It’s hard to find a good roommate, I know, but lowering your standards isn’t the way to do it.
AITA for filing charges against my roommate and suing her for my hospital bill?
This happened several years ago.
I was a 20F and in college. I was living with my two best friends. One of them was moving out so that she could move in with her boyfriend. I placed an ad looking for another roommate.
That’s how I met Erin. Before she moved in she informed me that she was vegetarian but she wouldn’t have a problem if other roommates weren’t. She moved into our apartment a month later.
DANGER! There is not one vegan alive that is okay with other people NOT being vegan.
The next day after she moved in she cooked breakfast for us. I was surprised. We didn’t ask her to and by her own words “she wanted to do something nice”.
One day. One single day.
She had made pancakes, bacon strips and hash browns. I am deathly allergic to few things.
So, I immediately asked her what was in the food, but I didn’t mention my allergies (huge mistake). She listed the ingredients and I didn’t find anything I was allergic to. [Edit: she told me it was regular bacon. Not that it was fake bacon or that it had soy]. I start eating and everything tastes a little off. I try the bacon and definitely something is wrong. At this point, she does a ” Ta da” and smugly told us “I bet it tastes exactly like meat”.
No question that smugly was the right word. There are reasons you get to know somebody before starting with the pranks.
I am freaking out now. I told her I am severely allergic to soy and asked her whether there was any soy. Now she is apologising and says she didn’t know and that she is sorry she lied and blah blah. I am experiencing anaphylactic shock: throat closing up, dizzy, the works. My bestfriend freaks out and calls an ambulance. I had to stay in the hospital for 2 days. With the US healthcare, the ambulance + my hospital stay racked up a lot of money. Money that I didn’t have.
In the meantime, I also filed a complaint with the police. Food tampering is a felony. I had a lucky break: my best friend had filmed the breakfast to post it on Instagram and she got the whole thing in video.
In the end Erin had to plead guilty to some low degree of felony. She didn’t get any jail time, but got community service. Once she was found guilty, I sued her for the hospital fees. I won that one too.
[I did all the legal things under the advise of my Uncle’s friend who is a lawyer. He said something about how it will be easy to sue if she had a guilty charge. I also did not have any contact with Erin during any of this under the advise of my lawyer].
When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Uncle-friend told her to sue, sue, sue. I’m in the camp of this being double jeopardy. Either criminal or civil charges would be appropriate in this situation but not both.
Erin’s scholarship was cancelled and she had to drop out. She also went into debt paying medical fees. I saw her on Facebook few days ago and she is still down on her luck. I guess a felony charge makes it very hard, no matter how small the charge was.
I’m having trouble connecting the charge to her situation. No reason that community service would have interfered with a scholarship. Two years should have been sufficient to pay off a two-day ER stay plus an ambulance ride. So what if Erin might have had to work off med debt instead of student debt? She’d have been better off without college regardless.
I know she is the asshole for lying about food. I wanna know whether I am the asshole for everything I did after. Because bottom line is, I basically screwed a person’s life because they put wrong ingredients on breakfast that they made only “to do something nice”.
Half-ass, I’d say. While I don’t approve of her double-dipping against Erin, I haven’t seen a case be made that Erin’s subsequent downfall was a consequence. And no, Erin was NOT trying to do something nice. There’s a reason God made us able to eat meat. People who reject that are damaged.