Originally Posted by WindwardPrinces
The question of whether someone with a license
is deemed "more responsible" by a jury or judge because they have a license
is a nuance that's difficult to prove or disprove. It's not generally called out specifically.
Judge-alone trials result in decisions that must be expressed in reasons: usually written, always recorded. If possession of a licence was deemed a significant factor in establishing civil liability, it would almost certainly be identified.
While jury trials are a different matter, it's not like they take place in some free-wheeling vacuum. Jurors receive instructions on the legal
principles from judges, and such instructions are subject to appeal. If judges were commonly telling jurors that licensed mariners are subject to a higher standard of care, it's fair to assume that there would be at least one appellate decision on point.
Originally Posted by Pete O Static
However, if you broaden the spectrum a bit, by merely having a License and requiring to meet a medical
and criminal background check, are you not already being held to a higher standard?
How about the fact that if you get a DUI on the road, your CG License will now be revoked. Is that not being held to a higher standard?
Failure to make an accurate declaration at Customs
when coming home from a family
trip in Mexico
? Yup, CG License in jeopardy.
I'm not sure that any of these examples take us much farther. What you seem to be suggesting is that one should be reluctant to obtain a mariner's credential because if some accident
or incident happens, the authorities may suspend or revoke it. Okay, but … so what? The person is then no worse off than if they never had the licence in the first place.
The real question is whether mere possession of a licence makes a successful tort action more likely. Thirdhand anecdotal 'advice' notwithstanding, the answer is probably no. As denverd0n has repeatedly noted, no decisions confirm that a higher standard applies.
A related question is whether possession of a licence makes you a more likely 'target' for a lawsuit in the first place. While that's difficult to answer, what most plaintiff lawyers look for is a 'deep pocket': a potential defendant with either substantial assets, or liability insurance
coverage. Meaningful recovery is the sine qua non
of a successful lawsuit, and is a lot more important that whether someone holds a formal credential.