Legal Humour Blog


July 2014

Three Certainties: Death, Taxes and... Litigation

Jul 27, 2014 12:05 PM
Marcel Strigberger

   A family in California is suing Six Flags amusement park for injuries suffered when the roller coaster, "Ninja" partially derailed as a result of a tree branch landing on the tracks.

    I know diddly about technical matters but it does not take Einstein to figure our that one should not allow a roller coaster track to run through a forest.

    What amazes me more is the apparent litigation culture in the U.S. especially California. The accident just happened on July 7th and already there is an action underway.  That's less 3 weeks ago! Don’t parties negotiate anymore?  It would not surprise me if it will get to the point where lawyers will issue their claims in anticipation of an accident:

        "5. The plaintiff pleads that she will be taking a ride on the Ninja next Wednesday, when she will get struck by a falling tree."

    To say some folks can be overly zealous in their desire to litigate, may be an understatement.  In Newport, Delaware, one Nigel Sykes tried to rob at gunpoint, a Seasons Pizza store. A handful of employees tackled the guy and in the struggle the gun actually went off. When police came he had not yet settled down so they tasered him.  Sykes, now in jail, is suing Seasons Pizza and the police for $250,000 for damages.

    He suggests they were not too gentle with him.  What did he expect? A free mushroom and pepperoni? Or maybe he believes there is some store guaranty in responding to orders in a timely fashion.  If the pizza store does not hand over all their money to him within 30 minutes, he gets it free.

    Saving the best for last, on July 25th 1917,  97 years ago, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden introduced this country to income tax. The funny thing is Sir Robert told the public this tax would only be a "temporary measure". I imagine on that day Sir Robert tried hard to contain himself.  When got back to his residence at 24 Sussex Drive, he shut the front door and for about 10 minutes he rolled around on the floor with uncontrollable belly laughter.

    This comment about "temporary measures" is even more amusing than that action commenced by Nigel Sykes.

I practice personal injury/insurance law and family law. Please visit www.striglaw.com.  I go the extra kilometre. That is a 4th certainty.


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Water and Watermelon

Jul 21, 2014 10:13 PM
Marcel Strigberger

       Some organisations are a pleasure to work for. Others are not. Chicago's WaterSaver Faucet company is a not.  They have instituted a policy whereby employees using the washroom more than a total of 1 hour per 10 days can get disciplined. This is about 6 minutes a day in the can.  Nineteen workers were disciplined in June, receiving warnings. Strike 2 is suspension and strike 3 termination.

       I would love to see a wrongful dismissal trial down the road, on this one.

       Cross examination of employer:

    LAWYER-    Sir, did the plaintiff embezzle your company?

    WITNESS-   No sir.

    LAWYER-    Did he assault or abuse any of the staff?

    WITNESS-    No sir, not at all.

    LAWYER-    Sir, what was the reason he was let go?

    WITNESS-    Well, during a 10 day period, he spent an average of 7 minutes daily in the washroom...Here are the dockets.

    However, the company isn't all evil. It hands out $20 gift cards if during one month an employee does not use the facilities at all.  Isn't that magnanimous!  I would hate to be in the same room for too long with the employee who comes in to claim this prize.  I would look for the ark.

    Speaking of jails, the police in  Bantam, Connecticut must have very little to do.  One Carmine Cerevellino  got into an argument with his significant other during which he stabbed a watermelon.  All hell broke loose as she called the police who arrived and charged him with threatening and disorderly  conduct.  The girlfriend complained that he stabbed the watermelon in a "passive-aggressive manner".

    To me this makes Carmine come across like the owner of the Bates Motel. Psycho! Maybe in fact there was more to the story than that. Just maybe the watermelon was minding its own business taking a shower. Suddenly Carmine Cerevellino  arrived out of nowhere and jumped like a madman into the shower with his knife, and proceeded to serially stab the hapless melon.  Now that would merit a good 911 call.

    I invite you to visit my practice website, www.striglaw.com , while enjoying your water or watermelon this fine summer day.



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In the Ballpark

Jul 14, 2014 10:26 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    The lawsuit of the month so far has to be the action commenced by Andrew Robert Rector, the 26 year old Yankee fan who fell asleep at a ball game at Yankee Stadium, watching a match against the Red Sox. The media camera caught him snoozing and this did not sit well with Rector.  He is suing  ESPN, Major League Baseball and the Yankees for $10 million. He claims  he suffered "substantial injury" to his "character and reputation" and "mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity."

