The Case of . . .
"The Saw Looser"
Thomas Offitz, Plaintiff, v. Dr. Tad E. Grenga, Defendant, in the Norfolk City Circuit Court, Norfolk, Virginia
Thomas Offitz was using a circular saw at a construction site when he noticed a strange branding on his right hand. He was certain that the "666" he saw was the mark of the devil.
Recalling the Biblical admonition "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off," Offitz felt that he had no choice: The hand would have to go. Wielding the saw, Offitz sliced off the offending appendage at the wrist. His aghast coworkers immediately scooped up the hand, packed it in ice, and had Offitz and his body part airlifted to nearby Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Doctors convinced Offitz to allow them to reattach his hand, but before surgery he changed his mind. Fearing the hand would let Satan take a hold of him, he preferred to live with a handless stump rather than possess the devil's hand. Given Offitz's demands, the surgeons were forced to close the stump.
Less one hand and several months later, Offitz suddenly came to his senses. He missed his hand, and blamed Dr. Tad Grenga for listening to his instructions not to reattach it. He sued the doctor for a handsome $144,000.
The Verdict, Please . . .
It was clear to the jury that Offitz had lost his grip on reality. They single-handedly agreed to throw out his lawsuit. Given the facts of the case, the jury felt that Offitz could only point the finger of blame at himself.
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