NWA EDITORIAL: A compassionate step

Benton County right to pay injured womanby NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | October 6, 2018 at 1:00 a.m.

It's not always about what you're required to do. Sometimes, it's about what you ought to do.

Two weeks removed from giving birth to a son, Teresa Ayala's world literally came crashing down around her. When she laid down with her baby for a nap in the living room of her Monte Ne home on June 6, how could she or anyone have known she wouldn't be able, on her own, to get back up?…

State law provides the county with immunity from injury lawsuits. The theory, we suppose, is that the county, as well as city and state governments, are out there doing the work expected of them by the public. Their activities are for public service, not profit. For government to engage in the inherent risks of developing vital amenities like public parks, trails, streets and other facilities designed to achieve public purposes, it doesn't make sense to allow them to be sued with every incident. Lawmakers recognize that government, to do its job, needs protection from lawsuits.

But right is right.

That is why the Benton County Quorum Court unanimously approved a $1.5 million payment to Ayala at a recent meeting. With the immunity protection, the county's insurance coverage would have provided Ayala with a fraction of that.