Obiter Dicta

Whoopee On Wheels

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When Erica Meredith arrived to pick up her young daughter from an Indian­apolis school, it was obvious that the ’76 Buick she was driving was no race car. Her troubles began, though, when a police officer noticed that it was a racy car.

The vehicle driven by Mere­dith, 25, had a broken taillight, which prompted the officer to pull her over. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that the trunk was sporting a mural of a nude woman hanging on a pole, as two men watch from the audience. The mural left little to the imagination.

Meredith was arrested and charged with disseminating material harmful to minors, a felony that carries a maximum three-year sentence.

Meredith’s attorney, Jack Crawford, downplays the offensiveness of the mural. “It’s common in this area. Other people have it painted on their cars. … The lady is not having sex with anyone. She’s dancing on a pole.”

At a hearing in February, Meredith was given the op­tion of having the case dismissed if the mural were to be removed or modified. Crawford indicated that Meredith would choose to cover the dancer’s assets.

“The artist may paint clothes on the lady.”


Riled Resident Resents Rude Representation on Receipt

Like many working-class communities, Wyandanch, N.Y., is populated with decent, hard-working people who make an honest living. Unfortunately, though, it also has its share of the criminal element, which can give a town an unwanted reputation.

Tanisha Torres is one of the aforementioned upstanding citizens who had, on occasion, heard her community referred to in disparaging terms but tried not to let it bother her.

But when a computer joined in with the gibes, she decided to fight back.

Torres had gone to a nearby Radio Shack to pay her cell phone bill. When she got the receipt, her name and street address were correct, but her home­town was incorrectly printed as “Crimedanch.”

Torres was willing to consider it a one-time mistake, but when it occurred twice more upon subsequent visits, she became indignant and brought the receipts to Bay Shore attorney Andrew Siben.

In February, Torres filed suit against the Farming­dale, N.Y., Radio Shack outlet, alleging negligence and recklessness in its operation and maintenance of the store, and in the hiring, supervision and monitoring of employees. (A store man­ager was quoted as saying a smarty-pants clerk—no longer with Radio Shack—apparently had entered “Crimedanch” in place of Wyan­danch in the store’s compu­ter system.)

A company spokes­person said the situation had been immediately rectified.

Torres is seeking unspec­ified damages for being “embarrassed, flustered and shamed,” and for suffering emotional distress and mental anguish.


Shopper Shocked as Cascading Condiments Target Toes

Ever watch the person who bags your purchases, wheth­­er at the hardware store, the grocery store or the liquor store? It’s not always apparent what the rhyme or reason is for overfilling some bags or underfilling others. Sometimes you just take it upon yourself to rearrange things for trouble-free transport.

And sometimes you don’t, as appears to have been the case for a Penn­sylvania couple who had just returned from an outing at the local Wal-Mart. Ronald and Brenda Sager of Mt. Pleasant Township were unpacking their purchases when one of their plastic bags—reportedly containing a 32-ounce jar of Miracle Whip™, a 46-ounce bottle of ketchup, an 18-ounce bottle of ranch dressing, and a 12-ounce bottle of mustard, among other things—broke.

According to a two-count, 14-page civil lawsuit against Wal-Mart filed by the couple in Westmore­land Coun­ty in January, the items “fell onto and struck the right ankle, foot and toes of the plaintiff, Brenda Sager.”

John Scales, the attorney for the Sagers, says Mrs. Sager suffered a “fracture of the foot. Everything fell on her foot.”

He says Brenda Sa­ger is seeking unde­­termined damages for injuries resulting from store employees’ negligence and “improper bagging.”

In addition, says ­Scales, Ronald Sager seeks undetermined damages for depri­­vation of his wife’s at­tention and comfort, and loss of consortium.

The suit alleges Wal-Mart “failed to use two or three bags or whatever number of bags were necessary to accommodate the heavy items placed in said bag.” A Wal-Mart official reportedly denied the accusations.

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