Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And Then The Driver Jerked Off

This story comes from a recent post about the tragic deaths of several infants at Methodist Hospital from an accidental Heparin overdose and the attorney for the parents of one of the victims, Nathaniel Lee. It is in no way intended to question Lee's competency as an attorney; rather, it's just one of those entertaining stories attorneys like to share with one another and pass down to new generations of attorneys because that's what attorneys do. This story was shared with me by an older attorney who had worked as a civil defense attorney opposite Lee in a few personal injury cases.

In this particular case, Lee filed a personal injury complaint on behalf of Phyllis McKinley against the old Metro-Transit Authority, now commonly referred to as IndyGo, for an injury she sustained while riding a city bus (Cause No. S584-345) back in 1984. So this was 22 years ago when Lee was a much younger attorney working in a solo practice. In the third paragraph of Lee's two-page complaint, he wrote, "After entering the bus and making payment, the driver, an agent or employee of Defendants, negligently and carelessly jerked off and caused the Plaintiff to crash to the surface of the bus floor." As a result of the driver "negligently and carelessly jerk[ing] off" . . . "plaintiff suffered a traumatic spinal injury, incurred medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and mental anguish." And, he wrote, "[her husband] has been deprived of his wife's comfort, happiness, and companionship."

Now, if you've ever worked around attorneys, you can imagine just how much fun they would have with Lee's pleadings. Apparently, copies of Lee's pleading made their way throughout the courtroom offices in the city-county building and down the street to law firms where everyone had a jolly old laugh at Lee's expense. Everyone waited with baited breath to see if Lee would amend the complaint. And, indeed, he did file an amended complaint a few weeks later. But in that paragraph three that dirty bus driver was still jerking off. It seems Lee had neglected to include a paragraph stating that he had timely provided a tort claim notice to the city, and that was the purpose of his amended complaint. So, once again, copies of Lee's amended complaint found their way throughout the court offices of the city-county building and down the street to all the law firms where everyone had an even bigger laugh at Lee's expense.

I don't know if anyone ever brought it to Lee's attention, but it is apparently a story that just never dies. I can sympathize with Lee as solo attorney. When you don't have a colleague to take a gander at your work product before it goes out the door, it's quite easy to make mistakes like this. I'm sure Lee simply described in his complaint the way his client explained it happened to him without giving a second thought to the double meaning of the words. It could happen to any of us.


Anonymous said...

I heard a slightly different account of that story that makes it even funnier. The defendant's attorney had already answered and moved to dismiss because of the tort claim notice requirement, and Lee attempted to file the amended complaint without obtaining leave from the court. When the clerk told him he needed a motion to accompany his amended complaint, he yelled at her that he filed amended complaints all the time and he knew what he was doing. That part of the story drew many laughs as well.

Anonymous said...

...or the plaintiff could've been represented by the law firm:

Mitchell Hurst, Pinkus Jacobs and Dick...where the recepionist once answered the phone when I called by leaving off Mr. Jacobs's name.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Just as long as the "jerking off" didn't happen in a city park it's OK


Anonymous said...

When you post those lyrics to that reggae/dancehall "music" you end up showing your stupidity that you actually pay money to hear that shit.

Anonymous said...

No, it just means I have the same acces to google that Gary does you dumb queer. This is an example of artists that currently perform these songs not fuckin Buju, talk to gary about that. "Mr false prophet." that needs to get his fuckin facts straight, and stop cencoring others "music".

Your personal fav "Kenny G" was just arrested on battery charges.
WHat r u gonna do now!
I am not hear to try to impress the batty man like u, just here 2 annoy Gary, Eric and other chi chi men.