Monday, August 27, 2012

The Case of the Vacuous Victim or Caftan Woman vs. Garbage Truck Part II

A long time ago - 10 months to be exact - at an intersection not far from here, some of you may recall my run-in with a garbage truck.  Physically, the fracture of my nose is but a slight bump that doesn't give me any character at all.  I have a few "Sailor Moon" scars on my forehead.  Getting up and down is an issue due to very sore knees, although I haven't detected any weather prediction capabilities.  Mentally, I have a case of mild Depression and PTSD.  After last November's accident I found sleep eluding me in that four hours at a stretch is a relief.  I stopped enjoying things that used to make me happy.  I even pulled out of the June Etobicoke Centennial Choir concert.  Safe in my own home, the sound of trucks on the street make my palms sweat and my stomach jump.  I neglected my health to the dismay of my family doctor and physicians at the kidney clinic, who felt I should speak to someone about my lack of coping skills.  I've always been proud of those coping skills which saw me through radiation, two rounds of chemo and five surgeries, but had to agree something should be done.  So, I'm chatting with a young psychiatric intern and have sleeping pills if/when necessary.  Today something happened which may do a lot toward getting me that good night's sleep.  The case of the garbage truck came to Court.

Ouch

I had no idea that such a thing was occurring until last Thursday when the officer who investigated the incident phoned and asked if I could attend Court on Monday at 3:00.  I believe in the back of my mind was the thought that "Gee, I get hit by a truck and nobody cares".

The York Civic Centre is a block-like building rather stuffy and dusty.  It is filled with long lines of folks paying parking tickets and fines.  In fact, my daughter Janet and I saw so many people shelling out dough that I wonder what City Council is talking about when they go on about budget problems.  There is a wedding chapel that looks like as cheerless a place to tie the knot as you could imagine.  The courtroom resembled a small chapel with pews for seats, flags, computers and microphones that didn't seem to work.  Either my hearing is going or the acoustics in the room are terrible because I only seemed to get every second word, if that.  A number of cases came and went and they got around to the garbage truck incident. 

 Rex Reason

It is nerve wracking to take the stand.  The bailiff (I assume) spoke very quickly and I'm not sure if I was supposed to say "I do" when swearing to tell the truth, but they accepted it.  The Crown Attorney somewhat resembled one of the acting Reason brothers (must have been the curly hair), so I found that a little distracting (Does he look like Rhodes or Rex?).  I told my story pretty much as related in my blog of last November and the defendant's attorney questioned me.  Although the defendant wasn't in court, his lawyer gave 100% in trying to make me look the fool.  I'll give him marks for referring to me as a "young lady" (blush), but beyond that we are not friends.  He seemed quite stuck on the point that I didn't look for flashing lights on the truck.  Well, I told him the truck was stopped - there were no lights, no motor noises - it was stopped while the garbage was being collected.  The lawyer was also quite keen on the point that I didn't know which direction the truck was turning, north or south.  I explained vehemently that I didn't know which direction the truck was traveling because my face was in the asphalt!  In his summation, he said that "the victim claims she made eye contact, whatever that means".  Oh, it's hard to sit still for such snark when you have hundreds of classic movie quotes at your disposal.


Ambassador Trentino:  "I didn't come here to be insulted!"
Rufus T. Firefly:  "That's what you think!"

Anyway, this is where the "vacuous victim" almost caused a ruckus in Court.  When the police officer was on the stand there was a question as to the delineation of the crosswalk in question.  Nobody knew.  Was it outlined in white lines?  Was it a plain corner?  Ooh, ooh, I know.  I raised my hand and tried to get someone's attention.  The bailiff shook his finger at me like I was in kindergarten.  The Court Officer told me I had to be still.  Two little words, "red brick" could have cleared up the confusion.  Despite my genuine motivation to be of assistance I should have realized I was overstepping some sort of Courtroom etiquette.  I was chastened.  I was embarrassed.  Also, I should have recalled from my days of transcribing for a court reporting service that lawyers do NOT like to be told anything.

My late, lamented wheels

The defendant not being present his statement at the scene was read into the record.  Now, I know it was an accident and he didn't mean me any harm, but to hear his side of the story some crazy woman ran in front of the truck and fell down.  He was found guilty of some charge under the Motor Vehicle's Act and fined $125 payable in 60 days.  I would have been happy if he paid for replacing my $35 grocery/laundry cart.  Actually, I'm happy to think that it did matter that I had this accident.  I will probably sleep well tonight without the aid of a pill.  And I NEVER want to go to court again!

