Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Foreperson

Aside from racism, xenophobia, and unbridled stupidity, one of the greatest issues facing the human race is the extraordinary quantity of people perfectly content to do whatever it takes to swindle, steal, swipe, pilfer, exploit, gouge, or in any way possible grab a stash of cash without earning it.

I served as the foreperson on a jury in two cases this month. Both cases faced the same animal.

Case 1:
People are driving north on a freeway when a sudden downpour occurs. It's raining very hard and everyone slows down, but some slow down more than others. A 20 year old woman in the left lane hydroplanes and spins off to the left of the road, hitting the concrete divider and bouncing back into traffic. Despite slamming on the brakes, an elderly couple hits her in what could be called a fender bender. The air bags did not deploy on either vehicle. No one was injured based on the hospital records on the day of the accident.

But wait. Two years later the elderly woman sues the young woman for $8000 for 120 chiropractor treatments plus $16,000 for pain and suffering since the accident. Oh, uh, the woman suffers from degenerative disc disease and arthritis. She was seeing the same chiropractor for these permanent conditions prior to the accident. All pain attributed to the accident is explicable by the disc disease and arthritis she had prior to the accident.

No one, including the elderly couple, would testify that the young woman was speeding.

VERDICT: Accidents happen. We awarded nothing.

Case 2:
A hairdresser routinely does the hair of an elderly woman. The old woman had the horrible practice of signing checks with the payee, date, and amount left blank. In July 2007, the woman dies. In August 2007 the hairdresser, having some of these signed, blank checks, fills two out payable to herself, one for $10,000 and one for $200,000. She attempts to cash them.

The $10,000 check clears. OF COURSE the $200,000 check bounces (WTF?!!). Instead of taking the ten grand and fading away (I kid the reader not), the hairdresser SUES the estate of the dead woman for the $200,000!! She asserts the woman hated her family and wanted her hairdresser to get everything she owned.

The entire estate is worth about $150,000 (almost all of it the value of her home). It has no cash after the $10,000 check. Now being sued, the executors of the estate counter sued for the stolen ten grand.

Knowing she was ill, the month before her death the ailing woman signed a will equally dividing her possessions among her next of kin.

The dates on the two checks are several weeks after the woman died. Seriously. Can you imagine having a blank check signed by a person who died last month? Then, you fill it out payable to yourself for a huge sum. THEN you date the check for TODAY!!

VERDICT: The hairdresser gets nothing and owes the estate the $10 grand she took.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelievable.

Who in the world would think that a check written for 200,000 would clear a basic checking account?!

I would think that woman could be prosecuted on criminal charges.

8/19/2010 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

The first couple that hit the girl may have been snookered into suing by some accident attorney who thought he might get lucky.

The hair lady writing herself a check for $200 grand is hysterical.

What an idiot.

8/19/2010 8:29 AM  

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