More Creative Claims

Monday, May 02, 2005

More Creative Claims

A few days ago I linked to frivolous litigation brought here in the Netherlands; the complainants asked the court to order the arrest of George W. Bush when he visits here in a few days. Today I've run across a few more war-related claims.

Parents of British soldiers killed in Iraq are planning several legal actions against Tony Blair and others. The reports I've seen are very sketchy about details of the legal claims.

In what I find a more poignant and telling case, physicians are sending the U.S. a bill for their treatment of a civilian victim of U.S. bombing in Iraq.

BRUSSELS - The American military led the war in Iraq, so the U.S. should get the medical bills of civilians who were injured, some Belgian doctors have decided.

They've asked the U.S. Embassy to pay for the nearly $67,000 worth of treatment for a 15-year-old Iraqi girl hurt in a 2003 bombing attack.

Doctors brought the Baghdad girl to Belgium last year to try to repair her left ankle, seriously injured in an attack that killed her brother. After five operations and weeks of therapy, she's able to walk again, but with a slight limp.

First of all: five operations and weeks of therapy, and the bill is only $67,000? Even with dollar-euro exchange rates in the toilet?

Second: Conservatives, at least the business wing that's underwritten Dubya since before he was elected to anything, have been insisting for years that government action should have to be justified on a cost-benefit basis. So it seems quite reasonable to me for the U.S. to be forced to consider the costs our war has inflicted on others--otherwise, we'd have an externality, which is a big no-no in cost-benefit world.

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