Give Me My Finger

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by GotZoom, May 6, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
    Offline

    GotZoom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,719
    Thanks Received:
    366
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cordova, TN
    Ratings:
    +366
    If I were the kid who lost the finger, I'd sue the guy who kept it for 10 times whatever the lawsuit gives him.

    Fight over finger found in custard

    Friday, May 6, 2005 Posted: 5:59 AM EDT (0959 GMT)

    RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) -- To a dessert shop customer, the severed fingertip found in a pint of frozen custard could be worth big dollars in a potential lawsuit. To the shop worker who lost it, the value is far more than monetary.

    But Clarence Stowers still has the digit, refusing to return the evidence so it could be reattached. And now it's too late for doctors to do anything for 23-year-old Brandon Fizer.

    "I'm not saying who has it, but somebody has it," Stowers said this week in a telephone interview, refusing to let on where the fingertip is now.

    Soon after Stowers found the finger in a mouthful of chocolate soft-serve he bought Sunday at Kohl's Frozen Custard in Wilmington, he put it in his freezer at home, taking it out only occasionally to show to television cameras.

    He refused to give it to the shop's owner, and refused to give it to a doctor who was treating Fizer, who accidentally stuck his hand in a mixing machine and had his right index finger lopped off at the first knuckle.

    Medical experts say an attempt to reattach a severed finger can generally be made within six hours.

    But according to the shop's management, Stowers wouldn't give it back when he was in the store 30 minutes after the accident.

    "The general manager attempted to retrieve it and rush it to the hospital," reads a statement posted Thursday on Kohl's Web site. "Unfortunately, the customer refused to give it to her and declared that he would be calling the TV stations and an attorney as he exited the store."

    Officials at Cape Fear Hospital said their efforts to retrieve the finger also failed.

    Dr. James Larson, director of emergency medicine for UNC Hospitals, who was not involved in the case, said once Stowers took the finger home and froze it, it was too late to even try for reattachment.

    "You can't freeze it. It kills the cells," Larson said.

    The doctor said the best way to preserve a severed limb is to wrap it in saline-soaked gauze, place it in a plastic bag and store that in ice water.

    Stowers' attorney, Lee Andrews of Greensboro, wouldn't say if a lawsuit against Kohl's is planned, saying he needed "to get some more facts."

    But Andrews said his client is concerned about possible disease in the fingertip and kept it because he wanted someone to test it for "all the diseases that are out here now."

    "He's upset to the point that he's been debilitated to some degree," Andrews said. "Emotionally, it's been very upsetting to him."

    Even if Stowers decides to sue, an expert in medical law said the fingertip could easily have been returned while preserving the evidence.

    "The man who lost the finger has the superior claim," said Paul Lombardo, who teaches at the University of Virginia's law school. "It's his finger and he might be able to use it."

    Lombardo said Stowers could have photographed the fingertip, taken a bit of flesh for DNA analysis or gotten an affidavit from the surgeon who would have reattached the digit.

    "There is nothing that would prevent preserving the chain of evidence," Lombardo said.

    Fizer is dealing with his loss in private. The Carolina Beach resident's mother, Sheri Fizer, said the family had been instructed by an attorney not to talk about the case.

    Public opinion seemed to be running against Stowers.

    "It's a mystery how that customer can live with himself after he refused to return the finger so that doctors might try to reattach it," said an editorial Thursday by the Star-News of Wilmington.

    "Unless he offers a better explanation for that decision, people will assume that customer Clarence Stowers cared less about another person's loss of a body part than about his chance to squeeze some bucks out of the custard stand."

    The case came not long after a Las Vegas woman made headlines with a claim that she found a finger tip in a bowl of chili at a Wendy's restaurant in San Jose, Calif. Investigators have called her claim a hoax and charged her in connection with millions of dollars in losses to Wendy's in northern California. The woman denies it was a hoax.

    For Kohl's, Sunday's fingertip amputation was the second time in less than a year that a worker lost a finger on the same frozen custard machine. The worker was found by investigators to have been negligent in the July 2004 incident, and the state Labor Department cleared the company of wrongdoing.
     
  2. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741
    I hate/envy get-rich-quick lawsuits... :(
     
  3. GotZoom
    Offline

    GotZoom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,719
    Thanks Received:
    366
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cordova, TN
    Ratings:
    +366
    I keep trying to spill my McDonald's coffee but I'm afriad I would look too obvious.
     
  4. no1tovote4
    Offline

    no1tovote4 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,294
    Thanks Received:
    616
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ratings:
    +616
    Dude should have coughed up the finger when asked and before he froze it. What an ass, it still would have been enough for a lawsuit, the whole providence issue had already been solved.

    He's probably going to put the thing in a museum in his house...

    "And here is the reason we all are rich...."
     
  5. Shattered
    Online

    Shattered Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    He should be awarded enough money to seek counseling (and the funds should be made payable to the counseling service), since I'm sure he's going to claim mental anguish.. Oh, and he should probably have the cost of his ice cream refunded, as well, so he can buy another. Any more than that? Not a chance.

    On the other hand, since he decided to keep the finger, he should lose out on any monetary compensation. I trust the finger itself will be therapy enough.

    I feel sorry for the other guy, tho, that had a chance to have his finger reattached, and lost out.. But what kind of idiot "accidently" sticks their entire hand in a machine like that?
     
  6. GotZoom
    Offline

    GotZoom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,719
    Thanks Received:
    366
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cordova, TN
    Ratings:
    +366
    I was wondering this same thing. If he is mixing the ingredients, shouldn't he be using a giant spatula or at least have gloves on his hands?

    I worked in a pizza place when I was in High School (25 years ago) and we had to use giant wood spatulas to mix the dough in the mixing bowl.

    We were told, by no uncertain means, NEVER to mix the dough with our hands and never to stick our hands in the bowl.

    You don't think the employees were goofing around do you?
     
  7. Shattered
    Online

    Shattered Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes, I do, actually. In high school, I was an assistant manager at KFC, and while I was up front, one moron decided to see if he could stop the belt on the marinating machine with his finger.. He lost the finger up to the first knuckle (yours truely had to go retrieve it, and then take care of him, before she could settle down enough to puke her guts out).
     
  8. no1tovote4
    Offline

    no1tovote4 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,294
    Thanks Received:
    616
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ratings:
    +616

    Yeah, I think having somebody else's finger with which to pick your nose should be compensation enough.

    :cof:
     
  9. Shattered
    Online

    Shattered Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Hey, there's no accounting for some peoples choices and priorities in life. :)
     
  10. Merlin1047
    Offline

    Merlin1047 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,500
    Thanks Received:
    449
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    AL
    Ratings:
    +450
    What I'm curious about is that the finger was lost, obviously everyone at the shop knew about it, but somehow it STILL got served to a customer.

    How the hell did that happen? Wouldn't it have been a reasonable thing for the shop manager to dump that batch of custard and retrieve the finger? Or is he just that stupid?
     

Share This Page