Madison - St. Clair Record

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How James Lakin ‘fell’ into some money

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By The Madison County Record | Jan 10, 2017

When people tell you that they've fallen into money, you naturally assume that they mean it figuratively. You don't suppose they were sailing in a sea of currency and capsized or that they might have been working in a money plant and toppled into a vat of Federal Reserve Notes.

You know what they mean is that they were enriched by unexpected wealth – a bequest from a long lost relative who passed away, an ugly family heirloom that inexplicably caused heart palpitations for an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow, that sort of thing.

It is, however, possible to fall into money, more or less literally, if you're good at falling.

Of course, you have to fall somewhere where someone can be blamed for the “accident” and held financially accountable. Which means, that someone had better have assets, or the performance will be a pro bono one.

You have to fall convincingly, too, or at least without an overly critical audience. If the fall seemed on purpose, the jig is up. The moment a security boss strolls by may not be the most auspicious time to attempt a convincing pratfall.

You also have to make sure that you or associates are not caught on camera surveilling the scene of the “accident” in advance of the hazard to which you subsequently succumb.

Getting caught with a squirt bottle after slipping on a mystery liquid militates against the argument that someone else must have spilled it. Credibility can likewise be diminished by a history of similar, well-reimbursed “accidents.”

Not that this has anything to do with James Lakin, the litigant who was recently awarded more than a half million dollars by a Madison County jury in recompense for a slip-and-fall incident at a Casey's General Store in Highland three years ago.

Let's just say, he fell into some money.

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