Saturday, September 12, 2009

And on the local front, a shining example of why we need tort reform

Ah, Shirley, Shirley, Shirley... get the hell out of my country.
Woman sues fire company over flower pot

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown woman on Tuesday filed a $150,000 lawsuit against the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co., saying she was injured when she tripped over a flower pot at the fire hall in December 2006, Washington County Circuit Court records show.

Shirley Hiser alleges she tripped over a concrete flower pot near the fire hall’s entrance, fell and was injured Dec. 21, 2006. In the lawsuit filed by Hagerstown attorney Arthur Schneider, Hiser contends, “there were not any warning signs posted and/or any other indication(s) warning patrons of the flower pot being placed in the walkway,” court documents show.

Hiser often attends the fire company’s weekly bingo fundraisers, Chief William Garrett said Thursday afternoon. He said he remembered that she was injured some time ago.

Hiser suffered “severe and permanent injuries,” including a broken left wrist, according to the suit. Her injuries were caused by the negligence of the fire company, the suit alleges.

The fire company “failed to properly maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition for its patrons by keeping the entrance way and walkways unobstructed,” the suit alleges.

Hiser alleges the fire company was negligent for not warning visitors of the “potentially dangerous situation,” court documents show.

“The Defendant [Maugansville Fire Co.] failed to act reasonably in its maintenance and inspection of the premises in that it failed to take reasonable precautions to protect the invitee/plaintiff from the obstructed entrance way,” the suit alleges.

Garrett referred questions to the fire company’s president, Leonard Horst.

“At this point, I don’t know anything,” Horst said Thursday afternoon.

There were no concrete flower pots visible Thursday night at two entrances to the fire hall.

So basically, this woman, who by her own admission had been to this fire hall on previous occasions--and who apparently still shows up to avail herself of the Bingo games to this day--tripped over a flower pot that was in plain view, that she's probably seen and walked around before, and that no one else was tripping over, and now she wants to get paid for being a clumsy cow. Never mind that this volunteer fire company probably can't afford a payout or the rise in insurance premiums of their policy actually covers it. hell--let them sell a truck or two and reduce coverage to the whole community. What's basic fire protection matter compared to this lame-o and her lawyer wanting a payday? I wonder if she yelled "OW!" or BINGO!" when she allegedly fell.

And that's the problem with lawsuits like this. They cost everyone else money. Here, the fire company and the community it serves are now facing the possibility of having to use money that was intended for community protection to pay off one clumsy oaf and her ambulance-chasing lawyer, one Arthur Schneider. So she broke her wrist. That's sad. Responsible adults would chalk it up to the cost of being careless and move on. But not Shirley or her lawyer. They aren't even looking to just get help with a few medical bills--they're going for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars of someone else's money even though the fault in this alleged accident was all Shirley's.

We need tort reform in this country and we need it now. Frivolous tort lawsuits drives up everyone else's insurance costs and the price of products in the marketplace, and it's one of the reasons that medical care is so expensive today. But in that whole 1,000-page health care scheme that Obama and the Democrats are pushing, you won't see one mention of tort reform. And that's because trial lawyers as a group are some of the largest and most faithful contributors to Democratic Party campaign coffers. The Dems won't bite the hand that feeds them even if that hand feeds them with money that it took out of your pocket and mine...and the pockets of entities like the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co..

What do you want to bet that Arthur Schneider votes Dem and has given money to at least one Dem campaign? And double or nothing says that if Shirley Hiser has a car, there is or was a "Vote for Obama" sticker on it somewhere. Water seeks it's own level, after all.

I hope that in the face of this extortion attempt, the Fire Company at least bars Shirley from attending future Bingo fundraisers on their property. Wouldn't want her to get hurt twice now, would we?


  1. There are days you wonder why some lawyer/judge doesn't stand up and just tell these people to get the hell over it? What's next? Someone suing because they don't have the ability to hold onto a cup of coffee in a car?
    Oh.... Yeah.....
    No wonder we elect idiots...

  2. Where is the ambulance chaser that is willing to counter-sue ?

    Cant she be sued for being less than intelligent and for having the physical agility of Jerry Ford ??

  3. If she couldn't see a big ass flower pot, how in Hell does she expect a sign to help her?