Skip to main content

Can a weather bureau be sued?

Sulpicio Lines has filed suit against PAGASA for erroneous weather forecast and for ""gross negligence and incompetence" in predicting the typhoon's path.

I think this is an important suit and whatever judgement the courts may give, it will give important precedent on how legally liable are providers of scientific services. PAGASA is in the business of providing these meteorological services.

The Palace has given its full support to PAGASA.

I think the lawyers on both sides will have to deal with the word "predict". The legal profession makes money on the "meaning of words" as one SS lawyer once said it in his defence in the DeNazification trials after World War II.

This leads us with some observations. Scientists can only predict to a level of confidence and by convention that is within 5% of the real value. The lawyers will have to argue that PAGASA was within or outside the bounds of this 5%.

Perhaps the case will open the government's and the public's eyes on the importance and role of science in society.

But as one student told me, the question may be asked, Are fortune tellers and feng shui practitioners liable for false predictions?

Science and non-science practitioners. What are the legal consequences of their services?

Comments

DJB Rizalist said…
Sulpicio Lines is doing the right thing from a defensive point of view. Everyone is piling on them, when surely we are ALL at fault, one way or the other. I think they realized the govt and the Press were doing a Meralco on them, so they've decided to push back!
blackshama said…
Any idiot who has experience with lawyers would realize that if a suit is in the courts, Sulpicio Lines cannot pay damages until the suit has been decided. And given how the courts run in this country, that will be when the Sibuyan Sea has dried up!

Poor defenseless PAGASA was the likely target. But the PCG is really the best target for the suit.

Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.