Woman spills coffee on herself, wins millions from McDonald's.
Child gets sick right after vaccination; tests show strain of disease is different from vaccine; court orders vaccine maker to pay millions anyway.
Man dives off a cliff despite a sign "No diving", gets paralyzed, and sues the town; he wins because the sign didn't underscore the danger by saying "Danger: no diving".
Drunk woman backs into a lake and couldn't unlatch her seatbelt and drowned; her companion got out. Court orders Honda to pay dead woman's family for designing a seatbelt that couldn't be operated underwater by a drunk woman.
In all of the above cases, people pass on the costs of their stupidity or misfortune onto others, for their profit. In the vaccine case, the court took pity on the child and decided "someone must pay for the poor child's misfortune, and it may as well be the company with its deep pockets".
What they are forgetting is that now, the company that makes the vaccine, needs to cover the cost of the lawsuit and future lawsuits, by increasing the price of its vaccine. Ironically the increased price of the vaccine means that now there will be a number of children who will not receive the vaccine because of the increased price, increasing the number of children who will catch the disease that made them take pity on the child in the first place.
They are symptoms of the erosion of personal responsibility.
Raising the drinking age to 21 is another example of erosion of personal responsibility. "We don't serve teenagers" say signs at bars. Society doesn't seem to want teenagers to learn to drink responsibly. (Aside: 18 year old males are called "men" in the military recruitment posters.)
Why is there such an erosion of individual responsibility? Probably for the same reason there is an erosion of individual liberty.
Individual responsibility and individual liberty are two sides of the same coin.
You can't have one without the other.
The above frivolous lawsuits are a means of wealth redistribution - wealth moves from the public who pay for the products and the town's taxes, to the few who were stupid or unfortunate; and to the lawyers involved in the case. The cost is passed on to the collective. The collective is responsible for the individual. It is part of the march towards collectivism. Collectivism is the opposite of individual liberty.
Individual liberty has been attacked for a long time now. A progressive income tax is an attack on individual liberty. The direct tax of 45% of your wages means that 45% of your economic output is taken from you and used in ways you may not agree with. It means that from January to May you are enslaved by the government. This 45% figure is conservative; it doesn't include the fact that part of your income is stolen by inflation, and interest payments on any debt.
The Patriot Act tramples on the 4th amendment.
Likewise the 5th amendment was recently trampled on.
There is a pattern to all this:
Bigger, more powerful government, less individual liberty.
The societal trend towards reduced individual responsibility is part of the big picture of attacking individual liberty, and creeping statism.
Even the entertainment industry fills our heads with "group identity". Cliched images of urban hip hoppers, rap artists, drug dealers, nerdy teenagers, skateboarders, executives, and white suburban housewives come to mind. The obsession with group identity is inherently collectivist.
Who benefits from bigger government and reduced individual liberty? The corporatocracy which virtually runs the government. Who are these people who form the corporatocracy? The people who run the biggest corporations, which include Big Oil, Mass Media, Big Defense, Big Finance, the Federal Reserve banks, and the Entertainment Industry. Some of these people also go in and out corporations and government.
By owning the Mass Media and the Entertainment Industry, they could have huge control over "public opinion" and popular culture.
Indeed, writers like Ken Adachi, John Coleman, Byron Weeks, and Thomas Dye have said that "public opinion" is carefully molded propaganda.