LEGAL CASE STUDY: ADÉLIE THE ROCK THIEF EXPLORING THE CRIMES OF ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
Our goal at Travis G. Black & Associates is to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve. A client contacted us a few years ago after an incident where they fell 20 feet, and we stepped up to help. Thanks to the efforts of our team, we won the case, giving them exactly what they needed in this difficult time. Here’s how this Staircase Case happened. CASE FACTS: Our client was working as a caretaker for a family member when the incident occurred. While taking the trash out of their aunts’ apartment, the stairway our client was walking down collapsed, and our client fell through. Although they didn’t drop onto concrete, which could have caused worse injuries, our client landed on hard dirt. From the fall, our client sustained a concussion; fractured vertebra, ribs, and scapula; and miscellaneous bruising and back pain. They were out of work for the next 16 months, and the treatment lasted a little less than 22 months. Once treatment was over, our client was back to full health but faced a total of $77,824 in medical bills. THE OUTCOME: The insurance company gave us some opposition, first offering a total of $400,000 for our client’s medical bills and loss of earnings. We pushed back, and within 24 months of the initial CASE STUDY STAIRCASE FALL: CASE CLOSED 2016 On an island off the coast of Antarctica, a BBC film crew caught footage of a crime taking place. In the video, as one male Adélie penguin leaves his nest to search for additional rocks to add to it, his neighbor waddles over, removes a rock from the nest, and carries it back to his own. When the first penguin returns from his search, his neighbor plays it cool, but at each opportunity, he repeats the crime and steals his neighbor’s rocks. While animals aren’t actually subject to legal action, and the Adélie penguin was only behaving according to natural instinct, the fine writers for the blog Legal Grounds point out that the rock thief situation presents an interesting legal case study. By taking his neighbor’s rock and putting it in his own nest, the neighbor penguin committed an act of theft. Theft is defined as “the taking of someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the victim of that property.” In some places, when a thief leaves the scene of the crime, the theft is considered complete. If the
thief returns and steals additional items, that could be considered a new crime and result in additional charges. So, since the neighbor penguin takes a rock, leaves the scene of the crime, and returns, he could be found guilty of multiple theft charges. If he’d decided to go big and take his neighbor’s entire nest at once, he might’ve been charged with grand theft. Now, if the penguin who was stolen from had used force to protect his precious nest rocks, the case would be complicated even further. Allowable force is generally limited in cases of theft. To prove self- defense, the victim penguin would have to show there was a threat of force against him, that he didn’t provoke the neighbor penguin in any way, and that he didn’t have the option to escape. From a legal perspective, it was probably best that the victim penguin didn’t use force.
For now, we’ll leave the Adélie penguins to their nest-building business and save the legal cases for the human world.
incident, the case was settled in pre-litigation. We won $550,000 for our client, who was able to pay off all the bills with money left over.
Helping our clients get the money they deserve after a stressful situation is what we do best at Travis G. Black & Associates. We understand how challenging it is to be involved in these situations, and we do all we can to ensure that each of our clients is well taken care of.
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