Dumb Luck at The IRS


Trip & fall injury: $18,000 in hospital stays and outpatient fees.

Trip & fall injury in an IRS auditor’s office:


Here’s an uplifting story championing the little guy — well, sort of.

New York State, Long Island resident William Berroyer, while at an IRS office being audited in 2008, tripped over a telephone cord on the floor while leaving the office. Mr. Berroyer walked out the office with no assistance but when he got back to his car he called the auditor and informed him that he had been injured from the fall. 

You know where this is heading.

Berroyer sued the IRS for $10 million in compensation for his pain and suffering. What pain, what suffering you ask? Berroyer, 66, claimed he could no longer enjoy activities from golf to sex because of injuries suffered when the cord wrapped around his leg causing him to trip and slam into an office cabinet. The former businessman claimed he and his wife had sex several times a week before the injury, but could manage only a “single monthly session” after the accident. Did I say he was 66? Anyway, he also claimed that he’d been in a wheelchair since he got hurt and spent weeks in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities trying to recuperate from the fall. 

“I really can’t say whether I hit it with my shoulder, hand or elbow, but I broke my fall on the cabinet,” Berroyer testified during a court hearing explaining what happened when he tripped and fell over a telephone cord in an IRS office.

The IRS conceded that he did fall and was injured but argued that Berroyer was grossly exaggerating his injuries to score big at the cost of the IRS. Oh, I hope so! They even sent a team to watch his house trying to prove this fact  but no report of what was observed ever turned up as evidence to the contrary in court. The judge residing over the case finally ruled in favor of the plaintiff last week and awarded Berroyer, not his desired 10 mil, but a cool $862,000, an amount for which he will pay no taxes on. Berroyer was working out a plan to pay the IRS $60,000 which he owed in unpaid taxes when the Angel of Misfortune looked down upon him… and smiled.

The judge based his ruling on the simple legal premise that If physical damage occurred on someone else’s property, the property owners are liable for the dangerous conditions and any financial compensation due to the injured person. The IRS, we have learned, is not exempt at least  from this law.

Just a word of caution: If you’re planning on having an “unfortunate accident” at an upcoming tax audit hearing, you never saw this blog…


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