Embarrassing, but Worthy of a Lawsuit?

If you haven’t watched the video that has gone viral, in a nutshell, a woman is walking and texting in a mall.  Obviously, she’s not paying attention, and she trips over a low wall and ends up in the pool of a fountain.  She gets herself up, and walks quickly but composedly to the nearest store, where she finds a compassionate manager.

Two days later, she finds that the video has gone viral, thanks to the security guards who were on duty that day, laughing as they watched her fall into the fountain.

Now she’s suing.  She’s mad because nobody helped her.  Of course, if you watch the video… it doesn’t look like anybody saw her fall into the fountain (except the giggling security guards).  The store manager helped her when she asked.  There was also a housekeeping person who, it appears, offered help.  She’s mad because the video is viral and she’s embarrassed.

Frankly, I’d be mad because George Stephanopolous asked a stupid question like, “…and when did you realize you’d had a terrible fall?”

I will admit, when I first saw the video, I laughed, but then I immediately felt sorry for her.  After all, she didn’t post the video.  She didn’t even know she’d been filmed.  As a person who has made plenty of boneheaded, embarrassing mistakes, I can’t tell you how thankful I am that all of them happened within the privacy of family and friends.  I would be mortified if someone had put my mistakes up on the internet – without my permission – and opened me up to the ridicule of the world.  Because, let’s face it, internet commenters can be downright evil.

I also thought, “what if…?”  As in, what if, on the very outside chance, this woman was in the Witness Protection Program?  Or if she’d run away from an abusive spouse?  A stalker?  Now she’s all over YouTube, and people who are looking for you can see that.  No, her face isn’t really visible, but her walk is.  You know you can recognize someone by their walk.  And yes, it’s a stretch, but it’s possible.

Now we find out “the rest of the story”, and my “what if” came true, only in a little different way.  That woman is out on $7500 bail for charging over $5000 on a coworkers credit card!

So what’s your take?  Is she justified in being angry enough to sue over it being posted?  Should she have expected it and just moved on?

This entry was posted in accidents, activities, baths, blame, embarrassing, internet, texting, you tube and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Embarrassing, but Worthy of a Lawsuit?

  1. SKL says:

    See, this video would have been totally anonymous if this woman hadn’t raised a stink. I don’t understand why she did it, but really, I don’t think embarrassing yourself is something you can sue another person for.

    Personally I (like everyone) have done my share of embarrassing things, and I learned pretty young that the worst thing you can do is act overly embarrassed. I would have thought about how that would make people laugh, and I would have been the first person laughing. It would have been a fun story to share even if I still felt a little stupid admitting it. (Of course if it had ruined my Blackberry, it might take me some time to laugh at that – though if you immediately take out the battery, you can save your phone even after it’s fallen in the water. Just in case that ever happens to you.)

    I think this woman was just saw an opportunity to make some money, especially given the factoid about her using other people’s credit cards.

    Now, I do agree that the security guards should not have posted any security tape on YouTube. But I heard they were fired for that, so I don’t think that’s really at issue.

    • Laura says:

      I’ve also heard that completely submerging the wet device in a vat of dry rice will help “draw out” the water, but the one time I tried it, it didn’t work. Other people have told me that it’s worked for them, though, so I guess it’s worth a try.

      • SKL says:

        I dropped mine in the toilet, so I know from experience that taking out the battery and letting the whole thing dry out does work, if you pull it out of the water fast enough. Not much chance if you’re like my friend who has left her phone in the laundry basket 3 times – and only realized it upon removing her load from the washer.

        • mssc54 says:

          I’ve dried out my Blackberry a couple of times. But one of the key elements is that it was in plain water (no salt/chlorine, etc.)

          I am currently trying to dry out Mrs.’ 3 day old laptop. She spilled water on the keyboard. Sigh.

  2. Karen Joy says:

    I agree with everything SKL said.She would have remained anonymous if she wasnt out to sue for money now.Im sorry but I found it funny,just like I can laugh at myself over embarrassing moves,you just have to laugh at your self and move on.It makes such a good story to tell family and friends.I actually couldnt finish watching her being interviewed and wining how no one was helping her etc.For petes sake women!!Cry me a river!!It really looked like no one was around. Opportunist!!

  3. Nikki says:

    I too, agree with SKL. Had that been me, and it very well could be someday, no way would I go anywhere looking for any kind of attention! I’d run out that door, into my car and never show my face back there again, at least for a very long time. I would have prayed that no one help me, and no one even saw me do that!

    I laughed, and still do, but yea I feel bad for her. I’m such a clutz, it’s not even funny! She saw an opportunity to make some easy cash. I can’t stand “sue happy” people.

