Photos & Musings

Observations and Encounters of Daily Life - while armed with an iPhone

Laundered Last Rites

Sign in a community laundry room at a Pittsburgh area apartment complex. (Photo credit to Janice Barnard).

I wonder if they have had problems in the past with Suicide by Washing Machine in this apartment complex. Or perhaps there is a serial laundry killer in the region with a penchant for offing his victims in washing machines. It’s hard to come up with a scenario where someone dies in a washing machine by accident is all I am saying – and fining someone for an accidental death in a washing machine just seems to me like adding insult to ‘injury’. In either case, that $25 fine for dying has to be difficult to collect without filing a claim against the decedent’s estate in the Allegheny County probate court – which I would imagine could be a lengthy process. Hardly worth the $25 prize at the end of that legal process. And if the victim dies indigent – good luck collecting anything. I doubt that this fine has any kind of priority over other secured claims against the estate.

I also have to say from the landlord’s perspective the $25 fine seems a bit low to me. I can’t imagine they can just clean out the wash tub and give the machine a seal of approval for the residents’ general use after there has been a dead body in there. You certainly cannot replace a tainted commercial washing machine with a new one for only $25.

Of course, if residents were merely dyeing clothing in these washing machines – that would be a different story and might make more sense for charging a $25 fine.

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