SIRC – Media Watch 20-04-99

Compensation Culture

A report published this week entitled Courting Mistrust suggests that risk-taking and innovation in the UK is being suffocated by a shift toward an Americanised compensation culture. It estimates that the annual cost of this new embrace with litigation may amount to as much as £6.8 billion in awards and legal fees. The author, Dr Frank Furedi, expresses a concern that this new trend actually serves to undermine our notions of responsibility "too often today, blaming offers a popularly sanctioned excuse from tackling the consequences of one’s actions". [See also Beware the Precautionary Principle]