Legal Lightning Struck Twice

, , , | Legal | September 22, 2018

When I was six years old, my father was struck by lightning while he was lowering a wheelchair ramp for the last passenger on his bus. Thankfully, he survived, but the injuries put an end to him working. Since it happened while he was on the job, this was clearly a case for workers’ comp. The problem? Dad was working for the city, who in turn controlled workers’ comp. Long story short, they desperately did not want to pay. So, my parents needed to get a lawyer.

While preparing the case, my mother asked about getting a hold of the aforementioned passenger, who was the only witness to my dad being struck. The lawyer waved her concerns away. “They’re not contesting the fact that he got hit,” he said.  

Flash forward much, much later to their meeting with the opposition. The workers’ comp lawyers’ argument? “We don’t know for sure that he was even hit by lightning at all!”

Mom was livid, especially since by this time, the witness had moved out of town. Fortunately, a family friend had taken it upon herself to track the guy down, and he was able to testify that, yes, my dad was hit by an enormous bolt of electricity, and the “singed and delirious” look wasn’t just a new fad he felt like trying.

Phase two was, “But surely taking one billion volts to the head didn’t hurt him any,” but that’s another story.

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