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Judges must dismiss? frivolous lawsuits

News that the Buffalo Bills are facing a lawsuit for three excess text messages to a fan (Nov. 12 News) is another black eye for our legal system. While it is easy to laugh at crazy lawsuits like this, the effect of these lawsuits is very real and no laughing matter. Our businesses, doctors and municipalities are under siege from frivolous lawsuits and most of them are for astronomical amounts.

It is hard to believe that Jerry Wojcik, the plaintiff in the case, suffered any damages from text messages sent; however, he is demanding up to $1,500 per "excessive call violations." Of course, Wojcik is probably hoping the Bills just settle, rather than pay the cost of litigating the case. Sadly, too many companies, municipalities and medical professionals settle bad cases, compounding the problem and encouraging others to file meritless lawsuits. These cases drain our economy by raising the cost of insurance and medical care for all of us. Further, the lawsuits increase our taxes, as schools and municipalities are often the target of litigation.

We cannot expect our legislators in Albany to help stem the tide of lawsuit abuse; they still defend the rights of trespassers to sue homeowners. New York judges need to step up, dismiss these cases and impose fines on those who file frivolous cases and the attorneys who represent them. Unless those who file bad cases are punished, people will keep filing them.

Thomas H. Waring Jr.



Why must bike path ?be so close to road?

I am writing in response to the editorial, "DWI is the problem," regarding the recent bike path tragedy in Amherst. To deliberately place a bike path so close to a traffic lane outside of a sharp curve is something expected of a politically appointed official. Yes, I totally agree that DWI is a problem. That said, more bike paths and sidewalks are seen every day. Judging from The News photo, the path begged for a tragedy. Hopefully the concerns for both drunken drivers and Amherst's civic planners will be addressed in the immediate future.

Joe Coia

West Seneca


Hamas needs to stop ?firing rockets at Israel

Suddenly the media are talking about rockets in Gaza. However, they have said very little about the rocket attacks that have been a part of life in southern Israel since Hamas took over Gaza five years ago. During that time Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, has been firing thousands of rockets into civilian, not military, areas – areas that have been an integral part of Israel since 1948.

Houses, schools and public buildings have bomb shelters, and people have 15 seconds to reach a shelter after they hear the sirens announcing another rocket attack. Homes have been hit, people have been wounded and killed. This has been going on so long that it almost seems "normal." It is not normal.

In recent weeks, Hamas has increased the attacks. Israel has showed amazing restraint. The current military campaign is not a "tit for tat" game. It is not another chapter in an endless "cycle of violence." It is the Israeli government doing what any government must do – protecting its people.

Gaza is not "occupied." Israel voluntarily removed its troops and the entire Jewish population of Gaza before Hamas took over. There could have been peace – until Hamas began its unprovoked rocket attacks on its neighbor. Israel's complaints to the United Nations have been ignored, and the press seems interested only now, when the Israelis finally retaliate to protect their citizens and Palestinians are killed.

The current Israeli attacks are aimed at rocket launchers and other military targets, not civilians. The Israelis do all that they can to warn civilians to leave target areas. Unfortunately, there are still civilian casualties – often because rocket launchers are deliberately placed in civilian areas, near schools and hospitals. Using civilians as a shield, as Hamas does, is a war crime.

Maxine S. Seller



Hire a U.S. company ?for driver's licenses

How funny is this? The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has hired a Canadian company – a contract that is still under review for the amount of $38 million above the next lowest bidder – to issue driver's licenses.

New York, one of the most liberal states in the country, has showed its true colors again. During the last election, didn't Rep. Kathy Hochul and other liberal Democrats cry about outsourcing American jobs and criticize Mitt Romney for overseas investments? Talk about calling the kettle black!

Tony Hammill



It's time for politicians? to get their act together

During local, regional and national elections, we have mud-slinging and now use fact-checkers to uncover misleading or less-than-true information. In essence, we have job candidates who are misrepresenting information during the selection process. In the real world, this disqualifies job applicants.

After the elections, we have officials who seem to forget just why they are in office, or disregard who they represent, or overlook the concept of public servant. The current "fiscal cliff" issue is a serious matter that has the potential to reap financial hardship on the majority of U.S. residents. While reading to stay informed on this topic, one often finds mentioned the terms, "discussion" and "compromise," the behaviors politicians need to display to avert a crisis.

Let's revisit the beginning, though; we have incumbents who survived the fact-checkers, they have no clear job performance expectations, they recently acknowledged (in somewhat disbelief) that our country has become more diverse, their employment comes with unbelievable short- and long-term rewards. On the other hand, we are the electorate, the folks the politicians represent, the stakeholders the politicians are accountable to. If we are worried about going over the cliff, what can we do? Call our representatives in Congress or the Senate. Alas, few people like to hear that they are more part of the problem than the solution.

Joseph F. Salamone



Is attendance rising? in Buffalo schools?

The Buffalo Public Schools now have a new superintendent, a distinguished educator to advise them and the incentive of Say Yes to Education for free college. Knowing that schools keep statistics on attendance, I am wondering if this year has seen any improvement in attendance. This important topic has not been reported on in quite some time. How about a full-disclosure update?

Dorothy Shaw