Friday, July 15, 2011


The Lawyer presented the following hypothetical for our perusal during the selection process:
"A car runs a red light and hits another car, injuring the driver. We can probably all agree that the man driving the car that ran the red light should pay for the cost of repairing the car he hit. And we can probably all agree that he should pay his medical bills as well. But lets say that the man was injured and will not be able to perform his old job, and will have to take a different job, one that pays 10,000 dollars a year less. And he will likely be in that job for the rest of his working life, say 10 years. The question is should he be paid 100,000 dollars in damages for the difference in pay?  Is there anybody here that would have a problem awarding that amount?"

Several hands went up including my own. The Lawyer had me stand and asked why I would have a problem with that award.
"I said: "Counselor, we are talking about paying someone for a job they do in the future. Future earnings are difficult to figure.The fact is I could go to my job tomorrow and find I have no job. Or this fellow, he might take this lesser job and find three years from now he has an opportunity to double his salary. I would be reluctant to come up with a number for future pay with such a simple formula."
"Is there anything else?" he asked.
This opened the door for me....
"Hell yes. You know, for 100,000 dollars, this guy could be going to Harvard Law!"

Well, the courtroom pretty well cracked up, especially the lawyers and the judge had to pound his gavel and holler "Order! Order in the Court!" and I figured my chances of serving on this Jury were kaput.
But you know what?
I got selected!


soubriquet said...

"Twelve good men and true."

I'm inclined to agree with you. Who can know what will happen to us next year, or the year after.
Besides, I take offence at the suggestion that the culpable driver pays. We all know that it's the insurance company who pay, in the end. The guy who caused the damage, he's not paying, he gets little or no discomfort. And when I say the insurance company pays? I mean we do. All of us.
My insurance company just hit me with a renewal premiun 3 times that of last year. No accidents or claims, no extra risk? What's going on? I suspect they've pencilled me in as the sucker who's paying for rebuilding the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
I'd encourage our bad driver to put in a counter claim. Like.... the car he hit was made of steel, instead of something squishy and safe. As a result he's suffered pain and mental trauma.
I'd say he should demand half a million from the other guy, because the car was not made of a squishy material.

BB-Idaho said...

Had a similar experience. I was asked if someone was charged, were they guilty? I said if someone is caught by law enforcement, that would be a pretty good indication of guilt. (I was picked for the jury). Next time, I think I'll pontificate on the superiority of
circumstantial evidence over eye
witness cross exams. (and probably
get to sit on another jury) In two more years I'll be so old, I can
duck out under the age limit thing.

Kim said...

How'd the case turn out?