Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I knew it wouldn't be too long before I found another example of how lawyers in this country are sinking us into an escape-less hell and have turned our society into a bunch of blame-seekers. Many of you are probably familiar with the tragic case of three young boys who locked themselves in a car trunk in New Jersey last month and died. After they were missing for a few hours, the police were called and a wide search was conducted. No one found anything. Sadly, the father of two of the boys popped the trunk a few days later and found their bodies.

Of course, something like this can't pass without some sort of blame being thrown at someone. I knew it would be a matter of time before some scumbag ambulance chaser would latch on to one of these families. Sure enough, that's happened. And where is the blame being directed? At the police who helped search for the boys. Here's the AP story I found today:

CAMDEN, New Jersey (AP) -- Three boys who suffocated in a car trunk last month were trapped alive for at least 13 hours, slowly succumbing while police searched their neighborhood, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The boys, ages 5, 6 and 11, died between 13 and 33 hours after they climbed into the trunk on June 22, said the Camden County prosecutor's office, citing part of an autopsy report. The deaths were ruled accidental.

Relatives searched for the boys for three hours and then called authorities. A two-day search that included dogs, helicopters and boats on the nearby Delaware River ended on the night of June 24 when the father of one of the boys found them dead in the trunk, just a few feet from where they had been playing.

Several experts told The Associated Press last month that it was likely the boys would have passed out within an hour or two of becoming trapped.

The question of when Anibal Cruz, Jesstin Pagan and Daniel Agosto died is crucial, in part because of the possibility of lawsuits against officials.

If the boys were dead by the time police were called to the neighborhood in this impoverished city, it may decrease the families' chances of success in a lawsuit against officials.

So far, no legal complaints have been filed, and the mother of one of the boys said Tuesday the report's finding does not mean she will sue.

"I don't think me and my husband want to go through that. Suing anybody or getting a lawyer isn't going to help us bring him back," Iraida Agosto said.

However, a lawyer for Anibal Cruz's family said responsibility for the deaths is now "squarely on the shoulders of the police."

"I think the numbers speak for themselves," Peter M. Villari told The New York Times. "They were certainly alive when the police arrived and certainly well after the search started."

Villari did not immediately return a call seeking additional comment Tuesday.

Villari said last month that he was hired by Anibal's mother, Elba Cruz, in part to see if police or anyone else may have been responsible for the deaths. He said at the time that it was not clear whether she might sue.

A report from prosecutors on issues including why searchers never looked in the car trunk is due next week.

"It would be inappropriate to comment on other aspects of the case until we have established a clear and complete picture of the events and discussed our findings with the families," Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi said in a statement Tuesday.

I'd love to hear Mr. Villari's logic that leads him to hold POLICE responsible for these deaths. It astounds me he has the nerve to even think that. Were mistakesmade? Possibly. But to hold them RESPONSIBLE???? You've got to be kidding me. Technically, the family is "responsible" for what happened. There was an open car on their property. End of story. I'm certainly not saying they should be charged or anything of the sort. They're going through a horrific time and what this was was an ACCIDENT. This is not some heinous crime where the police (who I'm sure did everything they could to find these kids) deserve any sort of blame.

Another question I'd like answered is if these kids were alive for THAT long in the trunk, why didn't they make any noise? Any kid that I know would FREAK being locked inside a small, dark trunk. Hell, my nephews wig out when they get stuck inside their shirts when getting dressed!

Either way, I really hope this Villari isn't successful in whatever his motives may be (besides profiteering off someone's tragedy). This is a sad, sad case and lessons need to be learned. But to go out on some sort of scapegoating mission is absolutely sickening. The mother of one of the boys had it right in not seeking to file a lawsuit. This was a tragic accident and that's it. (And for anyone who might argue against auto manufacturers, they are required by law to install glow-in-the-dark latches inside the trunks of all new cars to prevent this sort of thing from happening).


At 9:32 AM , Blogger zigzag said...

a weird detail that was reported at the time, they climbed into the trunk from the BACK SEAT of the car, it had the fold-down back seat feature.


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