Saturday, January 03, 2009

Edna Jester, Football-Stealing Senior, Filing Lawsuit

You may remember Edna Jester, the 89-year-old woman who was arrested for keeping the neighbor kid's football after it landed in her yard.

Now she's filing a lawsuit against the neighbors, Paul Tanis and family, for the "emotional distress" of all the balls, Frisbees, and various junk landing in her yard.

"It's a very silly suit," Kelly Tanis told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We haven't really seen or heard from Edna since any of this happened. And now what we have heard comes from her lawyer."

The lawsuit says that Paul Tanis and his children regularly enter Jester's yard to retrieve all sorts of objects that are flung carelessly into her yard, onto her porch, and against her house.

Kelly Tanis says it's not true, and that her children's outdoor activity has been severely curtailed because of Jester's earlier football theft back in October. She also said the two parties have only had contact with each other twice – once when Paul offered to continue mowing Edna's lawn, and once when he accidentally heaved another ball into her yard (they left it, and it was gone the next morning).

Kelly can't quite believe that such a little problem has turned into such a huge problem. I can't quite believe that a lawyer was willing to file an emotional distress lawsuit for balls landing on someone's grass.

"In reality, we worry," Kelly Tanis said. "We can't afford a lawyer. We have five kids. And you never know how something like this might turn out."

I said back in October that Paul shouldn't offer to mow her lawn anymore, although he did out of the goodness of his heart, after watching her struggle with her own lawnmower. I just never thought it would descend into a civil lawsuit. The Tanis family is worried about the lawsuit, and what it could do to their family financially.

Fight fire with fire, I say. Counter-sue her for the emotional distress of her repeated theft, for forcing the Tanis children inside, and tack on the charges of replacing all the balls and toys she has kept.

Or you could just jump out and say boo every time she goes out to get the mail.

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