Will a Fall in a Mall Fountain Lead to a Lawsuit?

Employment / Personal Injury / Business

YouTube’s latest “must see” video shows a woman so engrossed with her smart phone that she walked straight into a shopping mall fountain and fell in.  Girl/Woman Falls in Mall Fountain While Texting It appears the phone is smarter than she is.  Mall security caught the episode on tape.  They can be heard laughing in the background.  The woman appears in the tape getting out of the fountain quickly and walking away with no apparent injury other than what must have been a fairly bruising blow to her ego.

Had the woman and her husband not appeared on Good Morning America and threatened to sue the mall, one wonders how many people would have ever known who it was who fell in the fountain?  Now she looks even more ridiculous than she did coming out of the fountain dripping wet.  I’d like to know what she intends to sue for?  Personal injury?  The tape shows her walking away apparently uninjured. Yet, even if she was injured, the accident was clearly caused by her own carelessness.

Will she sue for an invasion of privacy?  For heaven’s sake, she was in a public shopping mall with video cameras all around!

Perhaps she may sue for the humiliation and embarrassment caused by the posting of the tape on YouTube seen all over the world?  But would any of us have known this woman’s name (which I don’t even remember as I sit here writing) if she had not made an appearance, of her own free will, on a nationally televised morning show?

I suspect some attorney somewhere will attempt to come up with a novel theory if for no other reason than the publicity and notoriety of representing this woman and his own chance to appear on Good Morning America.  But when lawyers agree to be an accessory to foolishness and file a lawsuit under these circumstances, it unfortunately brings the entire profession into disrepute and makes lawyers the butt of a new round of jokes. Just read the comments under the YouTube posting from ABC News for the woman’s appearance on Good Morning America. I hope any lawyer she visits will tell her the best advice he can give her is to watch where she is going.

From an employment law perspective, I’ll bet the mall employee who posted the tape to YouTube did so without the consent of his superiors and will most likely be looking for new employment shortly.



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