Threatening My Grandma? Geez yer neat!

So, as many know, my Grandpa passed away in March after a lengthy battle with some diabetes complications. He was a stubborn son of a nut, and two years ago, even after two knee replacements he demanded to drive himself to the golf course. Unlike most old people…he went about 400 mph, and was, yes, I’ll admit, a reckless driver.

Unfortunately he was not a WRECKLESS driver, as two years ago he was in a car accident and stupidly left the scene before the cops got there. The people he got in a dustup with went to the hospital and filed a report and were released from the hospital that day. Hours later.

Of course, we chewed our grandpa out, took away his keys (it was a final straw sort of thing) and demanded that from now on, when he tooled around in the White Caddy, someone else would be driving. He agreed.

He also went to court to face the people he hit and face the proper fines and damages. Grandpa’s insurance company also paid for the repairs to the other people’s car.

Here’s the kicker, the people never showed up to court. They skipped completely, didn’t even let anyone know “we won’t be there because of an emergency” or “we’ve decided to drop the case” or whatever. Just didn’t show up. Left their lawyer in the lurch.

Judge said “this case is closed, the folks didn’t show up…let’s go have a beer” (This is not verbatim)

Fastforward to this week, when my Grandmother received a call from the insurance company of these people. Apparently this week is when the statute of limitations runs out and this week, at the very last minute, two years later, the people have decided to sue my grandfather.

When my grandmother, who is still very fragile after losing her husband of 58 years, explained that Grandpa is no longer with us, the insurance company said “Well that’s a shame…” and…wait for it:

"We’ll try and see if you can keep your house"

What the fuck? This is a minor car accident (neither car was totalled, the people were released from the hospital in less than a day). What in the world sort of lawsuit will be taking everything from my grandmother but her house??? How dare you frighten and threaten a grieving 80 year old widow? What kind of a snake scrotum are you?

Listen, my parents were JUST in a t-bone car accident where their car was totalled. My first thought, in anger and fear for their well being and with, yes, a thought of ‘punishment’ was “Are you going to sue?” They thought about it for a week or so and said “Everyone’s fine, the guy got a ticket, no need to sue”. So yes, I’ve been there. My parents have been the ‘victim’.

There are times to sue. There are reasons to sue. There are people to sue. But don’t fucking wait two fucking years and decide that you need to drain an old lady (or presumably old man) for everything they’ve got just because you need a fucking pay day. And don’t give me your fucking ‘mental anguish’ or some ‘fear of driving bullshit’. People get in car accidents every fucking day, it doesn’t mean you should threaten my grandmother with TAKING AWAY YOUR HOUSE.

You fuckers. Don’t fuck with grandma.

Grab your grandma, call your local bar assocation and get a referal to a lawyer right now.

That is truly the work of the slime of the earth. I’m going to assume that it isn’t a large ‘Statefarm’ type of insurance company that is doing this, but I may be wrong.

Also, what can they do if a judge has already dismissed the case - 2 years ago, no less?

civil case apparently.

Metacom: I agree. Of course the insurance company urged her to ‘just sit tight for a while’ :rolleyes:

Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Get a lawyer NOW. Once you have retained a lawyer, demand that all future communication go through him/her, and not your grandmother.

What that insurance company representative told your grandmother was reprehensible, and he deserves to be fired. You do NOT treat someone that way.


Doesn’t matter if it’s a civil case now. Your grandma’s lawyer can use the judgment against the other party (which is called a default judgment; the plaintiffs did not bother to show up, and so your grandfather won by default) as evidence of a lack of interest in pursuing the case. It’s hard to win a case when you’ve got judgment against you for the first one.


IANAL, but I have been involved in a few accidents, and even tried to sue somene once, so I do have some experience to refer to.

First, the court date sounds like it was criminal, which has no bearing on a civil suit, dismissal or not.

Second, if Grandpa’s insurance settled with the other party over damages and hospital bills, then they had to sign a release saying they would not sue Grandpa in the future over the same incident.

Run, don’t walk to the insurance company, carrying Granny if you have to. They should bring this to a screeching halt and not cost her a dime. Then, run her to a lawyer to file for dismissal because the suit is frivolous.

Sounds like the other people retained a shyster who thinks he can sue an innocent spouse and estate while ignoring the insurance settlement.

