Work CompPosted: October 3, 2011
Since we’re in Halloween’s month, I’ll tell you a strange–and true–story.
When my old boss was a young attorney, he represented a guy who blew out his back while working. The doctors said that he clearly was injured at work, but the insurance company–and particularly a young insurance adjuster–disagreed. They said the worker was faking the back injury. So what happened next? Of course! Litigation. A lawyer’s dream …
The court ruled in the worker’s favor. But the young insurance adjuster played his final card. He would not pay the worker in one lump-sum for the injury. He would pay him a pittance every week over the course of many years. (State law allowed this option to the insurance company.) What a jerk …
On a Friday afternoon, one week before the payments were to commence, the worker was hanging out on the Missouri River’s banks. He saw someone drowning in the river and, despite his blown-out back, jumped in and saved the person.
But sadly he drowned. News reached my old boss.
He called the insurance company the following Monday to inform them that they “won”. (State law did not require payments to the worker’s estate. His death resulted in a windfall for the insurance company.)
But the insurance adjuster was not available that Monday. On Tuesday, the adjuster’s manager fielded the phone call and apologized for the delay. The attorney explained the worker’s death. Then the manager told him some eerie news.
The adjuster wasn’t available on Monday because he was dead. On Friday afternoon–the same afternoon the worker drowned in the river–the adjuster left work early to visit out-of-town relatives. He stopped by his apartment to pack and took a shower.
He slipped in the shower and was knocked unconscious. His body covered the drain, and slowly the shower filled, and he drowned. Same afternoon ….