There is a saying which floats around the helping professions as well as 12-step programs: Hurt people hurt. They do that to pass the pain along. A handful of them stop doing that but most go on and on wrecking other people's lives.
That seems to be the explanation of why the family of Celine Zilke sued Darin Strauss. One day when both Zilke and Strauss were in high school he was driving a car and she was riding a bicycle. She turned the bike into the path of the car. She died. Eye witnesses from five other cars stated that the driver was not at fault. The police report officially indicated that. Zilke's journal entry for that date stated that it was on that day that she would die.
Yet, after some time passed, Zilke's family who told Strauss that they didn't blame him filed a lawsuit. Like all lawsuits, it presented an emotional ordeal for the already undone Strauss. It also filled him with fear that he would be paying off this suit forever. Ever since the accident he had been tethered to the memories associated with being the instrument of someone else's death.
Just before the trial the family dropped the case. They likely realized they didn't have one. But the pain had surely been passed on. My hunch is that is what they wanted to accomplish. Given the legal system, it is a simple way to carry out a mission. Just about anyone can file a complaint.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other organizations should examine that lawsuit as a possible example of the ugly uses to which a legal system is put. They can find out a lot about all that in the book Strauss recently published on the ordeal. It's "Half A Life."
"Half A Life" is also a productive read for displaced lawyers who remain stuck in the past. That was a time when they had the gift of interesting work and excellent compensation. Although it's over, they keep re-enacting and sorting it out. They might learn plenty from Strauss' chronicle of obsession.