    This adds a new dimension to the song, "Take Me Out to the Ball game."  The lyrics in future might just read,

        Take me out to the ball game,
        Take me out with the crowd;
        Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, and give me 10 million dollars."

    I am sure for 10 million he would not care if he never comes back.

    My concern is for the defendants. Will their insurance cover this type of claim?  There may just be an exclusion reading:

        "This policy does not cover claims for damages arising out of:

           ....23 m) acts of war, riots, or fans falling asleep."

    My bigger concern is that there may actually be a lawyer in New York who is taking on this case. I would guess his process server will be asking for a deposit retainer up front.

    And while we're in the ballpark, July 11th,1914, 100 years ago , Babe Ruth played his first major league game, wearing a Red Sox uniform.  I wonder if Mr Rector had  been there, he would have fallen asleep.


     Please also visit my civil litigation practice site, www.striglaw.com .  It'll be my pleasure to chat with anyone about personal injury, family law or baseball.



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Bullets and Baggies

Jul 7, 2014 7:27 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    This is a good time to talk about violence.                 

    In a place called Rifle, Colorado, there is a restaurant called "Shooters Grill".  There is a sign in the restaurant reading, "Guns are welcome on the premises."  Actually all the waitresses carry firearms in a holster.

    Now this bothers me.

    I am not sure I would want to have lunch there. There is probably a notice on the bill that reads, “Warning. Don’t forget to tip your server properly.”

     And I am an avid non smoker.  Certainly if a restaurant patron would light up a cigarette, I would think twice before saying something to him, like "Excuse me sir but this is a non smoking section... Now can I put my hands down?"

    I definitely would be stressed here. This is not a restaurant that when the server hands me the machine to enter my Visa card, that I would want to forget my pin number.

    I don't see a place like this opening in Mississauga. Nor do I see staff wearing guns at Tim Hortons.

    Moving onto Boston, Mass. Laura Lindquist is 102 years old. She is charged with second degree murder of a 100 year old nursing home roommate whom she allegedly killed by wrapping a plastic bag over her face.  The killing happened about 5 years ago but LL was found incompetent to stand trial and she remains in a psychiatric hospital.  The Boston District Attorney is still reviewing her mental status every few months hoping to continue the prosecution if LL's mental condition improves.

    This ray of optimism amongst the DA's office rather makes me wonder about the competency of the prosecution's office.  Have they got nothing better to do?  No other cases to work on? And what is the worst penalty a court can impose on the centenarian  lady accused should she be found guilty in a year or two? Oh yes of course, a life sentence!  Now that would be an absolute deterrent.

    I practice personal injury/insurance law and family law.  Please visit www.striglaw.com.  Our office has a no firearms allowed policy.


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Up, Up and Away

Jul 1, 2014 6:39 PM
Marcel Strigberger

     It’s been an amusing few days in the news.

    In Montreal, police recaptured 3 criminals who escaped recently from prison in Orsainville, Quebec, with the help of a helicopter. This is the second time in the past year that there has been a chopper escape from a Quebec jail.  I think Quebec authorities should call a spade a spade and just concede that they blew it. Nobody knows why guards did not get suspicious after one of the convicts spent two hours on the prison roof the day before the escape painting a large circle with an “H” in the middle.

    Moving right along on the subject of brilliance, there is this American dentist and his friend who are suing British Airways for flying him from London’s Gatwick Airport to Grenada, in the Caribbean, rather than to Granada, Spain.    

    What tipped him and his partner off was when they landed and asked a taxi driver where they can watch a good bullfight, the cabbie said that could be tough to find in these parts but he offered instead to take them to a factory that processes nutmeg.

    I wouldn’t want this guy to be my dentist.  I would not trust him to find my teeth.
 “Ok sir, let’s examine that tooth.  Turn around and drop your pants. “

    For that matter I now have concerns about the intelligence and efficiency of the staff at British Airways.  Then again they may not be as screwed up as that travel agent in Florida who sold the pair the tickets.  You see, they were supposed to return to the U.S. from Lisbon.  Who in the world would travel from England to Caribbean, and then back to Lisbon, to catch a flight to the U.S.?  I can think of someone; the warden at that jail in Orsainville.

Please visit my practice site, www.striglaw.com.  I deal with family law and personal injury/insurance matters.  My clients and I often share a good laugh.



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The Midwest Book Review has referred to Marcel Strigberger as "an irrepressible humorist with a story teller’s flair for spinning a yarn with true (and hysterically funny) insights into the basics of human nature".

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