Hermitage, PA (PressExposure) October 22, 2009 -- In 2005, in the state of Pennsylvania, I suffered a bad right wrist injury by falling from a boat. The horrific pain started immediately.
I am originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I first had a fiancÃ©e's visa, then a resident card and later a permanent resident card. When the time came, I took my citizen's test and passed with flying colors. I did not make one mistake. I am only waiting to be sworn in as a United States citizen now.
The boat was in the parking spot but not tied down. My husband had lifted me to put me on the boat. The boat had no ladder or exit ramp. The boat captain was very intoxicated. He was also not maintaining proper care for his passengers, me being one of them. He sat in the captain's chair and let my husband jump off the boat and into the water to lift articles from the Pontoon Boat and begin to bring them to the car before tying the boat down. As he continued to drink his alcoholic beverage, as a novice boater, I stood to stretch. A wave hit the boat and I literally flew from the boat onto the rocks in very shallow water.
My husband ran back after hearing my screams. The boat owner never even tried to help me or talk to me. He stayed on the boat.
My husband eventually took me to the hospital. I received a general anesthetic and surgery to put metal rods into my hand and arm and pins to hold my thumb in place. There was also a bar that held everything together. It was a large device that was heavy and was attached inside the arm but rested on the outside of my skin. My pain was excruciating. The device stayed in for approximately two months.
Next, I had a surgery to remove the device from my bones and was given a general anesthetic once again. There was much pain after surgery and I was given a splint to wear.
During the time after my initial surgery, I could not use my right hand. I could not bath myself nor could I dress or feed myself. I had therapy for the months while the device was in place and then afterward when it was removed.
It took at least a year to get myself to the point I am in now. I am far from perfect. I cannot play tennis or racquet-ball. I cannot carry groceries in my right hand or lift a heavy pot or frying pan. I cannot run a vacuum-cleaner or put a fitted sheet on a bed. I live in pain every day of my life.
Still, I have a passion to write and I continue to do so, on my computer. I wrote eight books from 2007 until now.
After the injury I saw a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the boat owner. The wheels of the justice system moves slowly. During the four and a half years the lawsuit was taking to get into the court system the defendant died. His son became the executor of the estate and was the defendant. The insurance company supplied a lawyer and was in fact the first in line to pay any compensation if I did win the case.
My lawyer found a boating witness what worked for the government in many different water and boating capacity. That witness was not allowed to testify.
My husband and I dressed appropriately for court. I wore a skirt and turtle neck sweater with a cardigan over that. My husband work a sport coat over a nice shirt with nice pants.
One witness for defendant side wore running shoes and old jeans. None were dressed in what I believe to be proper for a court of law.
I stated my case and my husband who was not married to me at the time of the injury testified. I had no other witnesses.
The defendant testified to his father's boating practices while he observed them at different times. There were two other witnesses who lied so badly, it was obvious.One said I had no facial injuries while the hospital record stated I did. The other even stated I waved with my right hand. The hospital records stated my wrist had no movement capabilities.
The verdict depended on twelve jurors and two alternate jurors. The alternates were dismissed at the end of the trial.
I was allowed to talk with the dismissed Jurors and one was staying to hear the verdict. I asked him if he were going into the jury room to deliberate the case what side he was pulling for. He said the boater. I asked why. He told me that he had boated in that area for a long time and had seen the boaters and knew many people who were friends of the boater in question.
The jury did not take long for a verdict. They sided with the drunken careless boater. My heart sank as the jury was polled. One after another they had all stated they had sided with the defendant.
Did the jury side with people they knew of in this small county I live in? Did they not make a decision on the law? The alternate jury member would have done that. He told me so.
I love this country. It cost me money to come here in a legal fashion. I studied hard for my test and took it seriously.
Now what am I left with? I am an ex-Canadian who legally came to the United States. Still, it seems to me that the bond of a small county held me with no regard to my legal rights.
Author/Poet of Eight books, A Blonde View of Life, Cling to the Magic Mere Mortals, Tales of a Tiny Dog, More Tales of a Tiny Dog, Castle of Ice, Snapshot...a Blonde View, and More snapshots from my Family Album. Poetry Site Owner and Publisher.
http://www.davedagruber.com - Please come visit and sign my guestbook.