Flying imams in Minneapolis now want to persecute the passengers on US Airways
"If such a suit could proceed, it would have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to provide information that authorities need to act when people are engaged in wrongdoing," said Mark Behrens, a liability defense lawyer with the Washington firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.Reading this, I had a thought, that the imams may be trying to intimidate the unnamed passengers in their lawsuit (referred to as "John Does") into not assisting US Airways in their side of the testimony. One thing is certainly clear though, and it's that these imams cannot be allowed to have their way by attacking and turning on innocent bystanders as a way of taking out their absurd anger. US Airways hasn't backed down, but they still need our support very much.
"If reporting suspicious behavior becomes actionable, that could have a dangerous precedent for reporting other crimes, like child abuse and abductions," Mr. Behrens said. "It's certainly a form of intimidation to go after passengers."
The lawsuit primarily targets US Airways and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission, but suing passengers who report suspicious behavior "sends a terrible message if we are at all concerned about the threat of terrorism," said Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of several books on litigation in the U.S.
"The implications are that if you appear to just buzz about what you perceive to be a security threat then you are a legal wrongdoer and responsible for damages, even if all you did was notify the authorities. And that would have a tremendous chilling effect, win or lose.
"Unless this is thrown out of court early, the lesson learned will be that next time someone sees something, it may be safer to stay quiet and hope someone else reports it. Even if the charges get thrown out or dropped, this is an announcement that you could be caught up in litigation for years and spending your savings on lawyers."
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