My father was known to say of defendants, “If they don’t pay, they don’t learn.”

My father was a big believer in the process of the jury trial.  He understood that when everything else fails a person, they can seek relief from a jury of their peers.

I wrote in the previous post about how the families of the victim of a fatality never want to make the civil case about money.  Sometimes they will refuse to make a civil claim altogether.  While I can understand their sentiment, I think their logic fails to understand the societal need to hold wrongdoers responsible for the harms they cause.  If we forgo the civil action we let them off the hook.  They fail to learn.

This is especially true with municipal or corporate entities.  If a person acting on behalf of a corporation does a negligent thing which causes harm it is important that the entity be held accountable for the harm caused.  If we don’t hold them accountable they don’t learn.  If they don’t learn they go on harming other people.  The reality is, especially with corporate defendants, if they don’t pay they are not motivated to change their behavior.  If their behavior stays the same someone else will be harmed.

If you are the victim of harm you should appreciate the importance that the defendant be held accountable so that they might change their behavior or cause others to change their behavior so the harm will not be repeated against others.  Use your loss as a opportunity to effectuate change for the benefit of others who would be harmed just as you were.  Your harm should not be repeated.