Friday, August 27, 2010

David and Goliath

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." —Martin Luther King, Jr.

It has been a few months since I last blogged. I continue to prepare for my day in court against Coventry Health Care Inc of Bethesda MD. My tale is bizarre but will be supported by evidence that will reveal the gross, ruthless machinations of one "darling of Wall Street." I will record much here, as frequently as possible, a narration of sorts, of how one prepares to win a court battle against a very large, powerful, influential corporation.

So today I begin again...

A small, smooth stone lies on my desk in plain view for everyone to see. It has been in that same place for many years.
As a young child attending St. Michael Catholic School in Wheeling, West Virginia, I was taught by the Sisters of Divine Providence. I well know the story of David and Goliath. Today I live that story.

Let me share the core of who I am today. I am a bright, mature woman who has made bipolar illness her friend. On my office walls are many certificates that attest to the integrity of four generations of my family. First and foremost they were defenders of the Catholic faith who practiced law in an imperfect judicial system. Four generations of honorable men.

For me the stone represents the power of an ordinary citizen to hold a giant of the health care industry accountable for egregious, ruthless deeds. How can an ordinary, disabled, elderly woman accomplish such an impossible feat? With faith. With patience. With perseverance.

On November 8, 2010, I will face Injustice with a capital "I," in the guise of corporate suits who daily make life and death decisions for their consumers.

It was November 1, 2005, when former Carelink CEO Patrick Dowd falsely accused me of fraud.

Likely Dowd, as well as other Coventry suits, failed to understand that having a mental illness is not a prison sentence.

Likely they were ignorant of the truth that people who live with mental illness, like Winston Churchill, Beethoven and Abraham Lincoln, celebrated life and created because of their illnesses.

That recovery is possible today.

My lawsuit Christine Stenger v. Carelink Health Plans, Inc. of West Virginia and Patrick Dowd will soon occur in the First District Court of Ohio County, West Virginia. Ironically, as Plaintiff, I will appear in the same courtroom in which three generations of my family represented justice.

I'll close with a telling tale. It involves Dr. David Clayman, a forensic psychologist, hired by Carelink. In the spring I underwent and intense and lengthy "forensics" evaluation.

According to Dr. Clayman's understanding of complex personalities and mental illness, I exhibit patterns of Personality Disorder, Narcissism, Borderline, Histrionic Personality and Paranoia. Let me state here that not one of several clinicians whom I have visited over a twenty year period has ever discussed any of these illnesses with me.

Dr. David Clayman believes that a forensic examiner is as good or as bad as his last forensic exam. For once I agree with Dr. Clayman.

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