Superman’s Legal Duty
July 15 (Bloomberg) — Superhero fans love to pore over the minutiae; even more so when the fan is a lawyer. Attorney and comic book fan James Daily co-authored the book, “The Law of Superheroes.” He recently examined the legal ramifications of Superman’s decisions in the new movie, “Man of Steel.”
WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW
Writing for Wired.com, Daily focused on a pivotal scene where Clark Kent allows his father, Jonathan Kent – played by Kevin Costner – to be killed by a tornado. Did Superman have a legal obligation to save his dad?
If you remember tort law from your first-year of law school, you’ll recall that most states follow the “American rule,” which doesn’t obligate someone to help or rescue. It’s the law in Kansas, where the tornado in the movie touches down, so there is no liability for Superman — er, Clark Kent.
Some commentators think the “American Rule” asks too little of people who could save the life of another with minimal effort. To them, the “American Rule” just doesn’t live up to “truth, justice, and the American way.”