Apr 17, 2010

From the Urban Dictionary.

I call bullshit.

1. To call one out on a complete falsehood.

True story from here in Hooterville.

Back in 2007 a 78-year-old woman went to eat breakfast at a local hotel with friends. While descending a stairway in the hotel, she fell and hit her head causing grievous injury. She never regained consciousness, and a week or so later, she died.

As it turned out, the operators of the hotel had removed the handrail from the stairway in order to improve the aesthetics of the area.

Investigators for the family discovered that a number of other falls had taken place on this stairway. The family of the deceased filed suit against the hotel operators, claiming negligence on their part.

Removal of the railing is a violation of the Hooterville building code.

The trial ended this week and the jury awarded $3M to the plaintiffs, deciding that the hotel was 80% responsible for the woman's death. They ordered the hotel to pay the deceased's family $2.4M of the award. The other 20% of blame was laid on the dead woman and since she is dead, her family is out-scout on the remaining $600K.

Whether that is a fair award is not for me to say. No amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. That is not the point in me telling you this story.

Instead, reflect on the words of the victorious attorney in discussing the award.

"The family's primary goal in pursuing this claim was to get XXXX Hotel to reinstall the railing," Klein said. "They're still in violation of city codes, but now the city's compliance section will now be put on notice. Now they will know (about the violation) as a result of this."

As we all know, the only way to get word to the building safety folks about violations is to collect a multimillion dollar award against the violators.

I call bullshit on that explanation.

Had he said, "XXX Hotel's operators knew that removing the railing was in violation of the law and was a danger to the hotel's guests. They did it anyway. Even when multiple people fell and were injured, they didn't fix the problem. They caused Mrs. Smith's death and her loss to her family. We sued their asses to make them pay, which is the only thing they seem to understand. Bet they put that rail back up now."

Now isn't that a better story explanation? Plus, it has the benefit of being true.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


The Bug said...

People say we're too litigious as a society - but it feels like we have to litigate to get people to do the right thing. Sheesh!

LOVE the video - thanks for sharing it!

Megan said...

When you're a lawyer, you have to be very careful about what you say. At least, that's what my lawyer friends tell me. I call bullshit, they just keep sayin' nothin'...

Kurt said...

Everyone I know is an attorney

Barbara said...

After falling last year and breaking my hip, I have become increasingly aware of handrails and the lack thereof. I would be panicked to go down a long flight of stairs with no railing. I'm really sorry this had to happen to the poor elderly woman. And you are right that no amount of money can bring her back. I wonder what the family will do with the $2.4 million?