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2/6/99 Goodwench and I just got back from week up in PA trying to get some closure on the motorcycle accident I had on 5/23/94. The trial was supposed to over on 2/4/99, but things didn't get finished up yet, and the trial will proceed again on 2/16/99. The judge appears to be an impartial person who cares and is really paying attention and trying to understand everything. I really don't understand the attorneys representing the trucker's insurance company, but sure have given me a distaste for lawyers. Actually, if I'm not careful, these attorneys tend to get me upset with all of humanity. I can understand taking one's job seriously, but I could never do it to the point of disregarding reality. Donna Adelsberger and Susan Weiner are the lawyers for the truckers insurance company. While they will continually smile at everybody in the court room, they are always looking for anything to discredit me. This even went as far as using my web site. They came to my page and read pieces I had written over the past two years. When I wrote these things I had been in denial of some of the changes that led to my no longer being able to continue my private practice. They introduced print outs of some of my web pages as evidence that I stopped my practice simply because I was unhappy with what the insurance companies had done to the current state of medicine. Even if I had been aware then how much I had been changed by the brain injury, I wouldn't have been able to tell it to the world at that time. Because I tried to deny some upsetting things from myself, these people would like to say that those things aren't reality. I've suffered too much pain coming to terms with reality to let Adelsberger or Weiner distort it. After trying to use my own web site against me, they didn't even have the courtesy to sign my guest book. These lawyers produced witnesses that they had sent me to see for evaluations. Both the orthopedic doctor and the psychiatrist that they sent me see are actually attorneys. Though they have MD degrees, they make their livings giving testimony in court cases, rather than in primarily treating patients. These are people who specialize in helping insurance companies. The orthopedic doctor had been helping plaintiffs with medical malpractice suits until the Philadelphia orthopedic community got fed up with his selling out medicine and the physicians that were trying to care for patients. The doctors pressured him into giving up representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases and now it appears he helps insurance companies with their side of cases. Dr. Newman, their orthopedist, gave video testimony under oath that I had made a complete recovery from my injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident, and that there was no longer anything wrong with my left leg and ankle or with my right shoulder. He stated the pain from my chronic tendonitis could be relieved by a "three minute operation to remove the screws from the top of the rod" that runs through my tibia. He also stated that the rod could easily be removed during the same operation. He was completely unaware that the patellar tendon had been split longitudinally to insert the rod and it would need to be split again to remove the rod. One of the biggest insults of the whole case was the testimony of John Sebastian O'Brien II, MD who represented the trucking company. This man was paid to show up at the trial and testify that I was symptom exaggerator who had misrepresented my injuries and remaining difficulties to him. Thankfully, upon cross examination it was shown that he had probably only read my hospital discharge summary and assumed all the things that I told him were made up in hopes of getting some sort of monetary settlement. I told this man about the fractures of my skull bones that had been caused by my brain accelerating forward when my helmet hit the trailer. He decided I was embellishing or making things up rather than going to the records that were supplied to him to check on the reports from the CAT scans of my head. He stated that I told him about the avulsion of my biceps muscle when he believed it had in fact been a superficial injury. He didn't even know how many surgeries were required to repair it, or how low my hemoglobin had gotten from the blood loss. It almost appeared the judge was not happy with my attorney taking up most of the morning showing that this O'Brien had accused me of terrible things without really even reading my medical records carefully. Unfortunately, when someone is willing misrepresent a large number of facts, it is hard to know how many of them need to be shown to be false before the judge will understand what that witness was doing. The amazing thing is that although I presented the same symptoms to both attorneys, Dr. Newman said I minimized and O'Brien said I was an embellisher. I know that the founders of our country felt that an adversarial system was the ideal way to find facts and try cases, I can't help but wonder if it really hasn't gone too far. The really scary part is not knowing when the judge has understood something. An engineer that reconstructed the accident took a long time to testify on things such as the position of the truck at the time of the accident. A knowledge of basic physics was required to understand how he calculated my speed and direction of travel from the damage done when I hit the trailers landing gear and where my bike came to rest. This man was really bright, but I'm not sure he was able to make himself easily understood. I found it very interesting and understandable, as did my mother who has no physics background. I'm just not sure if the judge grasped all of it. If I could be sure her honor understood the engineers testimony, I wouldn't have to be wishing we could call another trucking expert to help make it more clear. Without knowing when you have been understood, it becomes necessary to prove everything to the point of overkill. This sure uses up a lot of resources.
4/1/99 The first birth at the CyberRanch occurred today. Patches delivered a healthy little bull. Mother and baby are doing fine.
6/1/99 Today I received a letter from the attorney who was supposedly representing me in my motorcycle vs. semi-truck accident. He didn't even have the guts to call me personally. Despite all my severe and lasting injuries and major changes in my life, the judge decided that I should have absolutely no award. Either the judge is really quite stupid or my representation was truly reprehensible. In her excuses for her decision the judge states that she doesn't believe the angle of the impact my bike made with the truck could be determined from pictures of the bent landing gear on the trailer. It's obvious this judge never had a course in Physics. My only consolation is that her ruling is so outrageously stupid that she probably opens the door for an appeal. One really has to wonder when a semi can pull off the road, return to the road with it's 4-way flasher on, and his another vehicle in it's blind spot, and then have a judge with no understanding of Physics say she doesn't think he committed any negligence. The judge also said she found the truck driver to be a credible witness. I wonder which version of his story she found so darn credible. If the OJ decision didn't totally shatter any faith I might possibly have in our legal system, this decision certainly puts the nail in the coffin. The whole thing sure reminds me of an old joke, "What do you call an attorney with double digit IQ?" ... answer = "Your Honor"
10/30/99 Another trip to PA. This time a 1940 Ford Coupe and a 1957 Chevy returned with me.
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