SLABBED “news you can use” goes international – State Farm and radioactive wild boars

Eddie, the "wild boar" of Katrina litigation

Irony doesn’t escape the heat – nor does the eagle eye of SLABBED readers miss international “news you can use”:

A Knock Out to State Farm happened in a “heavyweight showdown” between State Farm and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada over the limits of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”):

…The background of the State Farm’s action is as follows: State Farm had been subject to a number of privacy challenges by various persons relating to its collection of personal information in the course of State Farm acting on behalf of and providing a defence for its  insured. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada had issued a number of findings that the information State Farm collected was ‘in the course of commercial activity’ and therefore subject to PIPEDA’s jurisdiction. State Farm had enough, and brought a court challenge…

Mainville J. of the FCC (Federal Court of Canada) held, in a very common sense decision, that PIPEDA did not apply. He said (emphasis added):

“I conclude that, on a proper construction of PIPEDA, if the primary activity or conduct at hand, in this case the collection of evidence on a plaintiff by an individual defendant in order to mount a defence to a civil tort action, is not a commercial activity contemplated by PIPEDA, then that activity or conduct remains exempt from PIPEDA even if third parties are retained by an individual to carry out that activity or conduct on his or her behalf. … In this case, the insurer-insured and attorney-client relationships are simply incidental to the primary non-commercial activity or conduct at issue, namely the collection of evidence by the defendant Ms. [X] in order to defend herself in the civil tort action brought against her by Mr. [Y].” (emphasis added)

In reading the judgment…you can’t help but come away from the decision feeling that the judge was trying to bring order to a potentially absurd result…

The SLABBED are certainly familiar with the “absurd result” of State Farm’s five-year, post-Katrina privacy rampage through the southern district Mississippi federal court – a rampage not unlike that of Germany’s radioactive wild boars:

For the last five years, winter in Germany kept getting warmer. The improved climate gave the country’s native boar population the opportunity to make a ton of baby boars. Unfortunately, many of these hairy pigs live in parts of Germany still contaminated by Chernobyl 25 years after the fateful disaster. This means Germans, who used to shoot and eat the wild boars, are now looking for new ways to control an animal population made of gross, radiated boar meat. Meanwhile the same boars must learn to control their new found mutant abilities in a land inhabited by gross, boar-eating weirdos.

“It’s no secret that Germany has a wild boar problem” - and no secret that State Farm has been the “wild boar” of Katrina litigation:

Stories of marauding pigs hit the headlines with startling regularity: Ten days ago, a wild boar attacked a wheelchair-bound man in a park in Berlin; in early July, a pack of almost two dozen of the animals repeatedly marched into the eastern German town of Eisenach, frightening residents and keeping police busy; and on Friday morning, a German highway was closed for hours after 10 wild boar broke through a fence and waltzed onto the road. (emphasis added)

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Even worse, though, almost a quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in Ukraine, a good chunk of Germany’s wild boar population remains slightly radioactive — and the phenomenon has been costing the German government an increasing amount of money in recent years.

According to the Environment Ministry in Berlin, almost €425,000 ($555,000) was paid out to hunters in 2009 in compensation for wild boar meat that was too contaminated by radiation to be sold for consumption. That total is more than four times higher than compensation payments made in 2007.

Wild boars of either variety increase the cost to government – a situation that can make one “turn blue in the face” with frustration or –  since some in the US consider California a foreign country and news from there “international”  – just turn blue like this man:

The auburn-bearded 57-year-old Californian goes through life being stared at and being hailed as “Papa Smurf” because his skin is the color of a ripe Concord grape…

Karason’s skin started turning blue nearly 10 years ago when he used a used a silver preparation to treat a bad case of dermatitis on his face that broke out due to stress when his father died.

Reclusive by nature, he became a public story about six months ago when he moved from Oregon to Madera, Calif., explaining that he wanted to live in a place where people were more accepting of his unusual condition.

That’s all of today’s international “news you can use” about wild boars and privacy – all provided by two thoughtful friends of the SLABBED. (Thanks, guys)

One thought on “SLABBED “news you can use” goes international – State Farm and radioactive wild boars

  1. H.T. Oliver

    Does anyone know if any of the radiated wild boars from Germany, were imported to the U.S. ?
    I do know, that there are wild boars in the U.S. , but are they native to North America, as well as Europe ?

    Reply

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