Just 6 years ago Randi Wadsworth was a down-on-her-luck exotic dancer. She spent her meager nightly earnings on stress-reducing cigarettes, performance enhancing breast implants and, later, Vioxx to fight chronic ankle pain from hours on high heels.
But following what legal pundits call the coveted "Litigation Trifecta" Ms. Wadsworth has emerged as 88th on Forbes' 2007 America's Wealthiest People list after three successful lawsuits.
"You know, sometimes you just make good choices in life" Wadsworth gleemed.
"I mean, thank God I didn't stop smoking at 16. And that I was smart enough to go into exotic dancing instead of wasting 5 or 6 years on an Associate's Degree.
"Then, how fortunate was I to forget to throw away that Vioxx (class action lawsuit) junk mail before my genius neighbor read it for me!! I guess I was just smart to be born lucky."
Amazing American Ascent
Wadsworth's climb to fortune began in 2002 when she scored an estimated $100 million settlement by successfully suing Bristol Myers over suspect saline used in her breast implants.
Three years later, being a 2-pack a day smoker since age 14 finally paid off. Wadsworth received a tobacco company payout that a Phillip Morris insider intimated to be "in the 7-figure (tens of millions of dollars) range."
Wadsworth completed the Litigation Trifecta in 2007 by winning an out-of-court settlement from Merck over her use of Vioxx. The litigant states that the lawsuit was "recommended to me by a new doctor-lawyer kind of friend I first saw on a TV commercial."
The friend had prescribed the medication just two months prior to the payout. Wadsworth's windfall? An estimated $120 million.
But her luck nearly snapped like a faux Prada heel last December when Wadsworth faced foreclosure, refusing to make payments on her $4 million Brentwood, CA mansion after the rise on her adjustable rate mortgage would have tripled her payments.
But her good fortune quickly returned when a speed-dial call to Johnny Cochran Jr, son of late, famous defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, got results.
"If the rate's too high, you must say goodbye", threatened Cochran. In response, the bank fixed the rate at 0.5% stating it wanted to "avoid forcing undue hardship on the unfortunate victim".
"God Bless America!"
Wadsworth is proud of her accomplishments, but is quick to show appreciation for the greatness of her homeland.
"I hope I serve as a role model to all Americans. If you work hard and make the right choices, you too can take advantage of this Land of Opportunity. God bless America!"