Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why Victims Sue

“Why Victims Sue”
Wisdom from the Crisis Guru # 1000

By James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA

Victims rarely sue because they are angry… Generally, victims sue because their situation is not acknowledged and their feelings are ignored, belittled, discredited, or trivialized.

While legal advice in this arena tends to focus on minimizing litigation risk, at the same time the behavior prescribed for the perpetrator (read: future defendant) is exactly what will drive victims to find their own attorneys.

Far too often testosterosis (the desire to slap people around) drives the initial legal and management response approach which is to suspect, discredit and bully anyone who purports to be a victim. Then they blame the victims themselves for the circumstances of their injuries, rather than to immediately provide aid and comfort.

Remember, victims are the most powerful players in a crisis with the power to change the course of an organization and its leadership.

Victims sue because perpetrators fail to take appropriate responsibility for the injuries, insults and damage they cause.

In a crisis, always remain calm, carry on… and call the Crisis Guru.


Excerpt from “Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Needs to Know About Reputation Risk and Crisis Management”, Chapter 1, “Defining Crisis: It’s All About Victims,” page 27-28. Order now at To contact Jim, please email him at

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