Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Tough Ride (Conclusion)

V. Judgement
     “OK, Larry, have you managed to bring the court the papers we were seeking?
     “You will hand them over. I will order a brief recess.” The Judge nodded to the  bailiff, and banged his gavel.
    “Court will stand in recess for one half hour. I am going to review the material brought by Attorney Betinsky. You will reconvene here at 11:15.”
    Betinsky walked back to the defense table and handed over a manila folder with a sheaf of documents inside. As he did so, he noticed that the staredown between Tunny and Delgado was almost at flashpoint. He gave a nod to the bailiff.
    The bailiff walked over to Tunny and gave him a stiff poke to the shoulder.”Judge says you can recess now. Come back at the proper time. Delgado smirked. Again the power felt like it was on his terms. But the Bailiff strode up to him and took him by the wrist. “You wait in here in the holding cell, sir.” Now Delgado was separated by stone walls and steel bars. And nobody was listening.”
     Judge Fisk looked over the papers which Betinsky had brought. He didn’t see anything related to risk insurance. Surely a man like Waldfetter ought to have come up with more decent business practices, with all that dough he made off the community. But so far as he looked, there was nothing. Certainly he had the employees covered with decent health plans, (now that the government was enforcing it) but he had not been so willing to go so far as to provide any help for situations such as these. Waldfetter would have to stand trial. So would the kid, but in his case as it was accidental, involuntary manslaughter.
     He decided to offer bail to both of them. The magnate would need to post four million. The kid, he could set that somewhat lower, say, $50,000. And if he tried to run, which he wouldn’t, not with three kids in school, then he could bench-press him.
     At the appointed hour, the bailiff opened the courtroom for the spectators and participants. Tunny decided to sit on the other side of the room, since they were not going to be calling him back. The Judge came in and when all had been seated again, took off his glasses, wiped them with a handerkerchief concealed beneath his robes, and made his announcement.
    “ I have reviewed the documents provided by the defense. The evidence cleary shows to me a history of contemptuous presumption on the part of the Waldfetter company. Therefore I am requiring that Mr. Waldfetter post a bond of four million dollars”…
     Leighton Waldfetter, who for the most part had sat almost disinterested through this entire session, jumped from his chair, his face quite flushed. “I protest this! Our company can’t take that much away at this time! We’re not even into the holidays!” But the bailiff pointed a finger at him, and that prompted a “Sit down!” from Davenport Fisk.
   The judge continued. “Shutup, Mr. Waldfetter, and  don’t give me any of that crap, I know you can afford it. You are going to be charged with the following things. One, corporate malfeasance in not providing risk insurance for customers of your amusement park. Two, gross negligence leading to gross bodily harm on four counts. And Three: conspiracy to defraud the State of California by not providing such insurance and operating an unsafe place of work.   You will be held until bond has been posted. “
    “In the case of Mr Delgado, I recommend he post a bond of $50,000 and will face trial on four counts of involuntary manslaughter. If you attempt to leave the county, Mr Delgado, you will be subject to arrest and detention. As a young father I know I can depend on you to be responsible. Please do what you can to post bail, so you can return to caring for your daughters.”
     “The case will be sent to the Superior Court and clients and attorneys will have time to prepare their cases. We will reconvene on September 17th of this year. This court is now dismissed.”

      Tunny felt a little better, but couldn’t resist the need to upchuck into the wastebasket when he got home. “I don’t see why Waldfetter just didn’t go out and purchase jetpacks for all the people to begin with. Oh- perhaps,  the customers would’ve just… flown away… with them...”
       Leighton Waldfetter posted bail eventually, though he had to sweat it out for a few days. Through an intermediary, Delgado too found some means of gathering his own bail.  Tunny got his workman’s compensation and disability claims approved and extended indefinitely. As the trial was a slam dunk, the Chavez family (Bobby’s mother, at least) received an award of nine million dollars. It really had been one tough ride.

Follow Tunny as he travels to Paris in Bus of Fools at

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