The following journal entries are those of Stormtrooper TK-726, a struggling, low-level attorney stationed on the first Death Star. They largely depict his trials and tribulations as a last-resort Imperial attorney. Found floating in space by a band of smugglers, Mos Eisley Radio acquired the journals and has set to work on translating and documenting the content. Though his fate is still shrouded in mystery, at this point, one thing is strikingly unclear: Who knows why TK-726 even bothered to record his these things?
Journal Entry 11-40-21
Product liability cases are never what they seem at first glance. Remember that famous case where the elder female officer ordered the cup of caf and burned herself, then sued and won? Remember how unfair everyone thought that was? What if I told you that the officer who burned herself was in her 70’s, the coffee was 85 standard degrees, would cause 3rd degree burns in less than 2 seconds, could not be consumed orally at that temperature, and she lost 20% of her body weight while in the hospital receiving major skin grafts to her groin and thighs. Makes it a little more believable that a jury awarded her some money, right?
The point is that you have to find out all the facts before you make a decision about one of these. This week was a good example of why you ask all the weird questions.
Scout Trooper TB-2847 came in looking for someone to represent him. I guess the other side was willing to settle and pay most of his medical bills, but nothing else. He said that he’d been badly injured by his “cooker”. A cooker is essentially a box that has some heating coils in the bottom, powered by electricity. You put your food on the grate, and the coils heat it up. You see them everywhere in trooper outposts because they’re small and simple devices. Now, he didn’t look injured, but he had his gear on so it was hard to tell.
“So what happened?” I ask.
“My cooker electrocuted me,” he said.
“Can you be a little more specific?”
“It electrocuted me and gave me a heart attack.”
Not exactly what I was going for, but I suppose I could have been more specific.
“What were you doing when your cooker electrocuted you?”
I’d had enough of this clown.
“Ok. Take your helmet off.” He obliged. “I assume you want me to represent you, but I can’t do that if I don’t know what the hell happened here, so go ahead and explain from the beginning.” That seemed to resonate, because he immediately took his helmet off. He was in his mid 20’s. Didn’t look too bright, which may seem strange to say, but sometimes you can just tell. His slightly dazed eyes betrayed a history of close encounters between his had and a vibro-baton.
“I was doing recon on Endor. We’d just gotten some new supplies from station, and it included a cooker and a generator. We were pretty excited because we’d been living out of cans and whatever we could cook over a fire. We fired up the generator, and put in some meat from an animal we snared. I opened it up to pull the meat out and put my hand in there and I must have brushed one of the heating elements because it blew up and electrocuted me. I’m not really sure because I blacked out and woke up an hour later. I guess the guys say my heart stopped but they got it going again.”
Quite a story. I was this close to taking the case and telling him to go home so I could start working on it. Something in the back of my mind told me to ask a few more questions.
“So it just blew up when you touched the coil?” I asked.
“I guess so. Kinda hard for me to remember.”
“You weren’t wearing your gloves were you?” I thought maybe a buckle or something got caught in there. It was a long shot.
“Nope. My gloves are pretty dirty. I didn’t want to handle the food with them.”
“Ok. So that we’re clear, it was a new cooker, a standard generator, you put your hand in without a glove, and it electrocuted you.”
Seemed legit to me. I went through the whole standard paperwork thing with him, talked a while about billing, and was walking him out the door when a thought popped into my head.
“You don’t have an extensive medical history, do you? Nothing crazy I should know about, right?”
He stopped at the door and turned around. “Well, I had a pretty bad speeder bike accident a couple years ago.”
“How bad was it?”
“I probably should have died. They barely put me back together.”
I cringed, hoping that I wasn’t right.
“What hand did you use to get the food out?”
“My right. Why?”
I walked over, holding my hand out to shake his, and when he put his hand in mine, I pulled off his right glove revealing his shining, metal, robotic hand.