Monday, June 29, 2015

A whole new field of litigation -- Drone warfare!

In Modesto California, a feller was visiting his parents and while there, decided to give his very sophisticated, multi-propellered drone a flight around the property. A neighbor thought it might be a CIA drone so he shot it down with a shotgun... and then the fun began......

Here is a bit of the story as told by Arstechnica... I am amazed by the politeness in the e-mail exchange....

While we’ve heard of consumer drones getting in the way of commercial airliners and obstructing firefighting operations, we haven’t heard of many drones being shot out of the sky by a neighbor. But according to one drone pilot, that's exactly what occurred in Modesto, California on November 28, 2014.
That day, Eric Joe skipped Black Friday lines and instead went home to visit his parents. During the afternoon, Joe flew what he described to Ars as a homemade hexacopter drone. His aerial device hovered low and moved slow, logging just three and a half minutes of flight time in total.
Then, bang. A loud boom rang out over the neighboring walnut trees. Growing up on a farm, Joe instantly recognized the sound as a 12-gauge shotgun. The unknown shooter hit his apparent target in a single attempt, and Joe soon watched his drone fall from the sky.
"When I went out to go find it, I saw him come out shotgun-in-hand," Joe told Ars by phone on Thursday. The man found himself face-to-face with his parents’ neighbor, Brett McBay.
"I asked: ‘Did you shoot that thing?’ He said, ‘Yeah, did we get it?’"
Joe claimed that McBay said: "I thought it was a CIA surveillance device." No matter the reason, the drone pilot wanted to resolve this encounter quickly and civilly ("I didn't want to get argumentative with a guy with a shotgun," Joe said). He went back inside and inspected the aircraft. It wouldn't be flying again. Later that evening, the two men exchanged e-mails.
Joe started the conversation:
For the rest of the story, click here.
Meanwhile, lawyers across the country and in the law schools must be cramming for this innovative new field of civil lawsuits... politicians must be lining up to write new legislation, and civil service workers in various agencies must be burning the midnight oil to create new regulations.....  

No comments: