Saturday, February 6, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Last year, a man in California witnessed a fight between two men after a road rage incident.  One of the men swung a hammer at the other, and the witness, along with others, called police.

Now he's getting sued for his trouble. The man with the hammer is suing him, saying it's impossible for him to do what the witnesses say he did because of a physical limitation.

While the case will probably be tossed out of court, it goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished.

A couple of years ago, I was in a local convenience store getting a coke before going out to cut wood, and the place got robbed.  The guy was in and out in a few minutes, and while he showed us his gun, he never actually pulled it.

After he ran off, I watched which way he'd gone, and went over my description of him, especially details that security cameras wouldn't pick up, in my mind.  All those training sessions in the Army about the details you need to remember finally came in handy.  When the police arrived, I gave my statement, as did the other witnesses.  At the time, I thought it was strange that the policeman made sure we all knew each other's contact information.

Now I suspect he was preparing us in case the yutz who robbed the store decided to sue us.  If we could give our lawyers the names and addresses of other witnesses, then we could corroborate what we put in our statements.

How did a lawyer even think that such a lawsuit was doable?  A witness to a crime should be immune from suits if he or she gives true testimony, especially if other witnesses back up that testimony.

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