Wednesday, October 31, 2007
So, I have been promising that I would write about my experience with a National Retailer, who, for the past 3 years, I have been dealing with. Well today is the day.
3 years ago, our dog Shai had to be put down. We of course were heart broken, but it was the right thing to do. We had gotten her from the Doberman rescue in Columbus Ohio, and decided shortly after she passed, that we needed to get another dog. We also decided to go back to the rescue, it is just what we do. We contacted the rescue, and let them know that Shai had passed and we were interested in getting another dog. We didn't expect to be able to get one so soon, but sure enough, a week after Shai died, we got word that they had a puppy for us. We were ecstatic at the thought of having the pitter, pitter, pat pat of 4 paws in our home again.
Knowing that this would be a puppy, and not having any puppy supplies, we went to Target to stock up. We were due to get the wee dog the next day, and we wanted to be sure to have everything ready. So off to Target we went.
Spenser, Rob and I. Going for puppy things. Happy as could be. The day was warm and sunny. No foul weather. Just a perfect September day.
We meandered through Target, looking at this and that, on our way to the pet department. We walked down the aisle that on one side has storage/closet items, and the start of the toy aisles on the other side. I was holding Spenser's hand, Rob was holding Spenser's other hand.
I took a step, and the next thing I know, I am on the floor, Spenser is on the floor, and my jeans are wet. I check to make sure my boy is ok, because his safety was of utmost importance. He was fine, somehow I had managed to keep him from hitting his head. I was still on the floor.
My left knee was sore. This is how I landed, the inside of my left knee, was touching the floor. The inside, not the outside, the inside. Like this >. Not the natural way for your leg to be. Instantly I knew that the work I had done 2 years previous, almost two years to the day, had been completely fucked up. My knee hurt. My ass hurt. I was confused, and scared. And no Target employees were around.
Rob made sure I wasn't bleeding, and then found an employee, told him I had fallen on a puddle of what appeared to be water. He called for the manager. I stayed on the floor, because honestly I was afraid to move. I was afraid to get up and confirm that the knee was screwed up. My million dollar knee, that I had worked so hard to rehab, and successfully rehabbed, was now sore, and bruising.
Manager man comes over, is less then friendly. Asks if I need the ambulance. Well der, no. I am not bleeding, and I can walk, painful though it maybe.
Rob helps me up, and we make our way up to the front of the store to fill out an accident report. On the way up, we found 3 to 4 other puddles of water(? or water like liquid), just sitting on the floor.
Did I mention every step I took, I had the sharpest shooting pain ever in my knee? Yeah.
Fill out the accident report, tell him that we saw 3 to 4 more puddles, and he should have them cleaned up. He did nothing.
Looked annoyed that we had bothered him. I signed the accident report, and he gave me my copy, assuring me in his most unfriendly way, that someone from Target would follow up to make sure I was ok. That someone from Target would follow up in the next day to two days at most.
We made our way home.
I called a friend and had her take me to the ER, because my knee was swelling, and sore, and I wanted to make sure it had not been damaged in the fall.
We go to the ER, I get x-rays, I am checked out, and told to follow up with my orthopedic, to take the pain pills prescribed, and that luckily I had no broken bone.
I go home. I take my pain pills. I go to sleep. The next day I call the orthopedic and schedule an appointment.
Unfortunately they can't get me in until about 3 weeks later. so for 3 weeks, I wrap my knee religiously, because every so often I get that jello-y feeling that tells me all is not right with my knee.
I see the doc. He examines it, notices a little instability. We decide to take a wait and see approach.
I don't want surgery.
I want to make sure I can do everything possible to avoid surgery.
Who wants to have 2 knee surgeries in less then 3 years on the same knee? Not me.
Target never calls me back.
So I call them. I have been transfered to someone who then transfers me to someone else, who is then as snotty as can be. Tells me someone will get back to me, and just to wait. Well ok then.
