Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tortious Tuesday

Torts is always considered the "fun" class in law school. Reading cases was like story time. What kind of crazy freak accident are we going to cover in class next? Turns out, though, they are not such freak accidents. More and more, I see incidents that you think only could be fiction come to our courtroom. Think that cranes never drop those tons of materials they're lifting? Yeah, we got that case.

And now that I am outside the safe confines of law school, I am encountering these incidents in the real world. We were wrapping up another trial this morning (yes, that is trial #5 in 5 weeks) when we received multiple calls. Judge, lawyers, jurors all delayed because there was a fire on the metro. It ended up being a minor incident that was cleared up after a few hours, but not a good day for DC public transportation after a metro bus hit and killed someone last night.

Apparently just as common as train accidents are in torts case books are exploding manholes. I had no idea until today. After the metro fire situation settled down, I sat down at my desk only to hear an explosion. Look outside the window and I see the smoke coming from the ground and a manhole cover not in its hole. Police quickly come and rope off the area and utility company comes within minutes to do damage control. If you ever see me walk around these covers now, the diagram below will tell you why.

I am starting to feel like after reading about all these cases in school and dealing with them on a regular basis at work, I am going to start becoming really paranoid about accidents.

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