Game of Thrones: Jon Snow Files Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit
A Richmond Personal Injury Attorney Dissects Potential Lawsuits in Game of Thrones
Did you see it? The seventh season of Game of Thrones premiered July 16 on HBO. So many people attempted to stream the show that it crashed HBO’s website! From King’s Landing to Winterfell, the citizens of Westeros live under the threat of a winter season that lasts for years and the accompanying zombie-esque “White Walkers” that even the Watchers on the Wall might not be able to defeat.
But one thing they don’t worry about, apparently, is civil lawsuits, of which there could be a nearly endless number in seasons one through six! As we gird ourselves for the inevitable violence season seven will bring, we suggest a few prospective personal injury and workers’ compensation lawsuits from our legal point of view:
- Personal Injury Lawsuit: Jaime Lannister vs. Locke. Given his title, “Hand of the King,” it’s especially ironic that Jaime’s dominant hand is chopped off by Locke. But did you ever think about the potential lawsuit Jaime could bring? As a swordfighter in the Kings’ Guard with a long career ahead of him, his income would be significantly impacted by this career-ending disfigurement. In addition to paying for his medical bills and compensating him for vast pain and suffering (his ego alone took quite a hit), Locke, as the responsible party, or Locke’s insurance company, would need to pay Jaime wage replacement for a lifetime of lost earning potential.
- Workers’ Compensation: Jon Snow vs. the Night’s Watch. As Lord Commander of Castle Black, Jon has opinions about the wildlings that don’t sit well with those he commands. But was mutiny the only choice the scorned Brothers of the Watch had? One cold, snowy night Jon’s young friend Olly lures him outside where five Brothers of the Watch inflict multiple stab wounds. Olly delivers the death blow through Jon’s heart. While this should be a wrongful death lawsuit, in the land of Westeros, Jon Snow was able to rise from the dead. We think a workers’ compensation suit for the massive injuries he sustained during the normal course and scope of his employment is definitely a viable option!
- Worker’s Compensation/Occupational Disease: Ser Jorah Mormont vs. Daenerys Targaryen. As Ser Jorah is sailing through Valyria on a mission for Daenerys, he is ambushed by one of the exiled “stone men” who suffer from greyscale disease, which hardens the skin and is often fatal. He contracts the highly contagious disease where a stone man touched his arm. Though Jorah would likely never bring a workers’ comp lawsuit against his beloved Daenerys, he would be well within his rights since he contracted the disease during the normal course of his employment with her.
- Wrongful Death Lawsuit: House Stark vs. House Frey. At the now-infamous Red Wedding, Lord Walder Frey welcomes King Robb Stark and his entourage for a marriage feast. Though Lord Walder specifically extends his hospitality and protection within his walls through Westeros’ sacred tradition of “Guest Right,” the evening ends with a massacre where Robb, most of his men-at-arms, and even his mother, Lady Catelyn, are brutally murdered. Because Guest Right is a sacred and inviolable rule in Westeros, Walder Frey would be considered negligible in preventing—and therefore civilly responsible for—the many deaths under his roof. Lord Walder would need to pay the survivors of House Stark financial damages for these wrongful deaths.
- Premise Liability: Daenerys Targaryen’s fire-breathing dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are clearly a premise liability lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit waiting to happen. After a shepherd reveals Drogon roasted his three-year-old daughter (there’s the first wrongful death lawsuit), Daenerys kept two dragons chained in the catacombs below Mereen to avoid similar scenarios. However, when Daenerys is hopelessly surrounded by enemies and about to die, Drogon flies in, breathes fire to scorch her enemies and saves the day. All may be fair in love and war, but those who willfully unleash a fire-breathing dragon on innocent masses will likely land their queenly selves in court.
With Game of Thrones’ common aphorism, “Valar Morghulis,” meaning “All men must die,” it’s no surprise that violence is key to many of the plot lines. Lucky for the citizens of Westeros, there aren’t any courts that try personal injury or workers’ compensation cases, and even if there were we imagine the impending invasion of the zombie-like White Walkers from the North would tie up the docket for centuries to come!