Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Legal wankfest alert!

Tsunami victims to sue French hotel chain Accor, Thai govt, US authorities
VIENNA (AFX) - A group of Austrian and German victims of the Asian tsunami disaster are to file a lawsuit demanding that Thailand, French hotel chain Accor and US forecasters prove they reacted adequately to the disaster, their lawyers said.

The suit, naming Accor and the US-run tsunami early warning system in the Pacific as well as Thai authorities, will be filed in a New York district court this week, the lawyers said in Vienna.

'We found that serious lapses were committed,' said Herwig Hasslacher, one of the three lawyers for the group.
The NOAA is accused of having registered the earthquake but failed to alert Indian Ocean countries of the impending tsunamis as the Hawaii centre covered only the Pacific.

The lawyers said that if the NOAA and Thai authorities, which had their own information, had passed on their alerts in time, it would have enabled people on shorelines to flee inland.

'We have evidence they did not warn us, even though they knew a quarter of an hour later about the strength and location of the quake, and although there is supposed to be a tsunami warning' from 6.5 on the Richter scale, Hasslacher said. The quake measured 9.0.

Accor is named in the lawsuit because the plaintiffs say the chain did not properly inform relatives of the victims after the disaster and had built its Sofitel hotel on the island of Phuket on a quake fracture line.
I guess we need to have warning stickers posted everywhere that state "Stuff happens. Deal with it. We're not your nanny." But what would we do with all the unemployed lawyers?