Questions about the squeak license

Andrew Catton andrew at
Wed Jan 11 22:04:38 UTC 2006

On 11-Jan-06, at 2:00 PM, Julian Fitzell wrote:

> Andrew Catton wrote:
> > David Shaffer wrote:
>>> I have no doubt that
>>> chances of being sued are higher in the U.S. but that says  
>>> nothing of
>>> the chances of being sued friviously.
>> Well, OK, but I think part of the issue is (at least the  
>> perception)  that in the US less issues are considered frivolous.   
>> One country's  frivolity is another country's multi-million 
>> (billion?)-dollar  industry :)
>> I haven't considered the question enough to be willing to say   
>> anything about which definition works better overall.
> don't forget that the other main difference between the tort system  
> in canada and the US is that in Canada we do not have a concept of  
> punitive damages.

Good point.

> So when I spill hot coffee on myself I can maybe sue McDonald's for  
> medical expenses, any lost wages if I was unable to work, and  
> possibly even a litle for pain and sufferring but I'm not going to  
> become a millionaire out of it.
> The argument for punitive damages is interesting: basically that  
> without it, a large corporation may have no incentive to avoid  
> minor injuries (cheaper just to pay the medical bills of those who  
> sue).  It takes a multi-million dollar lawsuit to get their  
> attention.  I personally believe that if the non-punitive portion  
> went to the plaintiff and the punitive portion was directed to  
> charity or something we would have the attention of businesses and  
> still manage to keep to a minimum the number of people filing  
> frivolous lawsuits to make their millions.

And an excellent suggestion.


Andrew Catton
Smallthought Systems Inc.
andrew at

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