25 Aug
Let’s Have a Playdate! In Court.

I’m on vacation and I’ve asked the fabulous Aunt Becky to take over for me. Because if there’s anything that makes a vacation more delicious and fantastic, it’s knowing that someone else is doing the work for you while you’re lounging and relaxing!  Enjoy.  I know I will. xo Marinka

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have a friend, “Bonnie”, that I’ve known for two years. We’re fairly close and try to get our kids together weekly for play dates. A couple of months ago Bonnie’s husband was rear-ended by someone at a minimal speed. The insurance company paid for his subsequent chiropractic care (which seemed excessive for such a minor accident), but they decided to hire an attorney and sue for additional pain and suffering.

I didn’t think much of this, until last week when Bonnie’s daughter fell in a Kohl’s department store and hit her head on the bottom of a clothing rack. The cut required a couple of stitches, but Kohl’s offered to pay for 100% of the medical expenses, which were significant since they don’t have health insurance.

When I mentioned to Bonnie how generous that was, she just looked confused, saying that it was a big company and it was the least they could do. She also said that her daughter is okay for now, but might have to have plastic surgery somewhere down the road to “fix” the microscopic scar on her forehead.

I love Bonnie dearly, but I’m starting to become concerned that she and her husband are sue-happy. He’s been out of work frequently over the past couple of years and I know they’re tight on money, but what if they’re subsidizing their income by sniffing for lawsuits in every corner?

I’m almost afraid to have her over to my house at this point. What if one of her kids got hurt? I don’t think she would do something like that to me, but how well do I truly know her? Am I being completely ridiculous about this? And if not, how can I maintain my friendship without putting my family at risk? PLEASE HELP!

Signed,

Deathly Afraid of Lawyers

____________________________

Dear Afraid Of Lawyers,

There are very few things on the planet that make Your Aunt Becky more nervous than people who actually like polka music, those who claim to love jello mold salads and people who voluntarily put up wallpaper. On actual walls! But opportunists bother me more than all of those combined.

Because you never know when you’re next.

*cue ominous music now*

Your Aunt Becky doesn’t have a lot of mommy-friends, although I strongly suspect that it has more to do with my lack of personal hygiene than anything else, so I’m kind of going out on a limb here when I say “run like hell.”

And by “run like hell” I mean that it’s probably wise to do one of a few things if you want to maintain your friendship with this person.

1) Make her sign a waiver every time you have them over to play. You never know when little Billy will take a tumble off the jungle gym that your husband badly installed. And if poor little Billy suffers a boo-boo, you don’t want to have to hire a lawyer and explain that, no, your husband was NOT drunk when he installed said play set and it was just an accident, honest.

You’ll probably need a lawyer and one of those notary people around each and every time you have them over, because you don’t want to get lambasted by one of those wily loopholes.

And if that’s too much work for you, I’d go with option #B.

B) Play at her house. Sure, it might be annoying to have to schlep your ass back and forth to her house every time Johnny and Jimmy want to play cars, but then at least you’re not liable. Just make sure your kids are up to date on their rabies and diphtheria shots. Because sweet baby Jesus knows that if Jane were to sink her pearly teeth into Cindy Lou-Who, you’ll be paying for that nice new in-ground pool they’ll install with your life savings.

But if I were you, I’d probably go ahead and write it all off. Anyone who makes you honestly question whether or not you should maintain a friendship is probably not worth your time.

And hey, you can always come over to my house.

Lovingly,

Aunt Becky

15 Responses to “Let’s Have a Playdate! In Court.”

08.25.09#1

Comment by a.

I would also run away from this woman – if any “fall” is an opportunity for a lawsuit.

08.25.09#2

Comment by Pollyanna.

Holy cow! I’m so sick of this litigeous society.

My oldest daughter cracked her head open on the babysitter’s fireplace and needed stitches in her eyebrow. Did I sue the babysitter? No, it was an accident.

My youngest daughter cut her cheek on a playground at daycare and needed a stitch or two. Did I sue the daycare or the playground manufacturer? No, it was an accident.

My oldest was standing on the end of a shopping cart which tipped over on top of her and made the baby seat kind of close up on my youngest. We went to the urgent care to have them checked out (they were just fine). Did I sue the store or the cart manufacturer? No, it was my stupid fault for not paying attention.

Kids are accident magnets. If it is truly the fault or negligence of a person or store, a suit is necessary. Otherwise, get over it people.

08.25.09#3

Comment by Ginger Magnolia.

Wow. Definitely run away…FAST.

08.25.09#4

Comment by Vinomom.

Opportunists is a great word for these people. People that sue for any little thing make me sick! It’s like there is no such thing as an accident anymore! Someone is at fault no matter what. It’s just one of the things that has brought our society down.

08.25.09#5

Comment by Jessica.

Hee hee, I’d go with option #A. I’m gonna head to my Kinko’s now and make a dozen copies of a release form 🙂 Think I can notorize my own forms?

08.25.09#6

Comment by Aunt Becky.

You should TOTALLY notarize your own forms.

08.25.09#7

Comment by Wendi.

The threat of a lawsuit is precisely why I never host dinner parties.

08.25.09#8

Comment by Kelly.

Aunt Becky,
You give the bestest advice. I had an employee once that sued everytime she was in a car accident, in the time she worked for me there were 3. I was really starting to think that she was getting into them intentionally. Then one day, she asked to drive my car, to take her lunch, um, NO! Just found out now her mother is suing someone from a car accident. Apples don’t fall from trees….

08.25.09#9

Comment by Mommy Wants Vodka » Blog Archive » Let’s Have a Playdate in Court!.

[…] went on vacation this week because she is a lazy slacker, so she asked me to fill in for her at The Mouthy Housewives. I’m all giving advice and shit (although this isn’t the Ask Aunt Becky column that […]

[WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP (69.10.138.55) doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP (69.10.138.54) and so is spam.

08.25.09#10

Comment by MommyTime.

And if you’re worried that it will look weird if you don’t reciprocate by having her over to your house, then schedule all your play dates at neutral locations like the playground, children’s museum, etc. Just don’t bring chicken salad or anything else with mayonnaise as your contribution to the picnic.

08.25.09#11

Comment by Rebecca.

That’s The United States of America for you. Our nations children are being taught that it’s never, under any circumstances their own fault. It’s always the fault of someone else. The other person was negligent, of course, and caused your pain on purpose! Must Sue Now!!

08.25.09#12

Comment by Amy.

I think Jessica from comment #5 should make copies of her disclaimer and sell them to other mothers so that we won’t fear the law suits.

08.26.09#13

Comment by Katie.

Wendi said:

“The threat of a lawsuit is precisely why I never host dinner parties.”

Awwww come on Wendi….your cooking can’t be THAT bad.

08.27.09#14

Comment by Kendra.

It really makes me sad, as if everyone in this country has lost their sense of fair play. If there is an unfortunate accident and my kid is hurt, I will be upset and want to get necessary help. And I will remember that it’s an accident. If someone screws up and someone gets hurt, they ought to have to pay for it. When they honestly do something wrong. And when I see all these lawsuits, I think our kids are getting no sense at all of what’s fair. It’s “fair” if you got the better end of the bargain.

Sad, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend time with someone if I was always afraid they were just waiting to sue.

08.28.09#15

Comment by Aunt Becky.

Neither could I, Kendra. Neither could I.

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