May 21, 2005

You can't make this stuff up

And now . . . . this poster boy for tort reform. Somehow this story from April 27 slipped under my radar, and it's slid off all the usual news sources, so I'll have to depart from my usual practice of referencing primary sources and link to the archived article (originally from the Windsor Star) at Free Republic:

A Windsor hairstylist who suffered "recognizable psychological injury" after discovering a dead fly in a bottle of Culligan water has been awarded more than $340,000 in damages. . . .

On Nov. 21, 2001 Mustapha and his wife Lynn, who was seven months pregnant, were preparing a new bottle of Culligan water to put in their dispenser when she saw something dark in the bottle. Both looked closely and saw legs and wings and realized it was a dead fly.

[Full Story]

Here's some of that "recognizable psychological injury":

Lynn Mustapha vomited immediately and Martin vomited later in the evening.

Justice John Brockenshire heard that after discovering the fly Mustapha "could not get the fly in the bottle out of his mind."

Mustapha told court he would have nightmares about falling into a ditch face down in water and he could not sleep more than four hours a night.

But wait! There's more . . .

He also testified that he lost his sense of humour and became argumentative and edgy.

But that's not all:

The doctor prescribed anti-depressants to help him relax and sleep.

He was also prescribed stool softeners for constipation which Mustapha attributed to the fact that he used to drink eight glasses of water a day and now drank none.

Since the incident, Mustapha said he was unable to get the image of the fly out of his mind, and often pictured flies walking on animal feces or rotten food and then being in his bottled water.

Prior to the fly incident Mustapha would shower daily, singing while doing so.

Afterward Mustapha would stand in the bathroom contemplating whether to shower or not and would often just get dressed and leave or wipe a cloth under his arms before applying deodorant.

Following therapy Mustapha was able to stick his head under the water so it would not touch his face and later had therapy where he would stand in the dry shower in a bathing suit.

After the incident Mustapha began drinking coffee made with only warm milk and instant coffee but after therapy was able to drink coffee made in the traditional manner.

Mustapha was unable to resume drinking water by itself.


"Mustapha" must be Arabic for "never been on a picnic."

(H/T: vaalea, via comments left on another journal.)