Fair Compensation is Not Vengeance

I read in the paper today about a family who lost their son in a tragic accident.  The paper indicated that the family rejected vengeance (bringing a claim for wrongful death).  The paper included the quote “Why would we want to deprive the University of resources which could benefit others?”  We respect this family’s choices.  We hope they find peace in the memories they have of their son.  We hope that their sorrow eases, but we know that theirs is a difficult path.

We do want to say, however that fair compensation is not vengeance.  Our mothers taught us that if you make a mistake, and that mistake causes others harm, you are honor bound to make up for the harm you cause. Your obligation is to make up for all the harm you cause, not just what you think is ok.  Of course the person who has suffered the harm has every right to say to you, “Thank you for your offer to make up for the harm you caused, but I choose not to either ask for or receive this fair compensation.”  However, if the injured person accepts your offer to fully make up for the harm that you caused, that does not mean that person is vengeful. It only means that they accept your offer to make up for the harm. 

Insurance companies gain much by vilifying “fair compensation”. 

The University at issue is well insured.  There insurance rates will stay the same whether the families claim is or is not made.  The University would not have to “divert resources”, because any payment would be from their insurance company.

Fair compensation is not vengeance.  It is the ultimate recognition that our mothers are right, that we all have to live together and take care of each other.

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