Finally, there is an end in sight to what I hope to be one of our final legal matters relating to our attack of a couple of years ago. The wheels of justice do indeed turn slowly at times. If anyone needs a refresher on circumstances and events relating to this, you can read my initial entry from August 2008 and then this one from October 2010.
Although, I am somewhat reluctant to call ourselves victors, we did receive word about two weeks ago that our employer had decided to settle this matter now rather than take the next step which would have been a proper hearing initially scheduled for June 2011. Thank goodness we didn’t have to wait another eight months to have our day and say in court, although we were fully prepared to go the distance if that’s what it ended up taking. Whew.
We had been hoping that they’d end up settling after what had happened during our initial meeting with the Judge from Small Claims, although we half expected them to dig in their heels even though they were so in the wrong in this case. Have to admit, though, that our initial mediation hearing almost ended up disastrously for us. Their Statement of Defense was riddled throughout with outright lies although they didn’t remotely seem to care – in the end the burden of proof would have ultimately been up to us and until this mediation they had been very cavalier about the whole thing arrogantly thinking we had nothing – they were so wrong.
We ended up being very lucky with the Judge we happened to draw for that initial mediation as the courts only allocated a half an hour of time to hear both of the sides. Our employer initially took the lead as the first words out of the Judge’s mouth to us were how frivolous our claim appeared to be with no apparent merit. Jim and I looked at each other in near panic and despair. WTF?
Thank heavens we had legal representation not to mention that Jim managed to quickly pick up on the fact that their lawyer had been presenting this matter as some sort of landlord tenant issue when in fact it was nothing of the sort. When it dawned on Jim what they were doing he instinctively blurted out his disgust and after we all recovered from our initial shock, you could actually see the Judge’s whole demeanour completely change. By the end of those thirty minutes, he had been completely won over to our side – mostly because we had a very legitimate and valid complaint against our employer. Whew!
Even after their legal representative was duly chastised by the Judge for his and the company’s appalling behaviour in light of the seriousness of our injuries while performing our normal job duties, he was incapable of making a counter offer to us that day. We had been prepared to settle for half of our original claim if we could wrap it up then and there. The Judge gave 30 days for their response to our offer and strongly suggested that the matter should really be settled then and there as if we proceeded to court, he felt they didn’t have a hope of winning even if we failed to come up with an ounce of proof of our claim. He said we’d win on the sympathy vote alone! Of course, they managed to wait the full thirty days before they responded to our offer.
We still haven’t received payment yet although we signed the paperwork 12 days ago – I guess they have 14 days to issue the cheque from that date. We never imagined we were going to get it any earlier than this anyway – certainly not based on their previous treatment! Still, it will be nice to have that bit of extra money as we enter the Christmas season that’s for sure, so regardless of when it arrives, I’ll certainly be happy!
peace, love and happiness…
P.S. I am now down to a daily dose of 22mg methadone. How cool is that? No ill effects either!