Help! I've fallen and I can get up on my own but I'm going to sue because I'm embarrassed.

by sooner7nc 20 Replies latest social humour

  • A.Fenderson

    I think it is awful that no one came to help her

    Did you watch the video? She gets up and out immediately, and continues walking--it's not like she was in danger of drowning or something.

  • Violia

    I do not care if she did not drown. It is just common decency that someone would see if she was ok, esp since they had it on video. She could have had a seizure, been dizzy, who knows what could have caused her to fall. How would anyone know that just b/c she got up. The store deserves whatever they get- which I hope is a lot of bad publicty. Maybe they will get an attitude adjustment if it costs them a few mil.

  • A.Fenderson

    I'm not saying no one should have tried to see if she was OK, but at the same time, no one should be held responsible for not doing so when it was obvious she was OK and was trying to act like it didn't happen (as she herself even said).

    She could have had a seizure, been dizzy, who knows what could have caused her to fall.

    True, but we know exactly what caused her to fall: texting so intently that she was completely oblivious to the concrete reality right in front of her face. We're all lucky she wasn't behind the wheel texting--she easily could have killed any number of people.

  • VIII

    Who knew it was her? Only the lady who fell and the people she told. So, her *humiliation* was manufactured.

    Self-induced humilation has no place in a courtroom.

    Throw the idiot out. She deserves what she got.

    On a side note: I was walking through a Marshall Fields store in Chicago and they had huge, very clean glass separating the areas. I didn't see one as I was walking, looking straight ahead. Didn't own a cell phone. Guess what I did?

    Yeah, face first. Bounced off, fell to the ground, got up, looked around, horrified I was such a dummy and went home. Just thought of that when Beks mentioned the glass. At least I didn't break it.

    BTW, I was humiliated. Did I sue? What do you think?

  • Gerard

    The raw video in YouTube shows her getting out of the fountain and continue window shopping as if nothing happened.

    I think she is dumb. But the security personnel are dumber for posting it online.

  • beksbks

    Apparently she is out on bail and awaiting trial for charging up a pals credit card or sum such thing

  • Violia

    yes security is " dumb" for posting it online. I'd be very humilated if this happened to me and it was posted online . Just b/c she got up and continued shopping does not mean she did not have a fall. She could have been confused after the fall. Those guys just messed up. They saw her fall on video and should have gone to see if she was ok.

  • Snoozy

    Yep Bek, she has a "Rap"


  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    She's worse than the McDonalds coffee broad.

    I do not feel sorry for this woman. However, it was interesting to read the "McDonald's" case in Tort class and watch all the Tort-reformers change their minds regarding the outcome when they reviewed the facts. Here is a pretty good synopsis from the internet.'s Coffee Case

    The McDonald's Hot Coffee Case

    Those who contend that the U.S. system of justice is out of control frequently begin with the McDonald's hot coffee case. According to a common understanding of that case, a woman spilled hot coffee on herself while driving. She had purchased the coffee at the drive-through window of a McDonald's Restaurant. She sued McDonald's for compensation for her injuries (about $11,000) and was awarded nearly $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages by a New Mexico jury.

    So, what's wrong with that? The most fundamental criticism of the case seems to be that the plaintiff had no strong cause of action. She sought compensation for something that was almost certainly an everyday accident and well within her control. There does not seem, at first blush, to be anything about the facts above that indicates fault on the part of McDonald's. Second, most countries do not allow punitive damages, and foreign students are hard pressed to understand why these facts in this case make out an argument, even by U.S. standards, for punitive damages. Rather, this seems to be an instance of a local jury piling on damages in favor of a local resident against an out-of-state corporation.

    But a complete account of the facts in the case may present a slightly different story. Professor Rick Hasen of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles once circulated this account of the case, based on an article in the news magazine, Newsweek:

    Stella Liebeck, 79, purchased the coffee and while driving her car , placed the coffee cup between her legs and tried to remove the lid. The cup spilled and coffee ran into her lap. Wearing a sweatsuit and sitting in a bucket seat, she received second- and third-degree burns across her buttocks, thighs, and labia.

    After the spill, Liebeck spent seven days in the hospital and three weeks recuperating at home with her daughter in attendance. This was followed by skin grafts [on her genital area]. During this period, she lost 20 pounds—to 83 pounds—almost 20% of her body weight.

    [Her original request] Liebeck wrote to McDonald’s and asked them to turn down the coffee temperature, which was set at 170 degrees. She also asked for her out-of-pocket medical expenses of about $2,000 plus the lost wages of her daughter. McDonald’s offered $800. She sued, asking for no less than $100,000 in compensatory damages, including pain and suffering, and triple punitive damages. Just before trial, she offered to settle for $300,000, but McDonald’s rejected the offer.

    The case went to trial in August, 1994. After the trial one juror said, “I was just insulted. The whole thing sounded ridiculous to me.” McDonald’s moved for summary dismissal, defending the heat of its coffee and blaming Liebeck for spilling it. She was, according to McDonald’s, the “proximate cause” of the injury.

    Photos were shown of Liebeck’s burned skin, and a burn expert, Dr. Charles Baxter (Southwestern Medical School), testified that 170-degree coffee would cause second-degree burns within 3.5 seconds of hitting the skin. Christopher Appleton, a quality assurance supervisor at McDonald’s headquarters testified that the company had not lowered the heat under the coffee despite receiving 700 burn complaints in 10 years. Safety consultant Robert Knall said that 700 complaints was about 1 in 24 million cups and "basically trivially different from zero."

    A juror's response, "Each statistic is somebody badly burned. That really made me angry." The juror also was not impressed with the CAUTION: CONTENTS HOT label on the cup. She said she needed her glasses to read it.

    After four hours of deliberation, the jury found for Liebeck. She was awarded $200,000 for compensatory damages, reduced by 20 percent because Liebeck had contributed to the accident. They also awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages. One juror said, “It was our way of saying, ‘Hey, open your eyes. People are getting burned’.”

    Trial Judge Robert Scott reduced the award to $640,000, calculating the punitive damages at three times the compensatory damages. He stated that it “was appropriate to punish and deter” McDonald’s corporate coffee policy. Scott, a self-described conservative Republican, says the case “was not a runaway. I was there.”

    The two sides ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount.

    According to Andrea Gerlin’s excellent Wall Street Journal article, “A Matter of Degree: How a Jury Decided that a Coffee Spill is Worth $2.9 Million,” Sept. 1, 1994, p. A1, members of the jury learned at the trial that 180-degree coffee like McDonald’s served may produce third-degree burns in about 12 to 15 seconds. Lowering the temperature by 20 degrees (to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) would increase the time for the coffee to produce such a burn to 20 seconds. Those extra 5 to 7 seconds in many cases could provide adequate time to remove the coffee from exposed skin, thereby preventing such burns. Ms. Gerlin also reported that McDonald's reason for serving such hot coffee in its drive-through windows was that, because those who purchased the coffee typically wanted to drive a distance with the coffee, the high initial temperature would keep the coffee hot during the trip.

  • JeffT

    Thanks for sharing that Justia. Leave it to the media to get things wrong.

    As to the case in hand, I thought this was funny when I first saw it (in fact I posted it here after some one sent it to my wife). Upon reflection, I think she has a good case that mall security ought not to be putting their tapes on youtube.

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