Unfortunately, this is a true story. Those of you who have been with me from the beginning will remember “The Lawsuit”. This lawsuit is unrelated to anything addiction or anything J for that matter but has weighed so heavily on my mind. It has to do with my youngest son who was the ripe old age of 4 when it happened. A neighborhood friend of my middle daughter was playing at our house when something happened (don’t want to share to much). The “something” that happened was blamed on my 4 year old. The little girl broke her wrist and if you look in the right light at the right angle you can see a light silver scar the size of a small dot in the middle of her dimple on her cheek where she hit the corner of a step. This happened while J was at college and beginning to fall apart. It is also the day my stress level began to rise at an alarming rate.
Fast forward 2 years….a dark rainy night at 9:30 pm on a Monday. J was up stairs high in his room, it was very early in his addiction and I was an absolute wreck checking to see if he was still breathing every now and then. My husband was already asleep, having downed a six pack and worried sick about J. There is a LOUD knock on the door. I thought it was the police. I was sure they were going to take J away. (I was so naive at that time). It wasn’t the police it was a personal registered delivery notifying us that we were being sued by our neighbors. I could not even wake my husband, I was scared what he would do. This was the day I stopped eating and started vomiting on a regular basis.
Our neighbors were suing us for everything and anything their lawyer could think of. They were also personally suing our 4 year old for assault and battery…yes you read that right they were suing our 4 year old. The next day we were notified by our insurance company that if the courts find that the assault & battery was intentional and not accidental, we were not going to be covered by homeowners insurance. Neighbor girl said my youngest son pushed her…young son was 4 when it happened and now 2 years later doesn’t seem to even know what event we are talking about???
Fast forward 1 year…Our insurance company has made them multiple offers to settle. They will not settle. Their Lawyer wants my now 7 year old son to come in for a deposition, we refuse. They demand that we come in for our depositions, we oblige.
We stay for the deposition of neighbor girl:
Our Lawyer: Do you have problems with your wrist?
Girl: No…it’s fine.
Our Lawyer: Do you play sports?
Girl: Oh yes….I play basketball, field hockey, volleyball and…
Their Lawyer: Excuse Me! She looks tired…we need to take a break.
15 minute recess
Our Lawyer: So which sport are you the best at?
Girl: I love basketball but my wrist hurts when I play a sport and when it is cold out…oh and when it is damp out.
Our Lawyer: What do you mean damp out?
Girl: I am not really sure….can I ask my mom?
ME: <rolls eyes>
They inform us we must bring in both our middle daughter and our younger son for depositions….we refuse.
Fast forward 2 years…A sane judge throws out all charges against our 4 year old who is now 9. We are informed by our insurance company that they are obligated and will pay the cost of any judgement that comes to pass. I don’t believe them but desperately pray it’s true. Mean while our attorney and there attorney are racking up countless billing hours with no end in site. Their lawyer is losing patience…Our neighbors agree to go into binding arbitration. The end is in site! She is awarded more than $60,000 in damages. Her mother sobs that she has to look at the scar on her daughters cheek for the rest of her life! Her daughter sitting next to her looks at her mom like she is crazy.
We wait patiently for another judge to sign off on the binding arbitration judgement. When that happens I will believe it is all over. This has been an extra little nightmare added onto our primary nightmare of addiction. Yeah for me! Aren’t I lucky?