     

26 comments:

  1. I never knew this happened to you. I hope things get better and I know they will. You are such a good person and good things happen to good people - eventually!

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  2. That's quite a story. I agree about the downside that us movie lovers have in a courtroom. Nothing ever happens in a courtroom the way I see and hear it happening in my movies. Anyway, I'm glad everything went well and I hope you sleep tonight!

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  3. Thanks so much, guys. You're the best.

    The link to my blog of the accident features a sketch by my artist daughter, Janet. She called it "Take That" and still laughs about the driver thinking that I was her grandmother, not her mom!

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  4. The defense attorney reminds me of an old joke. "Question: What do you call three attornies at the bottom of the ocean? Answer: A start." Anyway, it sounds like he was trying to say you were "pixilated."

    I prescribe Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, as fine a turnabout against silly lawyers as any trial scene. Hope you get some sleep.

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  5. Justice is swift in Canada. Glad you have some sort of closure now.

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  6. Me? Pixilated? Gee, I wasn't even wearing my old lady hat, Readerman.

    Your "Deeds" prescription is a winner.

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  7. Kim, I guess it's a good thing I didn't realize there was going to be a court case because if I had been waiting for it for 10 months I would have turned into a real basket case. Very glad it's behind me.

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  8. Consider yourself fortunate that this case was resolved so swiftly. Here in New York, despite the many changes made to make streets safer for pedestrians, you'd have to be at death's door before the police will even investigate a vehicle-pedestrian crash. Not exaggerating (much).

    So glad to know you're on the mend and that you got some sense of closure.

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  9. Thanks, Rich.

    Despite years and years of watching "Perry Mason" I was very naive concerning the courtroom. Ten months doesn't seem swift to me, however this isn't a complaint since I didn't expect anything at all.

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  10. What an awful experience - all of it! Why do courtroom lawyers have to be such jerks? Anyway, I'm glad you were vindicated - even though you're still out $35 for your "wheels"!

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  11. They must have to take a "how to be a jerk" course in law school. It must be the basis of all those lawyer jokes.

    $35 - plus tax.

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  12. CW - having just gone through a minor physical accident (cast on wrist of writing hand and typing with one untrained finger) I totally understand the after shocks that seem to just keep coming. I am glad there was some justice for you (too bad butt-holes always seem to escape unscathed). I am now thinking of taking my wedge sandals to court.

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  13. Geez, stupid wedge sandals. They may be cute, but they're out to get ya'.

    One finger typing must be so frustrating. These things are sent to try us.

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  14. My lord, CW, what you've been through. My heart goes out to you. Glad you've had at least some closure in this mess. I hope you can move forward now with your fine humor intact, if still a bit pummeled in body and spirit.

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  15. JTL, I think getting mad at lawyers may turn out to be a kick to help me get out of the funk I've been in since the accident. Instead of the blues, I've got my "Irish" up and can laugh at the absurdity of the court. Nobody can stay happy or sad forever.

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  16. Oh, double insult C.W. First you get your nose broken and your grocery cart squashed and then you're treated like a villain in court.

    Shakespeare was right about lawyers. For sure.

    Glad you're feeling better.

    I had a 'fun' experience in court one day myself. A story for another time. hA!

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  17. Yvette, I look forward to your story. You observe and relate so well. Fun? Wow!

    They should pass out a Rules Sheet when you enter the courtroom. No. 1: Whatever you think the matter is about, it's really something else.

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  18. I'm glad this is all behind you. I applaud you being able to write about it so clearly and yet with the good humor to know that going to court can be exasperating and ridiculous. May you have long nights of sleep in the future!

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  19. Thanks so much. I actually do feel as if I really can put it behind me.

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  20. I do remember your terrible accident, several months ago. I'm so sorry to hear it has taken all this time for closer. Here is to a better night sleep, now.. that it is all behind you. ((hugs))

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  21. Janet told me when i saw her later in the day that you had won :) my mom doesn't think he was even fined enough money, but i am still happy you won!

    i also saw you at the crosswalk that day and you didn't see me :( it's all good though. cheers!

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  22. I would think a large lawsuit would be in order - but that's the American in me. Glad you came out OK. I was going to write "Keep on truckin'" but I guess that may be inappropriate in this case.

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  24. Amazing you can write so humorously about something so negative.

    Hope you continue your great blog.

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  25. Glad everything turned out OK...kind of. Truth is stranger than fiction isn't it? Hope you are feeling better now that it is over.

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  26. I missed this when it was first up and wanted to say I'm so glad you're doing OK and that this court procedure is behind you!

    I love the way you write about it, a sense of humor really helps in a difficult situation.

    Best wishes,
    Laura

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