is absent, where food and shelter are inadequate, where health care is absent, where people - including orphaned or abandoned children - live on the streets in squalid conditions contradicting the least requirements of survival.

Somehow, people endure, they struggle, they hope for the best.

So how to explain the contrast between those dreadful living conditions and those that such privileged people as we are - living without fear of exposure to deadly tropical diseases, without fear of arbitrary arrest, or the danger inherent in living where law and order is unknown, living without adequate shelter, potable water, nutritious food - succumbing to anomalous phobias severely detracting from the quality of our lives.

Or is it rather that people recognize opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of others and seek litigation in the hopes that the court system will award them untold riches as a result of truly absurd claims. Take, for example, the case of a man living in Windsor, Ontario. A hair salon owner by trade, Waddah Mustapha has appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada to hear his case.

He had originally been awarded the princely sum of $341,775 in 2005 by a Superior Court Justice who found that Mr. Mustapha had suffered "recognizable psychological injury". For Mr. Mustapha, poor man, had discovered the presence of a dead fly in an unopened bottle of water, in 2001. The bottle remained unopened, Mr. Mustapha did not partake of the water, but, he said, he did throw up at the disgusting spectacle.

And that life-altering experience which so adversely affected this poor man that he lost interest in life, lost his sex drive, compelled him to sue the bottler, Culligan of Canada, for mental distress. Alas, Culligan appealed. Consequently, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the decision in Mr. Mustapha's favour, in 2006. Adding insult to injury the Appeal Court awarded Culligan $30,000 in appeal court costs.

Life is so dauntingly unfair. For Mr. Mustapha had, in his original appeal to the court, testified that he had, upon seeing that dastardly fly, vomited he could not sleep or shower, and experienced great difficulty carrying on his business. Might it be possible that Mr. Mustapha somewhere along the road in life developed a phobia for working at his livelihood to economically sustain himself?

It defies logic that the Supreme Court of Canada would entertain a law suit of such egregious frivolity, eating up precious court time to satisfy the warped sense of entitlement of a pathetic case such as this lunacy represents.

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