"Jaws" is one of my favorite films, but I always wondered what happened to Chief Brody and Matt Hooper once they returned to town (and I don't mean "Jaws 2, 3D, or Revenge"). If the story happened today, the litigious nature of society would certainly result in the following:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Adventures in Fictional Litigation
FILED IN STATE SUPREME COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS
HON. LAWRENCE VAUGHN
CITY OF AMITY, MA
This suit alleges the negligence on the part of the defendants resulting in the loss of human life of the plantiffs’ father, Mr. Quint and the loss of property, the fishing boat Orca off the shore of Amity Island in the summer of 1975 and seeks compensation in the amount of $15 million.
Having witnessed Quint’s erratic behavior, beginning with an incident in a special meeting of the Amity council in which he claimed to be able to catch a shark for $10,000, the defendants did not investigate Quint’s professional, medical and psychological history.
Had they done so, they would have learned that Quint suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome resulting from an incident aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis. His condition created an unstable obsession with killing sharks, although there is no evidence Quint ever had experience doing so.
Since no investigation was made, the defendants chartered Quint’s vessel, and in so doing placed a very sick man in a life-threatening situation. The defendants repeatedly ignored Mr. Quint’s erratic behavior, nonsensical exclamations and impromptu explosions of public domain singing.
The defendants contributed to Mr. Quint’s delusions of grandeur by serving as crew aboard the Orca, obeying his every command – even when Mr. Quint’s psychoses were evident.
The defendants exacerbated Mr. Quint’s history of alcohol abuse by engaging in an all-night drinking party aboard the ill-fated Orca.
Mr. Brody, a law enforcement professional hailing from New York should have had more than enough experience identifying psychotic behavior, but chose not to bring Mr. Quint’s behavior to the attention of a mental health professional.
Mr. Hooper, an experienced marine biologist with knowledge of basic seamanship failed to identify Mr. Quint’s unsafe seamanship and bring it to the attention of coastal authorities. Mr. Hooper also goaded and teased the unstable Mr. Quint by making faces and flaunting a vast array of high-tech and ultimately worthless shark hunting equipment. This behavior, by a city-raised youth more intent on studying the shark pursued, than on the safety of his very ill captain was certainly a contributory cause of the loss of the valuable antique vessel, the Orca.
This suit alleges negligence in the preservation of life and property resulting from the defendants personal needs to kill one abnormally large shark. As if the negligence in this case were not evident enough, the city of Amity never paid the $10,000 owed Mr. Quint to his estate, nor have they returned the two yellow barrels salvaged from the boat by Messrs. Hooper and Brody.
This flagrant disregard for real property and human life cannot go unnoticed or unpunished. The plaintiffs in this case are seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $15 million.