Interviewer: Can you give an example of two or three of your most unusual or interesting or craziest cases?
Will: I had a case where an oil field service truck out in the southeastern part of the state was driving down a two-lane highway. There is nothing out there but sagebrush and jackrabbits. The truck comes up on one lone house. Across the street from that house is mailbox. At the mailbox were two little girls and their dog.
Now, you’re driving this truck at 55, 65 miles an hour, which is the speed limit. You can bet the dog’s going to dart out and you can bet the child’s going to follow the dog. Now a darting child in front of a car is a defense to hitting a child or hitting somebody. If they dart in front of your car, how could you avoid that?
But you could avoid this case because you could’ve slowed down. Of course, the dog darted out, the girl went and chased him, and the guy sailed the poor girl 100 feet into the air and ripped most of the skin off of her body and crushed her pelvis. They immediately did the darting child defense and we said.” No.” It may be a contributing factor but he saw it coming. And, of course, we settled it for a high six figures, and we made quite a bit of money off of that for the girl and her family.
One of the funnier cases I encountered happened long ago. There was a group that was doing hair restoration for balding men and they couldn’t get the unit, which is what they call the toupee, to fit on the customer’s head. In an attempt to make it fit they took metal industrial bond, metal bonding glue and glued the piece to his scalp.
The hair started to fall out. There were all kinds of epidural problems with the scalp. It took almost four hours of a kerosene solution to remove the toupee off the top of his head, and then during the course of the litigation we found out that they spy on their customers! They record them when the customers are debating about whether or not they’re going to buy the unit. Of course, we got this customer quite a bit of money for what had happened to him. I could just go on and on for hours.
Here’s one more interesting story I want to tell you about. It involved a father and son whose favorite activity is to ride their dirt bikes. They live up here in northern New Mexico up by the Rio Grande River, and there’s only one single dirt road up to their house. The man who had the adjoining property stretched a rope between the two trees across the road that goes up to their house. He wanted to keep other people away from a different area of his land.
But he put this rope up with no flags and no marking at all. The father comes down the hill, going up to his house. The son is right behind him and the father hits the rope and it nearly decapitates him. Slits his throat from ear to ear, blood is gurgling, bubbles out of his throat. The son drives up on that. The son is traumatized. There was a very significant loss of consortium claim. The suit went after the person’s property insurance, and was settled in very high six figures for these people. Both the father and son received compensation for the injuries that they suffered as a result of this.
Interviewer: I guess the cases can stem from almost anything. That is very interesting.
Will: Right now I’m involved with a complaint that we are getting ready to file against a movie theater for not keeping the sidewalk free of ice when there was storm after storm and they should have been maintaining it. A woman hit her head, and caused such a massive brain injury that she lost her ability to speak for almost a year.