Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be Inspired by GTA III

May 4, 2009 -

An appeals court has ruled that the parents of Tennessee brothers who went on a 2003 sniper spree which they claimed was inspired by Grand Theft Auto III are personally liable for damages caused in the incident.

One driver was killed and another seriously wounded when the brothers, then 15 and 13, opened fire on vehicles traveling along I-40.

The Knoxville News reports that parents Wayne and Donna Buckner, facing lawsuits in the case, hoped to have their homeowners' insurance settle the claims against them. A county judge agreed, but the Buckners' insurance company, Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance, appealed the ruling. A state Court of Appeals judge reversed the decision, leaving the parents liable in the case.

From the newspaper account:

According to lawsuits filed in the case, the boys claimed they never intended to hurt anyone when they began firing .22-caliber rifles at the trailers of rigs traveling on I-40... They insisted their sniper fire was inspired by the video game Grand Theft Auto...

The boys spent a few months in a juvenile detention facility for their crimes.

The Buckners' insurance company balked when brought into the lawsuits that followed the shootings, arguing the policy specifically excluded damages resulting from injury or damage "reasonably expected or intended by you."

A 2003 lawsuit filed on behalf of victims by Jack Thompson against Rockstar, Take-Two Interactive, Sony and Wal-Mart was later withdrawn. For additional details on the original case, check out David Kushner's 2005 article for Salon.


Comments

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Congratulations. You just crossed the line between stubborn and scumbag.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Help!!!!!

I'm being squished!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Pressing, another method of death-penalty that would be preferable to the sissy lethal injection used these days.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Dammit, JDKJ, you beat me to it! 

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"The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

This have to end now... I can´t breath...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Coming up for air!

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Go tell Webster they are doing it wrong. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homicidal

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

What's "wrong" is that you would expect to find the very specific definition of the term "homicidal" as used in the field of psychiatry in a Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Yeesh.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

I'll risk using the general definition of the word that majority of the population know and use, even if it means getting scoffed at by those who like a different definition instead.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

It has nothing to do with my personal prefence. The issue under discussion was whether "mental retardation" plus "homicidal tendencies" warrants a particular crinimal sentence. At law, these term have very precise and specific meanings and those meanings aren't usually found in a Merriam-Websters. Look up "insanity" in Websters. Then research the legal meaning of "insanity" as found in the phrase "not guilty by reason of insanity" (a legal defense to criminal charges). I'll bet you a dollar the two definitions bear very little meaningful similarity to each other.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

While I look for a definition of "Homicidal tendencies" that isn't used as a descriptor for an individual who has killed or is inclined to kill do you mind giving me the other definition so I have something to compare to.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

If when you say "the other definition," you're referring to the scientific definition of the term "homicidal," then try the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, 4th Ed. ("DMS IV"). As I recall, "homicidal tendencies," while not a disorder in and of itself, is a criteria of many of the named disorders and, as such, should be fully defined in the DSM-IV.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Thanks, I don't happen to have one lying around.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

As an aside, despite the actual definition of the word "homicidal" the kid has proven that he's not safe.  I'm neither way in this argument, but I'm just pointing out the fact that a near retarded kid who has killed before is very close to the definition of "not safe to be around."

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

And I ain't the one to fall sound asleep while he's in the house with me, either. The question is: how does the court and the larger society most properly respond to him? For his benefit and ours?

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Help, help! I'm being compressed! 

-----------------------------



"The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Agree that they should have served more time for killing someone with snipers. I say atlease 20 years each.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

In Tenneesse at the time, a person under the age of 16 years could not be tried as an adult. Accordingly, even the worse case outcome wouldn't have been more than inarceration until the age of 19 years. But apparently, they've since amended the law and recently a 14-year-old faced murder charges as an adult. 

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

I'm all for the mental institution. 

Kids stupid enough to at least blame, let alone emulate, the game, have some serious issues. I can actually believe they had no idea they were going to hurt anyone. Just taking a .22 out and taking potshots at traffic must have seemed like a practical joke to them. They needed help! But yes, more than just a couple years in juvvy.

Thing is, their record gets wiped clean when they hit 18, regardless of whether they were tried as an adult.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Wonder why Thompson's lawsuit was withdrawn?

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Because he´s teh PHAIL...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Because in ruling on a motion brought early in the game, the Judge pretty much said, "Plaintiffs' case is pure bullshit." Jack-O likes to withdraw his cases himself rather than have them kicked out by the court. As if that's somehow less of a fail.

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

Remember when Godot says he's never lost as a prosecutor?  It's because he'd never tried a case as a prosecutor.  He'd never won and he'd never lost.  Thus, his win record is spotless.  Jack was trying to be like that, but Godot's ridiculously cool and Jack -- Well, he could do with a 17 bitter cups of Hell per day of trial schtick, assuming his kidneys could handle it.  Goggles would be overkill in a non-cosplay environment.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Insurer Not Liable For Damages in Sniper Case Said To Be

I don't know how many of you have seen the Looney Toons movie Space Jam. At the end Bill Murray decided to retire from basketball after winning that one game in order to prevent his winning streak from being broken.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

 
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