Monday, May 30, 2011

The Panda Bear on Suing her Town, Part One

In the United States, it is Memorial Day weekend, a three day weekend where some Americans will honor the war dead.  It is also considered to be the first weekend of the summer.

The Panda Bear is trying to be upbeat and not mind that so much of the weekend will be catching up on chores.   She and Mr. Panda got their hair cut and they went to a thrift store and bought some second hand clothes(The Panda Bear is Ms. Cheapo and can get some good buys second hand clothes).   Clothes shopping is something that the Panda Bear sees as a chore since she feels her free time is limited but might enjoy it if she were retired and had money.

However, let us get to the main object of the post.  As some readers may know, the Panda Bear broke her wrist on slipping on the ice this winter.   This winter was very bad in the Boston area and the Panda Bear knows at least five other people who injured themselves because of the snow.   Interestingly enough these injuries occurred very near where the people lived so traveling long distances was not an issue in causing these injuries.    The Panda Bear on February 1, slipped on a hill when she was leaving work on a bad snow day.  Her work did not let the work out early but because she lived in the town where she worked she believed the commute was not an issue.  

The hill she fell on is very heavily travelled, very slippery and hardly ever plowed for the snow.  The Panda Bear found out after she fell that this strip of land was maintained by the town.   She has gotten a lawyer to make a monetary claim against the town for a slip and fall accident and she will sue the town if they refuse to come to a settlement.

The focus of this post  will be on the pain and suffering issues around falls and injuries(In fact, the Panda Bear will be shortly discussing with her lawyer her pain and suffering and trying to come up with a monetary amount of her suffering).   Though the Panda Bear is doing better and out of both a cast and a splint, she feels she is still recovering from the injury.  She has gotten used to working at a slower pace and still feels it is as still an effort to do certain things.   She has a new respect for people who have experienced more difficult traumas and difficult the work can be to recuperate to recover from an injury.   The Panda Bear is fortunate in that she was able to go back to work(though on a reduced schedule) and not lose any pay.

Her injury impaired her ability to do things at home and prepare food.   She was surprised how moody she got during her injury but the being in a cast effects the ability to eat, sleep and exercise.   She is used to going to the YMCA to swim and do Yoga but she was not able to these activities and her overall fitness level and energy has declined.  She has found that many people who injury their wrist, arm, or shoulder injury their good side form overuse.   The Panda Bear developed trigger finger in both of her thumbs from overuse(fortunately,it getting better).   The Panda Bear is not asking for her readers sympathy but for them to feel that there is some human suffering when public safety is not properly maintained.

The town where the Panda Bear lives and works is not poor.   The town requires both residents and business to shovel the walk areas in front of their areas and enforces these regulations with a heavy hand.  However, the town does not follow its own requirements.  The hill that the Panda Bear fell is a very heavily trafficked area.  The Panda Bear knows of one other person who fell and slipped on that hill on the ice in a previous winter who also broke her wrist.

In her next post on Monday(she will post on another matter on Thursday), the Panda Bear will ask why does government get away with imposing rules on people but does not follow them itself.  She will discuss the apathy and fear she has found in getting the town to do its job of proper snow maintenance in a country that supposedly is the freest country in the world.

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