Monday, December 08, 2008

Only the lucky need apply

Monday started a week of calling a phone number each night to see if I needed to appear the next morning for jury duty. Yes, I remember I just finished four-plus month stint with the Grand Jury. It should have been six months but we got off for good behavior. I went as far as Monday night before getting the news, do come 37 miles and say, why don't you bring a good book with you. I should have packed a lunch the cafe was hideous.

Tuesday morning, before the orientation video was over, my name was called for a panel. "Go to the courtroom, and be quick about it. The judge doesn't like to be kept waiting." Unfortunately, he doesn't mind keeping jurors waiting and we sat for twenty minutes outside his court.

"This trial will be easy, two days and you're already here which leaves one more day for the trial. If I excuse you, you'll go back to the bullpen, likely get selected for a month long murder case. So, let's get started, said the judge." I was picked, interviewed, and accepted and he was correct; it only last two days.

To be honest, I wasn't troubled by this except for the fact I missed a day at the Getty. I'd never had the opportunity to decide guilt or innocence so it sounded interesting. This is your civic duty to serve and I'd like someone impartial if I ever have to go to trial.

The case was a young couple, with an ambulance chasing attorney and two sketchy doctors, suing for damages from an automobile accident three years ago. I'd like the Grand Jury to investigate these doctors, please. The big question for everyone deliberating: who only goes to the doctor once and the chiropractor six months? They never had a follow-up with the doctor, who was provided by the attorney, and had a number of MRIs that showed no damage. They even stated they both were fine.

Pain and suffering is a difficult to award. Some felt nothing while other felt they should get more. I was of the opinion the accident was not their fault. They did have the aggravation that comes with an soft tissue injuries and I'm sure the accident was scary. I never want to see my airbag deploy. The jury awarded them a much smaller amount than they asked for and I would have loved to be in the conversation with them and the attorney. The woman had quite a scowl when we walked out of the courtroom.

Cases such as these, and the woman who sued our insurance company, are opportunistic and down right dishonest and I was happy my fellow jurors felt the same was as I did. Now you may say, because we were sued, I had a grudge; far from that. As I heard about the accident I wanted this couple to get everything they needed to heal, which they did. But as the case progressed it was evident they went overboard on the extent of injuries they suffered and I can't help but think the attorney was behind this. On all the bills in evidence the attorney's name was under "responsible for bills".

I know there are accidents that do need an attorney because there are real and serious injuries but this wasn't one of them.

1 comment:

  1. i'm really surprised the plaintiff's attorney let you on the jury.