    If those security guards got fired, I’m glad. They should not have posted that Youtube.

  4. Sue says:

    I also agree with everyone. If she was so worried about being embarrassed, why come out and say it was you? I too, would have gone running for my car instead of the nearest store. It was HER OWN FAULT for not paying attention! PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY people!!! No, the security guards should not have posted the video, but this woman is clearly more interested in money than her embarrassment.

  5. mssc54 says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get money from the money gods when we did something careless, stupid or embarrassed ourselves?

    And her charging $5k on a coworkers credit card is a perfect example of this woman’s attitude of expecting others to pay for her.

  6. Joy already knows my take on this as I posted about this last week. I agree with you Laura to the extent that I feel for her having such a boneheaded accident in a very public place. Likely are not too many of us that haven’t done that at some time or other. Frankly, we get over it then laugh at the next knucklehead. It’s what we do. Eventually we learn to laugh at ourselves.

    I don’t buy the whole ask-my-permission argument for posting a video like this. If it is content you have created, as part of your personal labors, then absolutely permission is required. This incident does not satisfy that criteria.

    On the other hand, since this video was captured by closed circuit cameras for mall security purposes then I would have to believe that it is the sole property of either the security company or the property/mall owners. Posting it was likely a violation of contractual stipulation between those two entities.

    Sadly, that’s not what her true issue is, and she damn well knows it. She’s upset because she became a laughing stock, only because she came out to the media and owned up to it. Way to compound the indignity! She got her feelings hurt . . *sniff sniff* Thank God she was only walking and not driving, something I would bet she has done, too.

    If there is some legal breach of contract then it should be an issue between the security company and the mall owners—this woman should not be any part of the issue. The only reason she is is for money . . . and I’m all but certain that was instigated by some low-life attorney.

  7. Joy says:

    The first time I saw this I laughed myself silly because I can imagine myself doing something like this. I’ve walked into walls and done so much stupid stuff but normally I’m alone and unless I’m dumb enough to tell anyone (which I have!) nobody ever finds out.

    But the more I watched the more I thought how stupid this woman was. How can you be that into a text message? Seriously. How dangerous is it to be around someone so “out of it” that she walks right into this fountain thing? She could have walked into a person or knocked someone over. Never mind what happened to her, she could have hurt someone else. What if someone had been sitting on that ledge that she walked into? What if someone was sitting there feeding their baby in a stroller? What if a child were looking into it?

    Then I see this woman on Good Morning America crying because “nobody came to my aid” type of crap. I never felt bad for her. What a DUMBASS. She was the one that walked into the fountain for crying out loud. Should there be guards with megaphones saying “put down the cell phone?” She chose to text in the mall. The other thing is she was out of that fountain so fast that the guards couldn’t have gotten to her anyway. They’re not sitting right there. They’re locked into a little room in some little back corner office in the mall. Then we find out what this woman was really all about. This really should but on the Most Stupid Dumbass People!

    Those men laughing in the background were really funnier to me than the woman falling in. Can you imagine how boring that job is and then you get a gold mine of this woman to laugh at the rest of your shift? I’m probably the only one who felt bad for the guy who lost his job. I mean really, it’s not like he was in the FBI or anything and man, we all laughed but I guess he shouldn’t have put it on YouTube to begin with but yes, I feel bad for that guy. It’s hard to lose a job now and this woman it turns out is a criminal. I feel bad for him.

  8. Laura says:

    Here’s a kicker addition to this story… NY Senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) is proposing a “No Texting while Walking” law, and proposes a $100 fine be levied against anyone caught crossing a street while using any kind of electronic device (including MP3 players).

  9. Morocco says:

    Ludicrious. She needs to get over herself.

  10. Phyllis says:

    I agree the tape should never have been on YouTube or anywhere else, I also agree that the guard should have been seriously reprimanded. Fired? No, I don’t think so, unless the situation could be considered a breach of contract somehow. I know that if I was in the security booth, I would’ve been laughing my butt off, and probably replaying the tape for my own amusement throughout the shift. However, the tape would never have been copied and aired anywhere! That’s just poor taste!

    The fact is her face isn’t shown, and there really wasn’t anyone around lend a hand. To me this says EEEEEEEHHHHHHH! NO LAWSUIT! She’s solely responsible for her own dumb actions. Time to get over it and move along!

    Didn’t you just love it when the interviewer said, “Thanks for being a good sport”. Good sport????? Lawsuit???? Sorry, I don’t believe the two are compatible!

  11. Pingback: The Ridicule of the World | Best Blogging Space

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