Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Three Mile Harbor, East Hampton, NY
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Re: The U.S. Coast Guard has no legal duty to rescue you...
Part of the reason for that decision is to fend off lawsuits that are not well founded. If the court holds that there is a duty to rescue under some circumstances, then every claim will have to be litigated, most will settle, and there will be a cottage industry in "failure to rescue" cases. By holding there is no duty, all of those cases can be dismissed on motion before all of the costly discovery and trial, and plaintiffs are much less likely to bring the case in the first place. Once a duty is created, the costs of the lawsuits, meritorious or not, will end up being a large part of the Coast Guard budget. Also, if a duty is created, then the Congress loses its ability to decide the proper funding level. So courts do not lightly create a duty, even in a case that seems meritorious.