The decade's most triggering comedy
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) lost his battle against a medical device manufacturer this week, and failed to recover from injuries he says he sustained when an exercise band snapped back at him during a workout.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that it took jurors only an hour to decide that Reid didn’t deserve the $50,000 he was demanding from Ohio-based Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co., The Hygenic Corp. and Performance Health LLC, who make the “TheraBand,” a large, physical therapy rubber band used, in Reid’s case, to strengthen arm muscles.
The Daily Wire reported on the case last month. Reid was claiming that he was using the band as directed, looped around a doorknob in his bathroom, when the band slipped from his grasp and he fell on a marble floor, sustaining “a concussion, broken orbital bones, severe disfigurement to his face, bruising and lacerations on his face, hand injuries, scarring and broken ribs.”
The accident left him nearly blind in his right eye, and, according to Reid, was the impetus behind his retirement from the Senate at age 75.
But Reid’s case wasn’t even out of opening statements before things started to turn sour for the career Democrat. Opposing counsel repeatedly reiterated that Reid had been instructed by congressional physical trainers to “improve his foot stance, balance and technique while using the resistance bands at his doctors’ recommendation,” but hadn’t followed orders, and that Reid had thrown out the band that had snapped, so he couldn’t even be sure it was TheraBand brand.
But the real trouble for Reid seemed to be, as the defendant’s attorney put it, that he couldn’t keep his stories straight, even under oath: “The one thing we do know,” she said, “is he struggles with telling the truth.”
There were two problems with Reid’s story, it seems. One, that he blamed the injuries he sustained from the broken band for ending his career in the Senate, and two, that he told two different stories about how he was using the band when it snapped.
The Associated Press reports that the defendant’s attorney hammered home the part about the Senate.
“Reid testified last week his injuries were ‘the main factor’ why he decided not to seek a sixth Senate term in 2016. [The defense attorney], however, showed the jury a 2015 video news release in which Reid said his decision not to run had ‘absolutely nothing to do with my injury,'” the outlet reported.
Reid was 75 years old when he retired from the Senate in 2015, and, at the time, there was no guarantee that he would emerge victorious from another campaign. Democrats were seeking fresh blood in the Senate and, at the time, it was largely considered a safe seat for the Democratic Party, so Reid retired to his home in Searchlight, Nevada. Since then, he’s been mostly absent from politics, except for the occasional comment on the current state of Democratic leadership.
Reid also, according to the AP, couldn’t quite remember whether he’d hooked the band to a metal hook in his bathroom, or through the handle of his shower door, and testified to both.
“He noted that Reid at first said the band broke, not that it slipped his grasp, and that it had been attached to a metal hook in the wall of the bathroom in his suburban Las Vegas home,” the AP said. “On the witness stand, Reid testified he looped a band through a shower door handle, not a hook, and that he spun around and fell face-first against hard-edged bathroom cabinets.”
Reid blamed the confusion on his “concussion state,” according to the Review-Journal.