The Morning File / Dear Offspring: Nothing personal, but see you in court
September 10, 2012 6:30 PM
By Gary Rotstein Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Associated Press reported the following out of Cleveland Friday:
"The Ohio parents of Olympic gold medalist Tianna Madison have sued her, saying she spread stories they had been selfish and bullying and cheated her financially."
Robert and Jo Ann Madison maintain they've been loving, supportive and generous parents to their Olympic track star. In return, they say, they've gotten nothing but aggravation in the form of libel, slander and defamation, and they are now seeking more than $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
We don't know any of the Madisons or the true story here, obviously, but in solidarity, we have to blindly take the parents' side.
They could easily be role models for all downtrodden mothers and fathers -- are there any other kind? -- tired of being taken for granted and publicly dissed on young people's Facebook pages.
In fact, over the weekend my lawyers prepared the following, to be served upon three children this afternoon:
Yo, let this be notice that you are being sued for cruel and unusual punishment and emotional distress caused upon your chief paternal figure over the course of your lifetimes.
You have 30 days to respond by order of the court, though we know you will procrastinate as always and say something at 11:15 p.m. on the 30th day like, "Dad, I forgot about this legal notice you sent, and now I'm really tired but I've got to see a friend before he/she goes off to school/camp/vacation, and I don't have time to take care of it. Could you do something like file a motion for postponement from the deadline for me? Pleeeeeease?"
The plaintiff avers to the following facts as evidence of malicious and undue harm over the course of repeated occasions covering the period of Jan. 14, 1992, forward:
• Defendants do not respond in timely fashion to requests for awakening, tidying, applying for things, going to bed, getting in the car, keeping their hands off one another, completing their review of optional clothing purchases in a store and, especially, commenting on the nature and satisfaction level of their day.
• Defendants have demonstrated willful neglect in use of the words "please," "thank you" and "excuse me," contrary to repeated orders that typically follow some extraordinary effort by a parental figure, such as a late-night pickup or unscheduled monetary donation.
• Defendants have conspired in clandestine fashion to withhold information vital for the plaintiff to conduct parental responsibilities, including but not limited to the areas of educational achievement, social peer group interaction, motor vehicle operation, relationships with members of a different gender and identifying the location of house keys, remote controls, portable phones, etc.
Plaintiff further attests to numerous cases in which he became aware of slander by standing behind closed doors, listening in on phone conversations and simply minding his own business driving the defendants in the car while they criticized him to their friends -- as though he wasn't even there!
Transcripts the plaintiff can produce will show that the defendants have capriciously led the universe of population under age 21 to believe he is slow, stingy, lacking in musical taste, bald, dictatorial, stupid, obsessed beyond all reason with the potential for children to spill things, technologically deficient, clueless, nosy and substandard in his choice of sneakers.
(Plaintiff does not intend to challenge above statements at trial, but only present evidence that they have caused him untold embarrassment among multiple children who have no rights to said information.)
Plaintiff's repeated efforts to discuss and negotiate terms of settlement on any and all of the above matters have been met by the defendants with obfuscation, eye-rolling, mumbling and head-scratching allusions to how the plaintiff is much less lenient than other young people's parents (as though that matters).
In order to obtain redress for all past injuries, plus those anticipated in the future when he probably won't have phone calls returned in timely fashion when curious how his grandchildren are doing, plaintiff seeks a jury trial in front of a group of peers, who should all be selected from a pool representative of the 35-and-older population.
Compensation is justifiably sought in excess of either $25,000, 10,000 thank yous, 1,000 hugs or by allowing plaintiff to listen to his radio station when he is driving the car instead of having it unilaterally, cavalierly changed for 400th time by one of the defendants.