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20 January 2011

IANAL, certainly not her L We'ev seen the dangers of texting while walking, but whose fault is it? Can you sue?
The fall was her fault, but I don't think it was appropriate for the video to be leaked online. Will she be able to collect damages, though? I dunno.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 20 January | 13:07
IAAL, not her lawyer, nor a tort lawyer, but I would say she has no claim in tort for the fall itself (either against the mall or the phone manufacturer or service provider), but she might have some sort of viable claim for harm arising from the dissemination of the tape. But honestly, I think she needs to get over it and move on and that any attorney who takes the case needs to think long and hard about why he or she is taking the case.

a "tort"--as all first-year law students learn--is a wrong caused by a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. No-one has a civil duty in law to prevent a person from not watching where she is walking. If that were an open pit in the middle of the mall, the owner would have a duty to prevent accidental or careless approaches to it, but it's a fountain and I'd be hard-pressed to believe the mall owner has a duty to prevent careless approaches to the fountain.
posted by crush-onastick 20 January | 13:18
The only tort I can think of is "false light," which in some of its iterations allows a suit for truthful exposure of a person to public embarrassment/shame. Whether she can bring such a suit depends on 1) whether her state law includes this tort, in the form I just described 2) whether she can identify a defendant over whom her state courts have jurisdiction who is responsible for the video dissemination and 3) whether she has a strong enough stomach for living for a few years with a lawsuit that keeps her thinking about and focusing on this video.

I actually think coming forward and discussing the tape -- which didn't really show a very clear image of her -- is just making things worse, but she certainly may have a cause of action. Whether to pursue a lawsuit is for her and her lawyer to figure out.
posted by bearwife 20 January | 14:02
Yes... what bearwife said in the second paragraph.

That, and the woman was a dumbass who had it comin'. She's lucky she didn't do that into a car's path.
posted by Doohickie 20 January | 14:39
Whoever invents sonar for those things is going to be so rich...
posted by lysdexic 20 January | 15:12
Why need sonar, when you can utilize the built-in camera? Example A: TXT'N'WALK, with a small inset view of your view (if you weren't texting). Example B: Type n Walk, with the whole screen showing what is beyond your phone.
posted by filthy light thief 20 January | 16:08
I think being a security guard who laughs at people without helping them, releases security tapes on the internet to shame mall customers, gets your mall sued and possibly gets your own ass fired would also get filed under being a "dumbass who had it comin'", though.
posted by fleacircus 20 January | 16:17
I won't argue with that, flea.
posted by Doohickie 20 January | 16:48
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