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Health Insurance

Last Update: January 16, 2001

And you thought you had it bad! Just read this letter I got today:

S.C. Anderson
PO Box 1302
Minnetonka, MN 55345

Superior Health Insurance
ATTN: Claims Review
1423 W. 90th St.
New York, NY 05016

Dear Sir:

This letter is in response to your recent letter requesting a more detailed explanation concerning my recent internment at Methodist Hospital. Specifically, you asked for an expansion in reference to Block 21(a)(3) of the claim form (reason for hospital visit). On the original form, I put 'Stupidity.' I realize now that this answer was somewhat vague and so I will attempt to more fully explain the circumstances leading up to my hospitalization.

I had needed to use the restroom and had just finished a quick bite to eat at the local burger joint. I entered the bathroom, took care of my business, and just prior to the moment in which I had planned to raise my trousers, the locked case that prevents theft of the toilet paper in such places came undone and, feeling it striking my knee, unthinkingly, I immediately, and with unnecessary force, returned the lid back to its normal position.

Unfortunately, as I did this I also turned and certain parts of my body, which were still exposed, were trapped between the device's lid and its main body. Feeling such intense and immediate pain caused me to jump back. It quickly came to my attention that, when one's privates are firmly attached to an unmoveable object, it is not a good idea to jump in the opposite direction.

Upon recovering some of my senses, I attempted to reopen the lid. However, my slamming of it had been sufficent to allow the locking mechanism to engage. I then proceeded to get a hold on my pants and subsequently removed my keys from them. I intended to try to force the lock of the device open with one of my keys; thus extrcating myself.

Unfortunately, when I attempted this, my key broke in the lock. Embarassment of someone seeing me in this unique position became a minor concern, and I began to call for help in as much of a calm and rational manner as I could. An employee from the resturaunt quickly arrived and decided that this was a problem requiring the attention of the store manager.

Betty, the manager, came quickly. She attempted to unlock the device with her keys. Since I had broken my key off in the device, she could not get her key in. Seeing no other solution, she called the EMS (as indicated on your form in block 21(b)(1)).

After approximately 15 minutes, the EMS arrived, along with two police officers, a fire-rescue squad, and the channel 4 'On-the-Spot' news team. The guys from the fire department quickly took charge as this was obviously a rescue operation. The senior member of the team discovered that the device was attached with bolts to the cement wall that could only be reached once the device was unlocked. (His discovery was by means of tearing apart the device located in the stall next to the one that I was in. (Since the value of the property destroyed in his examination was less than $50 (my deductable) I did not include it in my claim.) His partner, who seemed like an intelligent fellow at the time, came up with the idea of cutting the device from the wall with the propane torch that was in the rescue truck.

The fireman went to his truck, retrieved the torch, and commenced to attempt to cut the device from the wall. Had I been in a state to think of such things, I might have realized that in cutting the device from the wall several things would also inevitably happen. First, the air inside of the device would quickly heat up, causing items inside the device to suffer the same effects that are normally achieved by placing things in an oven. Second, the metal in the device is a good conductor of heat causing items that are in contact with the device to react as if thrown into a hot skillet. And, third, molten metal would shower the inside of the device as the torch cut through.

The one bright note of the propane torch was that it did manage to cut, in the brief time that I allowed them to use it, a hole big enough for a small pry bar to be placed inside of the device. The EMS team then loaded me, along with the device, into the waiting ambulance as stated on your form.

Due the small area of your block 21(a)(3), I was unable to give a full explanation of these events, and thus used the word which I thought best described my actions that led to my hospitalization.

Sincerely,

S. Anderson

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