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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Sign Me Up!

First off, I'm perfectly fine.

Don't ask how I am. There's nothing wrong with me.

At least not physically.

But I did have a little medical "procedure" done the other day and as I was escorted out of a clinic I was given a document entitled "discharge instructions." Among the commands were "do not drive or operate a vehicle or machinery for 12 hours" and "do not drink alcoholic beverages for 12 hours."

OK. No surprises there.

But then there was this: "Do not sign legal documents or make critical decisions."


And then I was asked to sign the document.


Let's think about this for a moment - I've got nothing better to do since I'm not supposed to grab a beer and hop into the driver's seat of a construction crane.

Is my signature on the discharge form valid since I'm not supposed to be signing anything?

What if I did sign something during the next 12 hours? Would my signature be binding since I may be out of my mind?

What constitutes a critical decision? If I buy 1,000 shares of Citigroup while the stock price tanks, can I get out of the deal? Is the clinic responsible for sending me out into the world where I can do this sort of thing?

Now consider that this document was almost certainly composed by a lawyer for the clinic who thought that getting a signature from a very-recently sedated patient would protect the clinic from being sued over anything the patient signed.

I'm thinking that maybe that lawyer had recently been sedated....

MORE FROM THE HIDDEN ECONOMY. The following is from a Los Angeles Superior Court complaint in which the plaintiff claimed he was misled into buying a franchise by a guy who said he was a successful businessman:

"Plaintiffs are now informed and believe and thereon allege that all but one of Stowell's business ventures failed prior to Cure Water Damage and that Stowell made the money used to create the apparency of business successes through criminal enterprises, including the sale and manufacture of methamphetamine and related activities."

Sounds like a business success to me.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? The following is from a ruling of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York called Albinowski v. Hoffman in which a woman pulled her car off the shoulder of a road and across two lanes of traffic, collided with another car, and then sued the driver of that car:

"The plaintiff submitted medical evidence establishing that, as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, she suffered from retrograde amnesia and had no recollection of the events leading up to the accident. The only passenger in the plaintiff's car likewise stated in an affidavit that he recalled nothing from the time that he entered the motor vehicle until after the collision."

I see a couple of budding political careers here.

Or maybe sedation.

IDLE THOUGHT: So how long do you think it will be before we start seeing lawsuits against banks and brokers for inflicting emotional distress and causing strokes and heart attacks?

After all, health problems in these trying economic times are pretty reasonably foreseeable.

Remember you heard it here first.

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