Litigation to the Extreme – Seismologists on Trial in Italy

In the world we live in litigation comes in all forms and sizes, for many actions and inactions.

How much trials cost any government – be it national, state or local – would be hard to calculate. Suffice it to say, there are scores of people and hundreds or thousands of hours involved in almost any judicial trial.

It seems that a new legal ceiling has been set. This one in Italy.

As reported by, six seismologists and a government official in Italy are on trial for manslaughter for not warning residents about the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.

On April 6 of that year there were around 300 people killed during the quake.

The deaths are indeed horrific. No one should ever lose a loved one to an accident, be it natural or man-caused, but we all do.

However, that residents were not warned ahead of time of the possible impending peril back then is now on the world stage in a courtroom where those seven individuals face the possibility of dire consequences.

Make no mistake, this blogger is not a seismologist, or a scientist, but putting these seven people on trial for failing to accurately predict something where no accurate science exists seems a bit out of line. Especially charging them with manslaughter.

The other ramification is that people from other nations who have been involved in natural disasters may decide to take part in the same type of activity. And, there are those who will attempt such a feat though their claim may be frivolous, at best.

Not to diminish the 300 lives lost in any way shape or form, if this lawsuit is successful, one wonders (because there are attorneys who make a substantial living through frivolous lawsuits, especially in the U.S.) when the first litigation will appear concerning a person whose quite expensive made-to-measure Kiton suit and A. Testoni Norvegese shoes were damaged or ruined because a weatherperson did not warn them that heavy rain would be falling exactly at the location where they stepped out on a crowded city street.

Ridiculous? Perhaps. But, then again, one person beat McDonald’s in court after buying coffee and placing it between her legs while driving, only to be scalded shortly thereafter.

Over For Now.

Main Street One