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The Shrub of Arrogance

A new award for people who demonstrate depraved indifference to the lives of others if it inconveniences them in anyway.

Update: Homeland Security fails again and the guy is an attorney, so he can’t plead ignorance of the law.

First a citation from the Penal Law of the State of New York:

§ 125.15 Manslaughter in the second degree.

A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when:
1. He recklessly causes the death of another person.

Manslaughter in the second degree is a class C felony.

A C felony results in a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

CNN reported a story, Man knew he had TB before flying to Europe, about a US citizen who knew he had drug resistant tuberculosis, and was warned to isolate himself and take precautions, but decided to ignore the warnings and fly to Europe for his wedding. When the Centers for Disease Control found out he had gone to Europe they contacted him and told him to stay in Europe and avoid flying, so he hopped on an airplane and returned to the US. The man is the first person to be subject to a Federal medical quarantine since 1963.

This individual needs to start lawyering up and consider how he’s going to support himself and new wife when everything he owns is confiscated to pay the costs of locating everyone he had contact with on his trip and at the wedding. He will be liable for the medical bills and costs associated with anyone who was infected by him, there is plenty of case law on that point.

Now we get to the Penal Law cite: if anyone dies as a result of contracting TB from him, he is criminally liable and can be prosecuted. He knew he was infected, and he displayed a “depraved indifference” to the danger his actions posed to others.

I have some family history with TB. My maternal grandmother was an orphan because her parents both died of TB that my great grandfather contracted in Asia during his military service.

Oh, about this guy’s new wife and her joining him in the US – I wouldn’t be surprised if she found out that she’s on the “Do Not Fly” list, as he certainly is. It is probable that she and her family are in quarantine because of this fool’s arrogance, truly a Shrubbery-class jerk.

11 comments

1 Steve Bates { 05.31.07 at 11:58 am }

In some article (I can’t find it at the moment) I read this jerk’s self-justifying statement. Some people are simply beyond belief. I suppose if he is charged with a crime, precautions will have to be taken at his trial, and his sentence, if any, will have to be served in quarantine. How many lives, beyond his own and his wife’s, will be risked for his recklessness?

2 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 12:14 pm }

My Mother has to wear a surgical mask when she flies because of all of the things you can catch in the closed space of an aircraft cabin, and this guy is acting like it’s no big deal that he’s a walking biological weapon.

My great grandfather went to the other end of the country [the reason he died in New Orleans] to avoid infecting his daughters, and this guy wanders around infecting the world.

3 Michael { 05.31.07 at 12:17 pm }

Hadn’t heard that end of the story. Caught a bulletin about a guy on a transatlantic flight to Paris when I got to Paris earlier this week, and about had a heart attack when they said it was May 13, which was the day I flew to Paris. But the chap in question flew Air France out of Atlanta, whereas I was on United out of Dulles. So I’m in the clear at least, though there are probably 500 people who aren’t so lucky, between the Paris flight and the Prague-to-New York flight that took him back.

Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I’m just flying on the wrong airlines, but people have gotten far less considerate than ever when it comes to flying, if you ask me. Nobody seems to remember that you’re supposed to put your stuff in the bin and get out of the aisle so other people can get to their seats. And people think nothing of flying after dousing themselves in the cheapest, smelliest, most potent scents possible–and they all seem to wind up sitting near me. The longer the flight, the greater the likelihood that one of my seatmates is going to be stinking up the cabin for thousands of miles.

Though I suppose it might have something to do with the absolute nosedive in terms of airline service over the last 15 years. These days, you’re lucky if they give you a beverage and a shitty little bag of peanuts or some other snack. If there’s food at all, most of the time you have to buy it. Blankets and pillows, except on transoceanic flights, are a thing of the past.

4 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 12:38 pm }

It was Prague-to-Montreal because he was on the “No Fly list” [just updated].

It isn’t just you, the service and people are getting nastier according to my Mother, who has flown on a few military cargo flights when my Dad was in the service. It has become an airborne version of the New York subway system, without the charm.

5 cat daddy and dr squeeky { 05.31.07 at 8:17 pm }

… And the guys new father in law is a TB researcher at the CDC (who studies a different strand and is tested regularly, the guy apparently didn’t get it from new dad)… Ironic…

I’m not one for suits, but… If I had been on the flight and around him, I would sue him on grounds of the distress caused by his indifference. It may go nowhere… but he would have to show up in court…

6 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 9:08 pm }

Via video-link I would hope, CD. You been doing some nice work, but Blogger doesn’t know me any more so I can’t comment.

7 Steve Bates { 06.01.07 at 1:27 am }

Bryan, FWIW, I’ve found that Blogger recognizes me if I log in twice, once when I attempt to post a comment, and again immediately. Blogger doesn’t like people who write longer comments (who’d have thought I was such a person :)), and appears to time out the session after some very short time (1 minute?). Just log in a second time, and it usually works… it is to scream about, but it works. (If you like using the Tab key to navigate a form, fuggedaboutit. Blogger appears to randomize the tab order on secured comments.)

(Note: I have a “new” Blogger account, and my Blogger blog is a “new” Blogger blog.)

8 cookiejill { 06.01.07 at 1:39 am }

The really sad thing….the first I heard of this story, about his being (literally) allowed to fly out of the country and then back in, I said to myself “this guy is white and well off.”

Just think of the outrage if this person was “brown” or sneaking back and forth between San Diego and Tijuana.

Throw the freaking book at this guy. HE is a homeland security problem.

9 Bryan { 06.01.07 at 9:07 am }

Steve, I think that’s the problem, that I’m still on the old system.

Jill, he’s just an arrogant jerk who does what he wants, and the “system” ignores the warnings. The immigration inspector who let him in had a strong statement on the screen telling to put on a Hazmat suit, and he ignored it. You know that if the guy was “brown” or coming across the Mexican border, he would have been arrested.

10 cat daddy and dr squeeky { 06.01.07 at 1:47 pm }

… God, I’m Mexican and didn’t think of the southern border thing… I may have to turn in my union card 🙁

11 Bryan { 06.01.07 at 3:06 pm }

CD, it’s night and day crossing the two borders. My nephew in San Diego has dark hair. brown eyes, and a tan from surfing. He expects to go through secondary inspection when he visits Tijuana.