It was the Christmas Miracle That Wasn't.
Tony Perez was helping his parents string up Christmas lights in 2006 when he fell and broke his elbow. Apparently convinced he was solidly on Santa's "Nice" list, he came to the determination that he should be awarded $200,000.
The state Supreme Court disagreed, and in a ruling issued January 31, the high court said he would have to live with the $7,400 a San Patricio County jury awarded him for medical costs.
Some problems the court found with the request for $200K:
-- Since the accident, Perez has increased his bench-press to almost 400 pounds, from the 225 pounds he could lift at the time of the accident;
-- The large reward was intended partly to fund a fancy automated tow truck for use in Perez's repo business, although testimony showed he had bought the truck as much to help his business as to help with his injury;
-- Perez has gone to work at his dad's auto lot and had increased his earnings every year since the incident;
-- Evidence showed he had been standing two steps above the "Do Not Stand Above This Step" sign on the ladder;
-- According to the ruling, the case ran into trouble almost immediately, as lawyers talked to potential jurors: "One venire member stated the case seemed 'like a scam' and others questioned why a jury was being asked to get involved with a family situation," the court's opinion noted.
Ah well -- maybe next Christmas.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.