Sue Big, Win Chump Change

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“Change is the law of life,” John F. Kennedy said. And assuming this to be true, 76-year-old Andres Carrasco and his attorney should have been expecting what just happened to them. When Carrasco received a settlement against his former insurance company, I can only assume he was more than pleased (though I don’t know the exact amount of the settlement, so maybe he wasn’t as pleased as I might think.) At any rate, what I do know is that this man was going to get more than $20,000. And boy did he get it!

Change Would Do You Good

After receiving a check for part, Carrasco’s lawyer, Antonio Gallo, was surprised to have eight people deliver 17 buckets worth of change to his lobby. (Probably what happened was the insurance company was at home the night before watching a re-run of Parks and Rec’s “End of the World” and got mixed up with Andy Dwyer’s declaration of “Nickels! I want nickels! A billion nickels!” for something Mr. Gallo had said earlier that day. Honest mistake.)

Courtesy of GIPHY.

Courtesy of GIPHY.

As Gallo has apparently never won that competition where you guess how many jelly beans are in a jar, he refused to accept the delivery on the grounds that he couldn’t ascertain whether the full payment was there. Not to be deterred, the deliverers apparently still left the coins and bolted, ensuring Mr. Carrasco and future Carrasco generations would be equipped to go through tolls or hit the laundry mat for generations to come.

Gallo has asked that the insurance company, which must have a really big swear jar it was trying to empty, send a check and pick up its coin buckets — though if I were him, I would first sort through the bucket of pennies to see if there are any lucky ones in there. If not, they will be forced to count the change — so hopefully they don’t have one of those annoying people who start saying numbers  while you are counting to mess you up…I’d hate for them to have counted out to 15 or 16 thousand dollars or so only to have to start all over. If the money is short, they will have to go back to court to get the rest, as well as the coin counting costs.

Weird as this payment is, the really weird part is that it isn’t as weird as you might think. The insurance company that paid Mr. Carrasco (Adriana’s Insurance for those wishing to avoid a similar fate) was not the first or even the second to literally nickel and dime someone. Take, just as one example, Brian Kiros who once got so mad at his bill for back taxes that he drove to ten different banks to collect more than 30,000 pennies — and then spent hours unrolling said pennies to really make the government pay.

Money (That’s What I Want)

Other than just the pure annoyance of coin payments, I do see another potential pitfall. What if someone were to do something like, say, for example, sue for every penny on the earth? Then, everybody who just got more pennies than they know what to do with could be in jeopardy of losing the money they just worked so hard to receive and count and carry to the bank and stress about.

That’s just silly, though. Since nobody would ever sue for every penny in the world, penny payees have nothing to worry about, right? Wait. Somebody is suing for all the world’s pennies?

Okay, okay. That isn’t fair. He isn’t specifically asking for every penny in the world, as the media is incorrectly reporting. That would be ludicrous. So, I guess all the penny holders are safe. All Mr. Anton Purisma is really asking for is for 2 undecillion dollars (that’s $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) or, in other words, more money than currently exists in the world. So basically, if he wins, we better all start emptying out our pockets because this man isn’t just after our pennies.

Courtesy of GIPHY.

Courtesy of GIPHY.

Now obviously, to be worthy of all the money in the world plus a whole lot more, the suit is going to be one that is so horrible and makes us feel so bad for Mr. Purisma, that we are all going to get a collection going to just get him through the lawsuit and none of us will have any problem handing over our life’s savings. Well, the man isn’t suing just one person or for just one incident. So, let’s examine some of the more atrocious acts performed on this man that makes him deserve this settlement:

  • A rabid dog bit his finger;
  • A Chinese couple took a picture of him without permission; and
  • LaGuardia airport always overcharges him for coffee.

All of these events added to “civil rights violations, personal injury, discrimination on national origin, retaliation, harassment, fraud, attempted murder, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy to defraud.” So, yeah. I think he deserves a huge payment for his stress.

Mr. Purisma, who has sued many, many times before, represented himself (because, well, duh. Who else was going to take the case? I mean, a lawyer who works on a commission might make half an undecillion dollars or something, but then they’d just have to give it right back to Mr. Purisma since he won way more than actually exists in the entire universe — assuming any extraterrestrials out there have separate forms of currency and probably even if they have the same currency — and he’d probably want to pay his lawyer with the portion of the award that doesn’t actually exist). But proving once again the injustice of our judicial system, the court dropped the case without even giving Mr. Purisma his day in court or a jury of his peers…as if they think the case is frivolous or something.

The real losers in this story are Mr. Carrasco and his like. They needed Mr. Purisma to win so that they wouldn’t have to visit a CoinStar. But while I truly feel for Mr. Purisma, I do have some bills due and it might have been awkward if I had to call them up with that lame, overused excuse that “this guy took all my money when he won all the world’s coinage so I won’t be able to pay you this month.” I don’t think they’ll accept that again.

Ashley Shaw (@Smoldering_Ashes) is an Alabama native and current New Jersey resident. A graduate of both Kennesaw State University and Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, she spends her free time reading, writing, boxing, horseback riding, playing trivia, flying helicopters, playing sports, and a whole lot else. So maybe she has too much spare time.

Featured Image Courtesy of [filigran via Flickr]

Ashley Shaw
Ashley Shaw is an Alabama native and current New Jersey resident. A graduate of both Kennesaw State University and Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, she spends her free time reading, writing, boxing, horseback riding, playing trivia, flying helicopters, playing sports, and a whole lot else. So maybe she has too much spare time. Contact Ashley at



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