Exculpations Crybabies: Eternal Victims

Hypersensitivity and special pleading are making a travesty of the virtues that used to be known as individual responsibility and common sense

Some folks just can't get along. There, in a grocery store in suburban Portland, Ore., was cashier Tom Morgan, more or less minding his own business. And there also was cashier Randy Maresh, who seemed to delight in tormenting Morgan. At length Morgan got fed up, hired a lawyer and sued Maresh for $100,000 in damages. The complaint: Maresh "willfully and maliciously inflicted severe mental stress and humiliation . . . by continually, intentionally and repeatedly passing gas directed at the plaintiff." Not only that: Maresh would "hold it and walk funny to get to me" before expressing himself.

The defense...

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