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Friday, 21 January 2011

Is litigation too easy? - UPDATED.

If you can sue for something which beyond dispute is entirely as a result of your own poor choices then I'd say yes, it's getting that way.

"She admits she was walking through the mall - she actually works there - looking down, trying to text, and just falls right into the fountain."
A fall as a result of not looking where she was going into a fountain which she presumably knew about since she works there. Is there any way you can argue that it wasn't her own fault?

Not really, so how come she's threatening to sue?
Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49, was texting on her mobile phone when she tumbled head first into a shallow fountain in a mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, this month.
A video of her fall, which was captured on the centre's CCTV cameras, was posted on YouTube and has since attracted more than 1½ million views. Laughter could be heard on the footage while it was being played.
Marrero, who works at a store in the centre, told US television network ABC's Good Morning America she had initially laughed at her fall but added that no one had taken her feelings into consideration when they posted the video on the internet.
Awwww, diddums. Yes, it's that permanently giggle-worthy litigation for hurt feelings again. Thank you Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49. I haven't seen one of these for a while and I always find them amusing.
"It shows in the video. Nobody went to my aid. Not one single person ... it could have been anybody's mother. It could have been a senior citizen falling and would they have gotten the same treatment as I did?" she asked.
Aside from the fact that nobody should be responsible for you except you, Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49, from the video there seemed to be nobody nearby you who looked like centre security anyway.* And you were up again in a couple of seconds and climbing out again in another four or five. Who the fuck were you expecting, Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49? Superman?

But of course what this is really about is Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49 did something stupid and embarrassing and which made people laugh, and that it's now on the internet making even more people laugh. And she's feeling the humiliation.
"I didn't get an apology, what I got was, 'At least nobody knows it was you.' But I knew it was me."
And now millions know it was you, Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49, and not because millions have watched the various YouTube clips of it either. You see that is as self-inflicted as your hilarious text message fountain dive. For example, take me sitting here more than 12,000 km from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. If I'd have seen the video, which isn't guaranteed, I'd have laughed and carried on with my day completely oblivious as to the name or age of the person in the clip. But, Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49, because you've decided that people finding it funny is an excuse for you to threaten legal action the video will be seen more widely and your name, age and face are known as well, as is anything about you that's in the public domain. So instead of being an anonymous woman who fell into a fountain through her own fault we now know you as Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49, a born again Christian with a criminal record for theft and currently awaiting trial for five charges including receiving and theft by deception, and who fell into a fountain through her own fault and was dumb enough to draw yet more attention to the fact by getting a lawyer involved.

In a way that's as funny as Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49 falling into the fountain in the first place.

UPDATE - Via Down With That Sort Of Thing, further evidence that litigation is too easy. An Australian community warden called Geoff Stephens suing his council employer because people keep saying things like "G'day, sport" to him and making kangaroo jokes. Look, folks, this must stop. It is wholly inappropriate to call Mr Stephens "sport". The correct term is "yer big sooky la-la" and must be used from now on.

* On the subject of centre security a security guard has been fired for releasing the CCTV footage, which if his/her contract said they weren't allowed to do is probably fair enough.
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