OUR LITIGIOUS SOCIETY
In 2009 Diane Schuler, with a 0.19 blood-alcohol reading (and marijuana in her system), drove the wrong way for two miles on a New York freeway, finally crashing into another car, killing three people and herself. In July 2011, her widower, Dave Schuler, filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging that the collision was the state’s fault for not posting signs warning motorists like Diane Schuler that they were going the wrong way. Dave Schuler’s own private investigator told The Daily Cortlandt newspaper that he tried to discourage Schuler from filing the lawsuit, to no avail.
ATTACK OF THE HANGING WEDGIE!
Chicago’s WLS Radio reported that a man filed a $600,000 lawsuit on Sept. 2 against the Grossinger City Autoplex in the city, claiming that five employees had physically harassed him during business hours over a two-month period in 2009. Included was the man’s claim that he had been given multiple “wedgies,” one of which was a “hanging” wedgie.
CREME DE LA WEIRD
A female Wisconsin prison chaplain was charged in September with several crimes in an alleged attempt to stage a fake hostage situation with an inmate for the purpose of gaining transfers of both to another prison in the state. Prosecutors said the chaplain, a Wiccan priest named Jamyi Witch, 52, instructed the inmate at Oshkosh Correctional Institution to come to her office, barricade the door, throw things around the room, and role-play with Witch as if she were his mother. While the office was under siege, the pair allegedly had consensual sex, and Witch supplied the man with drugs and sang him lullabies, supposedly to calm him down, ending the drama (until charges were filed).
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Anthony Watson, sentenced to prison in 1992 for crimes that included rape and robbery, became a notorious jailhouse lawyer and through successful challenges had reduced his 160-year sentence to 26–and a release date of 2018. But he filed one appeal too many. A court ruled in his favor on that final appeal and ordered a new trial altogether (vacating the convictions and sentence but also the reductions Watson had worked so hard for). At the retrial in March 2011, he was found guilty again and this time sentenced to four consecutive life terms.