Rose M. Dismuke, of Richmond, Va., was sentenced to four monthsin prison after being found guilty of perjury and attempting todefraud an insurance company. Dismuke claimed that, while shoppingat a hardware store for a portable heater on Feb. 21, 2000, she wasshocked by the electrical current when the salesperson demonstratedthe unit. Dismuke filed suit against the store and the manufacturerof the heater, seeking $3.5 million.

In her deposition, Dismuke said that the shock resulted inpermanent loss of the use of her right arm and that she was unableto perform any housework and had been unable to drive an automobilefor at least four months. Her right arm was completely withoutfeeling, she said, and would hang limply at her side without hersling. Investigation into Dismuke's claim revealed that she didhave full use of her right hand and arm.

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