A lot of you have written to ask what ever happened in the “Mr. B” lawsuit. The answer (sorry this won’t mean anything to those I’ve not yet browbeaten into reading my book — hang on, it gets better) is that he asked to settle for $1,200, we said no, and it drags on. But it looks as if Mr. B may have lost interest, now that he sees we’re resolute. It cost him nothing to try, thanks to Legal Aid; it cost us a few thousand dollars in time and legal fees to defend. You know the old gypsy curse: “May you be involved in a lawsuit in which you are in the right.” (Or something like that. Maybe it was Polonius who actually said it. In Danish.)

The point is: I’ve had it easy compared to this story, relayed to me — with admirable calm (I would be going nuts) — by Dan H., one of your fellow readers:

“I hope your landlord travails are going better. I am currently slogging through a difficult eviction. The tenants started out by suing me more than a year ago for breaking a leg on a carpet seam inside the house. When the medical records showed that they had originally claimed that the accident happened outside of the house, their attorney petitioned the court to be able to resign from the case. Yet the case lives on. Meanwhile, failing their first attempt to sue, they stopped paying rent, so I filed for eviction, which they are contesting on the grounds that it is retaliatory for the original suit (not that it could have anything to do with anything like, say, their failure to pay the rent!!). Alas, sometimes life can be rather frustrating.”

Separately, there’s an alleged news item going around cyberspace that I have to assume is a spoof. It concerns a Charlotte, North Carolina, man who “having purchased a case of rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against . . . get this . . . fire.” He smoked them all, then told the insurer he had lost them in “a series of small fires.” The insurance company balked; the man sued — and won. According to the story, rather than endure the time and expense of an appeal, the insurer paid the man $15,000. Then, after he cashed the check, it “had him arrested on 24 counts of arson, for which he was sentenced to 24 consecutive one-year terms.” While this amusing tale is presumably fanciful, tell me this: Is it that much more insane than Dan H.’s saga?

Ah, justice.


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