Wacky Wednesday: Suing Weatherman For Wrong Prediction.
Israeli Woman Sues Television Station Because of Rain
How do you feel about rainy days? Most people love the sunshine and hate the rain. That certainly seems to be the case with a woman in Tel Aviv, Israel who decided that she should sue a television station over their weather report. She knows that the forecasters can’t change the weather, but she thought they could at least get the weather right. When they didn’t, she decided to sue.
Facts Leading To Lawsuit
A woman in Haifa sued Channel 2, along with weather forecaster Danny Rup, in small claims court. She wanted to receive $1,000 because Rup had predicted on television that the day would be sunny. It turned out to be rainy and stormy. The woman had listened to Rup’s forecast and decided that she could leave home dressed lightly, and that turned out to be very inappropriate as the day turned nasty. Because she was out in inclement weather, she claims that she caught the flu and missed out on four days of work. She also spent $38 on medication, and suffered from stress because of the incident. At least she left out a claim for her messed hair…
The woman says that she not only wants to have financial compensation for the suffering and sickness she endured, but she also wants Rup to apologize for getting the weather wrong.
Most of us have watched weather reports on the news, listened to them on the radio, and read them in the paper for most of our lives. While the best forecasters using the latest state of the art equipment are right much of the time, they are never right all of the time. They are forecasting and predicting the weather, and many things can cause changes that turn a day from beautiful to bitter rather quickly. It is the way nature works, and even with the best guesses no predictions will be 100% accurate.
Understanding Courts? Empathetic Judges?
Understanding courts? well not really. The TV station actually settled this case out of court for $1,000. Most would see this as a frivolous lawsuit, and many still find it hard to believe that she actually received any compensation. Further, she also received her apology. However, at least she was only suing for a small amount to cover what she felt were the damages against her. It does seem to set a precedent, at least in Israel, though.
If every weather forecaster around the world had to pay for and apologize for when they got the weather wrong, they would need a 24/7 channel of pure apology! Given the fact that she won this case, it will be interesting to see if other similar cases start to crop up in places around the world. That said, there actually are. There have been similar situations in Belgium, Wales, and even a whole liability paper related to weather forecasts on the potential of such lawsuits in the US.
This helps to illustrate that relying on technology, whether you are using it or someone else is using it to forecast the weather, is not always the solution. Sometimes, it makes better sense to look outside the window and gauge the weather yourself. Take precautions, such as bringing along an extra sweater or jacket just in case the weather does turn foul. That said, there may be a legal rationalization why a person may win such a lawsuit in the future given the right facts scenario.