The Case of the Jay-walking Teen

This story from is posted there for a different reason than it posted here. It posted here because of the way it is written.  See if you can see the problem:

A 13-year-old Las Vegas teen who was ticketed for jaywalking while in a medically induced coma is out of the hospital, and she’s taking her own legal action against the driver accused of striking and injuring her.

The suit (PDF) filed on behalf of Takara Davis claims she was thrown about 100 feet when she was struck by a driver in a Toyota Camry at around 2:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 4, according to the New York Personal Injury Law Blog. Davis won’t have to go back to court to fight the jaywalking ticket, though; a judge dismissed it last week, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and

Davis’ mother, Kellie Obong, has criticized the officer who visited the hospital and handed her the ticket for her daughter.

I personally hold blog posts to a lesser standard than the legal writing required in a law office or in student papers (if for no other reason than the amazing correlation between time for posting on blogs and cocktail time), but this does illustrate the misunderstandings that can be caused when one does not write clearly.

In case you did not catch the problem, consider these comments to the post:

“I think there should be some kind of prize for jaywalking while in a coma.  That can’t be easy.”

“I’m still trying to figure out how she was able to jaywalk while in a medically induced coma.

Another well written piece.”

For more on the importance of writing right see this and check the “Consequences of Sloppiness” category.

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  • TLC says:

    Also, she was struck by the “driver”. Was it open-handed or a fist? It would have been easier to hit her with the car.

  • Ellen Wright says:

    This piece is also a piece of total fiction.

    ANY patient who is in a medically induced coma is also being closely monitored by numerous electronic devices and is almost certainly in an intensive care unit-which means it is virtually impossible for her to have gotten out of BED-never mind out of the building-without being noticed and stopped during a day shift. At 2:30 in the morning-possibly. But then it would also be highly unlikely for there to have been any traffic outside the building or at least sufficient traffic that a driver of any competence at all could not have avoided her.

    I am a brand new paralegal-but I worked for many years in hospitals at all hours of the day and night. I worked in hospitals ranging in size from 24 beds in a rural setting to the 666 bed one in a very urban setting. That whole story reeks of fabrication. A bad novelist could do better.

  • R. E. Mongue says:

    The story is true, just badly written. It is written as though the young girl did the jaywalking while in the coma. She was in the coma because of the jaywalking and resulting accident. The article means to say that the police delivered the ticket to her while in the coma. Notice the last line, “Davis’ mother, Kellie Obong, has criticized the officer who visited the hospital and handed her the ticket for her daughter.”

  • Lindsey says:

    What happened to this? My uncle was struck while j walking by a car on Thursday. He is in critical condition and on a ventilator. The 18 yr old kid, whose step dad is a county sheriff, got off free with no citations not even inattentive driving. While my uncle, who may not make it out of this will be getting a citation for j walking. Is this wrong or am I going crazy?

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