Liability: No One to Sue

In 1962, a drunken U.S. sailor made off with a mail truck in Naples and hit eight cars. In the process, he injured several Italians and a New Jersey tourist named Shirley Shapiro, who still has only partial use of her legs. After a Navy court-martial, the sailor went to prison for ten months. As far as the Italians were concerned, the U.S. Government was prepared to consider their claims for damages. But Mrs. Shapiro was unable to collect a dollar, much less a lira.

In effect, there was no one for her to sue. Italy is one of the...

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