All rise! Please read jury seat, opening arguments, witness stand, and closing arguments. Here comes the (real) honorable conclusion to this series.
I shouldn’t have to do a big recap anymore. I’m sure a few readers might be cussing me out for drilling this court case into their noggins and giving them nightmares. So I’ll stick to a basic one-liner.
Injured Cast Lady with questionable past was suing Garage Man for $10,000 for medical bills and mental anguish when tripping over a pile of debris mostly on a house owner’s property with only a handful overflowing on Garage Man’s side.
That’s it in a nutshell.
It took three days of lawyers’ antics and a disgruntled character witness to reach our judgement. We had eight pages of questions we needed to answer in the deliberation room to figure out which counts we could hold against Garage Man and how much of a dollar amount to grant Cast Lady. There was also a part (strangely) on whether we held the house owner accountable for this situation.
Well . . . DUH! It was his debris.
The twelve jurors sat in the cramped deliberation room with our papers. Our foreman (who actually napped halfway through the trial) decided it would be for the best if we went around the table and allowed everyone their two-cents’ worth.
We mostly shared the same sentiments. “Why couldn’t one freaking person take a normal photograph of this DEBRIS? We have twenty photographs at this angle and that angle and standing on the other side of the street.”
Other people said, “I’m not convinced. The circumstances are too convenient. Cast Lady said she knew the debris was there weeks before the injury. It’s not an unexpected accident. Her knowledge of it excuses Garage Man from any wrongdoing.”
A few more concurred, “How can anyone step out of a vehicle while not seeing a mound of debris three-feet long and shin-high sitting right beside the car?”
(Heck, it’s 10 years later and I’m still trying to figure out how she even opened the car door without hitting it against the debris.)
More speculation: "Why didn’t the driver see the debris when pulling up to the sidewalk? If Cast Lady were so drunk, why didn’t she get dropped off at her apartment?"
Yet the biggest thing on everyone’s mind was this: Did Cast Lady really break her arm on the debris? Or did she see it as an easy way to cash in on an opportunity?
As for my humble decision, I just couldn’t agree with Cast Lady suing Garage Man for the handful of stone that had shifted on his property. It would have been a different matter if this case involved the house owner. But going after Garage Man for $10,000 over an anthill of pebbles just seemed trifling. Also, her past thievery from a job for this same amount didn’t help her case.
Our decision: Garage Man was innocent of every count. The house owner was responsible for the hazard. Cast Lady would get nothing from Garage Man, yet could use the decision from this case in seeking damages from the house owner.
If he still lived . . . nobody established this and might be the reason Cast Lady had to sue Garage Man.
Of course, this is merely conjecture on my part.
We filed into the room. Our awake foreman handed in our decision and a clerk read it to the court. NOBODY was surprised. Cast Lady and her lawyer sat there with even expressions on their faces (although I did see Hardy shake Laurel’s hand for the good case as they chatted happily in the hallway afterward, and out of sight of Cast Lady and Mr. Wit - OUCH).
The cute judge stood, thanked the jurors, and said he would be available to talk with the jurors about this case if anybody was interested. Most of the jurors were interested in cashing in their little pay for this trial as they filed into the elevator and headed downstairs to the accounting offices.
A week later, I picked up my mail. I found a letter from the cute judge asking for a date.
Ha! No, he merely wrote to thank everyone for attending and if we had any additional questions to give him a call in his private study.
Hm . . . yanno, now that I think back, his eyes were glued on me for the whole entire trial. I know mine were on him. And he did give an occasional smile.
DAMN! I should have called . . .