Angry New Yorker

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
The Mayor Knuckles Under - The Moral - I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Money

Look, we're sympathetic to the families flooded out in Astoria by a recent watermain break. It's a nightmare come true to have your apartment flooded. And It seems that applying standard tort law would conceivably result in a favorable decision for them on some level -- but only if there was in fact negligence involved.
The trouble we have is the Mayor, without any definitive facts, concluded on his own that the City's Department of Environmental Protection is at fault, and that while a contractor may have been involved, he none-the-less ordered the controller to shell out tax-payer largesse that could total "millions of dollars" to the families. See City to pay for Damage Incurred in Astoria Water Main Break,, Feb. 28, 2005, available here.

Are we the only ones who find this strange? The moral seems to be "yell and scream" and you get the juice, though we guess this is simply a modern variant on the timeless maxim "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." Except the oil is provided by the taxpayer, as always. Hey, families, a word of advice -- start shopping for water damage insurance!

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