Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Fair and Moral Compensation" - A Followup Post

It's Thanksgiving week and we're gathered with both our kids and their families so my blogging time has been limited.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Today would also be my mother-in-law's birthday, so we are thinking of her too.

This is a quick followup to the last post on getting government agencies to compensate people who are innocent victims of security and other kinds of measures - say people falsely arrested, or in situations like the internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry during WW II.  We recognize both the need for security and the rights of individuals. Sometimes innocent folks will get caught in the security net, but let's treat them decently if they turn out to be innocent victims.  Let's give them fair and moral compensation.  Without them having to sue.

The original post was a quick thought piece with no real research, just based on what I knew in my own head.  There were two laudatory responses (thanks Dr. Kayt and physicsmom) and one that questioned the feasibility of getting insurance companies to cover such things.

So rather than a lengthy response in the comments, I thought I'd put up a few more thoughts - based on some quick googling - about this.

Kathy in KY, thanks for the challenge to flesh out this idea a bit more.  You’ve gotten me to check out examples, which I vaguely know about, but didn’t document.  Lots of government units have different kinds of insurance - like for vandalism or other damage.

But they also can get liability insurance to protect them against claims against the city or other governmental unit.  The Georgia Municipal Association offers various kinds of such insurance to its members.  .

In some cases, high level government employees get professional liability insurance for situations when their employing agency won’t defend them against lawsuits.  

There is a group of folks working on a ballot initiative to require police in Hennapin County (Minneapolis is the county seat) to have personal liability insurance, on the belief that individuals with bad records will not be able to get such insurance and will have to leave the force.  The city would pay the basic rate, but if individuals had their rates increased because of previous incidents, they'd have to pay the amount above the basic rate.  

I also found out that Portland, Oregon had a policy to give ‘fair and moral’ compensation for city caused damages, which has fallen by the wayside.   

Fair and moral.  That's really what this is all about.  

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