Joined: Dec 22, 2009
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August 20th, 2021 at 7:31:34 PM permalink
I'm frustrated because I can't find any reference to this and I know I read about this case. Either in the NY daily news or the Post circa mid-eighties.

So without a link, here is my memory of the case.

Man has terminal disease but can be cured with super expensive rare life-saving surgery which he cannot afford.

He makes too much to qualify for state medical which probably would refuse the high price tag anyway and he has no insurance coverage.

Then he wins a multi-million dollar lottery. The total amount is more than enough, even after taxes to cover the surgery.

Only problem? This is before lump sum payments and he is scheduled to get small annual payments for 21 years.

The individual payments aren't enough to pay for the surgery. He goes all the way up to the gambling commission highest authority but they refuse to budge and give him the amount any different than prescribed, regardless of his life on the line.

So he Sue's in court. Mind you he isn't asking for any more than the amount he won. In fact, he won more then enough and is willing to take as a lump sum just the amount needed for his life saving surgery.

If this was a Hollywood movie, he would have been freeze framed jumping high on the state supreme court steps with a blurb about how he lives as a janitor in western Missouri or something like that.

But that's not how it ended.

The court ruled the legislative branch through it's enactments invested all such decisions with the State lottery. As such they had no jurisdiction to over rule the Lottery.

No last minute reprieve by heart broken lottery committee. No millionaire stepped forward to "buy" the ticket for a long-term profit.

No one cared.

Man married his long time girlfriend month after he lost the court battle so she would get the payout as next of kin.

And then he died. About one year after the court loss.
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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August 20th, 2021 at 9:02:29 PM permalink
I don't recall that but I'd think it had to have been a bit earlier. The AIDs epidemic caused NY to make laws where you could sell your life insurance, annuities and settlements.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.

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