Suing a geophysicist for failing to predict an earthquake is like throwing the augur to the lions for failing to predict a drought. No wait, it's worse, because the augur probably blamed he could do so. Ours is a funny age, when some are prosecuted for failing to predict the unpredictable, while others stay in power even if ignoring solid warnings (i'm thinking about those who failed at predicting the greatest global economic crisis. I guess we scientists need better PRs, or better relationships with power!).
Update (2012-01-28): the conversation of the responsible of civil protection, Bertolaso: "we'll use the experts as a mediatic operation" (in italian). Unmissable, i'm afraid this is what politicians really think about science.
Update (2012-10-22): WOW, here is the sentence: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20025626#TWEET296232