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lawsuit filed on behalf of victims by Jack Thompson against Rockstar, Take-Two Interactive, Sony and Wal-Mart was later withdrawn.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. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. 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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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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