It would be impossible to make a list of people who are "better" than me. "Better" is pretty subjective. Does it mean nicer? More handsome? Wealthier? Smarter? More charitable? No matter what definition of "better" we use, it's safe to assume that this list would be very, very long. I am honored to reserve a spot on this self-imagined list for the Rosenbaum family.
In case you forgot or if you aren't religiously checking my archives, David Rosenbaum was a New York Times journalist who was assaulted by some muggers in January, 2006. This injured man was thrown into meatgrinder that is DC's total incompetence and ended up dead as a doornail. Here's a quick rundown of all the whoopsies that sealed Rosenbaum's fate:
-Murderes had previously mugged a cop and stole his cell phone. Though calls were made by the criminals, this lead was ignored. Yes, in DC you can mug an off-duty cop and get away with it.
-The EMT crew that arrived at the scene thought that Rosenbaum was drunk. They missed the massive head wound.
-The ambulance came from across the city even though there were others nearby. When the ambulance finally picked up Rosenbaum, they drove to Howard University hospital (instead of Sibley Hospital which is almost walking distance) because the driver had personal business to attend to.
-When Rosenbaum arrived at the Howard University Hospital, he wasn't treated as an emergency case. He was left untreated with a mortal head wound for 90 minutes. He didn't receive a neurological exam for four hours. That is shithouse rat crazy.
In other words, the lawsuit that the Rosenbaum family had on their hands was the most open-and-shut case imaginable. The family should be 20 million dollars richer. Lord knows if this happened to my Dad (Hi, Dad!), I would take the money and run. Let someone else deal with DC's sweeping and total neglect.
The Rosenbaum's went another route:
David E. Rosenbaum's family said it will give up a $20 million lawsuit against the city -- but only if changes are made within one year. Under a novel legal settlement, the city agreed to set up a task force to improve the troubled emergency response system and look at issues such as training, communication and supervision. A member of the family will be on the panel.
So, instead of taking the cash and flipping Washington the bird, the family of the unfortunate victim has decided to use their considerable leverage to improve the city. They have had to endure an egregious wrong, and their response was to fix the problem. I am embarrassed to say that I wouldn't have been so altruistic. Good for them for helping the city that basically ensured their father's death.
Of course, if positive change isn't made in one year, the Rosenbaums still get their money. It's like they're taking the excellent public relations now while betting on DC to continue fucking up. That's a solid bet. The Rosenbaums will probably end up with their cake and they'll eat it too. They deserve it.