(Update) I am the guy who saved a lady from drowning and was then sued by her. Our case is to be tried on Judge Judy.
First, very sorry for those who messaged me that I did not reply to. I have been very busy with work and family issues.
TL;DR of first post: I am an excellent swimmer, I saved a lady from drowning and she later sued me for it. The case was thrown out but I still spent $3,500 in legal fees because of her.
I want to say that after some discussion and thinking, our case will be tried on the television show Judge Judy. Me against her. Well, that's still not done for, she still needs to accept, but the person I talked to seemed very confident.
When I posted my first Iama, a lot of people recommended that I take legal action against her. However, I really did not want to spend more money and time on it. Some people recommended small claims, but I still wasn't ready for it. However, this Iama did make me feel angry about the whole deal, an anger I hadn't given much thought to recently. Therefore, I decided to do something.
On monday, I filed the form on Judge Judy's website, never expecting to hear more about it. I filed in my details and wrote what happened. On tuesday, at 9AM, I received a phone call. He was working for the show and asked me how I was. He seemed quite excited. Then, he confirmed some of the details, making a few jokes and always being friendly, then asked me to summarize the case (again). I added some details, such as me being black and the lady white, and he seemed even more excited.
He asked me if I had filed a case in small claims, I told him I did not yet because I did not want to go through the trouble. When he asked why I waited so long to do something about it, I said I had decided not to sue because it was too much trouble, then decided to see whether small claims would be worth it. He said I had an excellent case and asked how much I would be suing her for. When I said $3,500, my legal fees, he said I should sue for $5,000, the maximum allowed, including $1,500 for defamation and my trouble. Then, he very quickly described the show. I have watched it often and knew most of it. Then, he told me they were interested in filming and diffusing the case. I said I was interested, but wasn't absolutely sure and had some doubts. He laughed some more, dismissing them one by one, then said:
"Here's how it works: you get $5,000 no matter what. No matter what happens, no matter if you win or lose, you get $5,000 from us. And you'll get the plane tickets back and forth, as well as two nights in a four-stars hotel in Los Angeles."
I told him it was very generous and asked "what the trap was". He laughed again and told me there were "no trap", that he had read some more about my case from newspapers and that he was " sure I would win my case in front of Judge Judy". He then described how the show would work, then asked if I wanted to. I told him I did.
"Alright: here's what you're going to do. You need to file the case in small claims. Then, you need to serve her the paper. Use registered mail. In your case details, ask the full amount and be brief, but complete. Explain what happened. Then, serve her, and fax me a copy of the case's papers. After about ten business days, you will get some papers to sign and send back."
"Okay, that's great, but what if she doesn't want to sign these papers and be on the show?"
"Oh believe me she will."
"What if she doesn't want to?"
"She'll sign the papers. Believe me."
We talked some more, he answered some more question I had (taping, time...) and then we hung up. I filed the case in small claims wednesday and mailed her a copy of the documents today (by the way, filing in small claims is much much easier than I expected and only took 20 minutes. The employees were very helpful as well). If she accepts, I expect that the case will be tried sometimes next year, for the next season of the show. Well, I did not think I would be on the show one day :).
I must admit I am quite nervous, but at the same tiem excited and, why not, about to make $5,000. So there it goes, thank you to everyone who encouraged me to sue and recommended small claims as a legal solution. I am still hoping very bad that she accepts, kind of afraid she doesn't, but even in that case, I have decided to take her to small claims anyway. I am decided!
There it goes, AMA!
UPDATE 12/11 : We are officially going to be on Judge Judy. She accepted!