Maybe the Illinois Department of Insurance would be helpful.

Complaints can be filed online or hardcopy. My sympathy is with you and your family.

I can’t even tell you how repulsive I find the entire situation to be. Those people (and their attorneys) should have to lick Star Jones’ sweaty, Payless Shoes-wearing-feet for all of eternity.

I wish I had something contstructive to add, but I don’t. I can only add my voodoo vibes that their legs grow together.

I don’t think that can happen, Daisy (Oh, THAT Daisy Mae), since it sounds like they don’t have a leg to stand on. rimshot

Jar, I wish you luck in your effort to show these slimes they are messing with the wrong grandma. Jesus! to do that to an old lady? That is too low. I hope the men lose all their hair and the women grow handlebar moustaches.

For at least two reasons, this is not an accurate statement of the law applicable to this situation. (at least in Illinois, where I know the OP resides.) First, there is no judgment against the complaining witnesses if they fail to show. Second, even if the situation were reversed, conviction on a traffic ticket does not establish civil guilt in a later tort (civil) case. It once could be used this way in Illinois, but the law changed some years ago.

Let me expand a bit: Jar’s reference to fines tells me that the first case was a criminal/quasi-criminal/moving violation proceeding. There are other things in her post not completely consistent with this, though. If the first case was a civil suit, brought by the same people, the result might have some preclusive effect. Still most likely wasn’t a judgment, though. Under the circumstances, the likely ruling would have been a dismissal for want of prosecution, which can be vacated under some circumstances and may not prevent a refiling.

There’s a few things that don’t completely add up here. Your grandma should report this to her insurance company and see a lawyer. Under no circumstances should she talk further with the other driver’s insurers or other representatives.

IAAL, but not the lawyer of anyone here, and this is not meant to be reliable legal advice. See a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction who can get a full understanding of the facts and give more meaningful counsel.

I could be mistaken, but if I recall correctly, Jar’s Grandma lives out of state.

I can’t add anything other than Grandma needs to get a lawyer.

I just thought I’d volunteer my opinion, which is that JarGrandmaJ should get a lawyer. Y’know, in case no one mentioned it. Seriously, get a lawyer, don’t rely on your insurance company’s advice.

So, let’s make a list:

  1. Get a lawyer.
  2. See Step 1.


This IS a matter for JGrandpaJ’s insurance company first, JGrandmaJ’s lawyer ** second**. They settled a claim 2 years prior, and that should have been the end of the matter. Since the other party, their insurance company, or some sleazeball lawyer impersonating the other insurance company, is trying to reopen a settled matter, THIS IS AN INSURANCE MATTER.

Mea culpa. I misread the OP.

:slinks away from thread:


Call me stupid but I kind of believe that a jury would not take away an old lady’s house in this case.

Actually if I were on the jury they wouldn’t get a dime.


If someone has been sued – served with papers – this is a matter for lawyers. Now, JARGRAMPA’s insurance company may have a duty to defend JARGRAMPA’s estate but, depending on his coverage, in light of the hit and run nature, and depending on where the alleged damages arise, it may not.

JAR, I’m not certain for what reason the other parties’ insurance representative would be calling your Grandma. But such a comment would piss me off so entirely I would make it my mission to make that person deeply sorry they said it. Write a letter to Grandpa’s insurance company; write a letter to that insurance company; write a letter to your state insurance regulator. Better yet, have your attorney write them. For an insurance company to threaten to sue a vulnerable old woman and then say to her “we’ll see if you can keep your houe” – it’s indefensible and very likely illegal. Be sure to notify Grandpa’s insurer ASAP to let them know about the contact. And then go talk to a lawyer.

You’re going to put Grandma keeping her house in the hands of the insurance company? Yes, they should take care of it. I doubt it’s going to be their highest priority. Has anyone in this thread mentioned she should get a lawyer? That’s what she should do. If nothing else, having a lawyer of her own should encourage the insurance company to pull their head out and do something.

Christ Jesus, Bob, try some decaf.

How’s this for an idea. Grandma jar retains a lawyer, and then the lawyer contacts her insurance company. Sounds simple, no? Handling matters of contracts, settlements, and other legal matters is kind of what lawyers do. Or hadn’t you heard that? Hiring a lawyer and contacting her insurance carrier aren’t mutually exclusive, so fucking chill already.