Finally they have someone from their claims company call me. This person is nice, obviously. I tell him I want my medical paid for, that I am not after money, I just want them to do the right thing. He agrees this is a good idea.
I get an MRI. I get a knee brace. I get x-rays. We are working to determine the cause of the knee pain, and instability. I eventually get a cortisone shot, just to see if that helps.
Nope. The knee brace makes it worse. The cortisone shot does nothing and my knee still hurts, and still has jello like moments.
During this time I am in contact with Target's claims company, and relaying this info to them.
They at some point, tell me that I don't have to let Anthem know how I injured my knee, because "they make enough money, what's one little claim like this?"
Um, sure. What does one say to that? I gave some reply to the effect of, um, ok. Ironically, within the next couple of days, Anthem sends me a paper asking why I am seeking treatment for my knee, where did I injure it, etc., and so on. So of course, I tell them, I fell in Target, here is their phone number.
I get switched to another surgeon, who procedes to try to figure out why, after 3 months, my knee is still a mess.
I am still talking to the idiot at the claims company. At one point, he asks what my medical costs were at that time. I tell him 480.00 dollars. He offers me 500.00. I ask if he is joking?
He says no, and use whatever is left over for any expenses that might come up.
Um, sure, a life time of pain, possible surgery and twenty bucks. Woo hoo.
I repsectfully decline, as I am still seekng medical treatment for said fucked up knee. He then tells me that my injury is not that serious, not serious like a broken hip for instance. Um, well let's see, a bone will heal without surgery 9 times out 10, ligaments and cartiledge? Not so much. Douche bag.
This pattern of wait and see, physical therapy, non invasive therapy continues until June. At that point the doc decides surgery is the only way he will be able to see what is wrong. I insist that it is my ACL, I just know it is. Doc doesn't think it is, but he will check to be sure, and this will be definitive.
I agree that if it is my ACL, MCL, or meniscus, I will receive a donor part. I have huge reservations about this, because well, you know all it takes is one person not doing their job, and I get some disease along with my new part. I am assured it will be fine if it comes to that. The doc still thinks nothing is wrong with my knee.
After surgery I come to, and find out, why yes my ACL was fucked up. It had stretched out so much, that it folded on itself, and in essence I had been walking around for almost a year with no ACL support. I got the new part. And the doctor apologized to me for not believing me.
During the past year I acquired a lawyer, since it was obvious that Target was trying to screw me over.
He takes my case, and tells me he thinks he can get them to settle for a nice amount, because I will have some degree of disability for the rest of my life from this incident.
I am not after money, so much as compensation for what I have gone through, and what I will most likely go through.
And I didn't even want it to get to that point. We cooperate with Target. Give them access to my medical records, do basically whatever they ask. And they drag it out for 3 years.
Basically, without getting into specifics, I got screwed. And there is nothing I can do.
Why take the settlement you ask?
Well in the state of Ohio, I would have to prove that the liquid was on the floor for enough time to make Target negligent in not cleaning it up, and I would have to prove what it was. Obviously that can't happen, because I didn't take a sample, and if I had known the liquid was there, I would have avoided it.
I am told that basically I have an 80% chance that it will get thrown out of court, on something called a summary judgment. I am better off taking this slap in the face and total screwing then to proceed forward.
And so my dear readers, this is why I will not shop at Target. I am disgusted. I am sad, because I liked shopping there. Mostly I am angry that they espouse they are ethical on their corporate website, yet nothing about this was ethical at all.
I got no apology.
I didn't get compensated for my life time of knee pain, which I will have. Rob didn't get compensated for having to take time off work to care for his invalid of a wife that summer. And Spenser, well Spenser didn't get any compensation for a summer during which his mom could not play with him, take care of him, and he had to take care of his mom instead.
And this is the condensed version. And as for the settlement, I can't comment on what if anything I received or didn't receive.
Gotta love it. I know I do---not.