Have you ever been watching a great movie, enjoying the storyline and then suddenly been overwhelmed by a pressing question of reality? One can’t help but wonder while watching The Avengers, what the legal implications of their blockbuster heroics might be.
Let’s take the damage done to New York City, for example. They leveled entire buildings (no doubt with people inside). Entire parts of the city were destroyed. Hell’s Kitchen was hit especially hard.
According to calculations done by The Hollywood Reporter, the physical damage to the city alone would cost around $70 billion dollars. The cleanup of the mess would cost close to an additional $90 billion: the total cost of damage and clean up associated with Hurricane Katrina.
It goes without saying that, if this were a real-life scenario, insurance companies would be having a hay day. Can you imagine insurance carriers all scrambling to include addendums to current policies specifically excluding any damage caused by superheroes? That’s about how the situation would pan out. Insurance Hub explains that if the Avengers were real, you’d probably need special policies for home, auto, personal liability, personal property, and much more.
There are also already certain provisions in insurance policies that might apply without needing any additional addendums. Non-coverage loopholes Acts of War, Civil Unrest, and Terrorism might be applicable. We also have to consider the involvement of Thor and Loki, who are considered deities. In Norse mythology, the gods were considered to be very powerful and when they clashed, there were cataclysmic results. This would make at least some of the damage subject to the classification of an “act of God.”
Without insurance covering the cost, it stands to reason that this cost would wind up as part of the National Debt. Thanks, Captain America.
Greenstein & Millbauer, LLP explains that non-economic damages are usually defined as pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of consortium, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life. There would no doubt be legal responsibility associated with this, as well.
Remember when we mentioned all those buildings full of people? What about the people in the cars that got flipped? It’s unlikely that they would all survive the impact of the damage. Think of the lives lost in 9/11 and other attacks. All of those people would have families left behind, children left to raise, and financial responsibilities left un-cared for.
Then there are the ones that survive the impact that would need to be worried about. The injuries would be significant. People would be left without the ability to walk or care for themselves. They would love their functionality. The witnesses and survivors would suffer emotional distress due to the trauma inflicted by the events.
Was it Worth It?
This leaves one pressing question- was all the damage worth it? Unfortunately, it seems so when we consider the even more excessive damage that could have been done if Loki had ever been allowed to keep the Tesseract. World enslavement and mass murder for the sake of one entities power?
The damage would be longer-lasting and more severe. The emotional ramifications of Loki’s victims and the death count would have definitely climbed higher. Sorry, New York. You’re on the line this time, but we appreciate the sacrifice.
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