New York Court Rules That Jury Properly Denied Liability Under The Emergency Rule When Woman Crashed After Her Bikini Top Was Untied

bikini25n-1-webbikini25n-2-webThere is an interesting ruling on the scope of the emergency rule out of New York. Brittany Lahm, 24, was sued by a passenger in her car after it crashed on the way back from the beach — killing Brandon Berman, 19, and injuring others. The appellate court however ruled that the jury could properly conclude that she was faced with an emergency when Berman suddenly untied her bikini top while she was driving — causing her to let go of the wheel to cover up herself. The question turns on whether the act of Berman was truly sudden and unanticipated. It is a novel claim: Berman was acting so badly that Lahm should not have been surprised by his untying of her bikini top.

Lahm was sued by Jason Pelletier, one of four passengers in her Lexus. Pelletier says that his injuries denied him a promising football career at Yale University. He testified at the 2011 trial that Lahm had leaned forward for up to 20 seconds as she tried to retie her bikini top while she was going about 65 mph. The appeal is based on the alleged error of the court in its instruction allowing for the emergency rule to be considered.

However, the court found that the jury was on good ground to find that the unexpected act of Berman was “a sudden and unforeseen emergency not of her own making.” The court noted that Berman was misbehaving on the ride but that “Brittany did not anticipate that he would suddenly pull the strings on her bikini top, thereby causing the top to fall and her breasts to be exposed.”

The dissenting appellate judge, Justice Sheri Roman, disagreed. She believed that Berman was acting so obnoxiously that Lahm should have foreseen the problem. Accordingly she believed that “it cannot be said that Brittany did not have time for “thought, deliberation or consideration,” in the face of Brandon’s behavior . . . To the contrary, the record reveals that Brittany had a full opportunity to reflect on the ongoing situation, which occurred over a span of approximately 15-20 minutes.” Here is her view of the relevant facts:

In the present case, the evidence at trial established that, prior to the accident, Brandon engaged in a course of distracting conduct, including spitting chewing tobacco out the window, opening an umbrella inside the vehicle, leaning halfway out of the window, [*10] and using the umbrella to clean the tobacco off the exterior of the vehicle. Brandon, who had been laughing about his actions, then proceeded, from the backseat, to stick his feet over the center console into Brittany’s face. While the source of Brandon’s merriment was unknown, Brittany noted it was Brandon’s birthday and assumed that he was “on something” that day. Despite Brandon’s conduct, Brittany never attempted to pull the vehicle over, or to slow the vehicle down and, instead, continued to travel on the Thruway at a speed of 65 miles per hour.

Brandon then pulled the bikini string tied around Brittany’s neck. As a result, Brittany released the steering wheel with her right hand to hold up her top and yelled at Brandon. Holding onto the steering wheel with her left hand and her bikini top with her right hand, Brittany leaned forward so the front-seat passenger could re-tie the string. As Brittany leaned forward, Brandon pulled the second bikini string on her back. It was at that moment Brittany testified she took both hands off the steering wheel for “a split second” to grab her bikini top. As a result, she lost control of the vehicle.

Viewing Brandon’s conduct in totality, the situation was neither sudden nor unexpected, and, in fact, could have been reasonably anticipated in light of the surrounding circumstances.

The problem is that emergency doctrine cases are mixed questions of law and fact. Under CPLR 4404(a), a trial court “may set aside a verdict . . . and direct that judgment be entered in favor of a party entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” That would require a pretty strong case that there was no basis for applying the emergency rule in such a circumstance. The state courts have ruled that “The emergency instruction is . . . properly charged where the evidence supports a finding that the party requesting the charge was confronted by a sudden and unexpected circumstance which leaves little or no time for thought, deliberation or consideration'” See Rivera v. New York City Tr. Auth., 77 NY2d at 327.

Most states specify that the sudden emergency rule may not be invoked by one whose negligence created or contributed to the emergency. “The (sudden emergency) rule * * * cannot be invoked by one who has brought the emergency upon himself by his own wrong or who has not used due care to avoid it.” 38 Am.Jur. Negligence § 41, p. 687. Moreover, New York courts have held that the rule is not applicable where the “emergency” is one which the actor should have anticipated and been prepared to meet, as in certain routine traffic accidents. Thus, “the emergency rule should not be charged . . . in the absence of special facts justifying such charge” See Voleshen v. Coles, 60 AD2d 468, 471; see also, Aldrich v. Madison Taxi, 49 AD2d 1012.

What do you think? Should Berman’s behavior prior to the crash render the emergency rule null and void since Lahm had time to pull over and anticipate further disruptions?

Kudos: Professor John Banzhaf

64 thoughts on “New York Court Rules That Jury Properly Denied Liability Under The Emergency Rule When Woman Crashed After Her Bikini Top Was Untied

  1. “There is an interesting…..”

    Prof. JT,

    Fill in the blank: picture of a barely dressed woman on my blog? How do you explain that one to the wifey? I would be hugging the couch tonight trying to explain that one! LOL!

  2. In answer to the Prof’s question: that depends. I saw a comment that characterized what Mr. Berman did as a sexual assault. To determine whether that is a correct characterization, I think, would require knowledge of past behavior. If there was no basis in the parties past conduct to conclude that Mr. Berman’s “antics” might include exposing Ms. Lahm’s breasts, then I’d say the emergency rule would apply because none of Mr. Berman’s other actions would have required (or created a very strong desire) for a young woman to want to cover up. Having written all this, I acknowledge that my understanding of the emergency rule is limited to this blog post and a somewhat flippant news story.

  3. I think the jury got it right. It is unfortunate that we still have a puritanical view vis a vis women’s breasts. In Europe, what this a$$hole kid did would not have been such a big deal.

  4. If Jason Pelletier alleges there was plenty of time for Lahm to anticipate the actions of Berman; then there was an equal amount of time for him to anticipate Berman’s actions, and he could have warned or intervened on Lahm’s behalf in the 20 minutes prior to the crash. He could have demanded to be let out of the car.

    That he and the front-seat passenger apparently took no reasonable actions to forestall an accident during Berman’s 15 minutes of misbehavior is reasonable proof, in my view, that Berman’s misbehavior was not considered by any of the passengers to be so dangerous as to cause the accident it did.

  5. The poor woman should not have wasted time covering her breasts, she should have back-fisted the jerk who untied her top and drove on to a safe pull over. Unfortunately, most women have been taught to play “nicely”.

  6. While all drivers are expected to be ready for unexpected road actions by others I find it hard to believe that we could expect Brittany to foresee this from inside of the car. I agree with Dredd – Brandon is the one responsible for this mishap.

  7. Im conflicted on this.
    On the one hand she should have pulled over much sooner, his behavior, such as putting his legs up etc. should have made her realize he needed to be stopped.
    On the other none of his behavior, as reported here, would have noticed her that he would do something like untying her top.
    Yes, Nick, it is a shame we still have the puritanical rule but we do. Almost all women will have an immediate unconscious reaction “I must cover myself back up.”
    She first tried to stay in control and Brandon could not contain himself and made the situation worse by untying the second string. Sad to say he did bring it on himself. The other passengers who I think also have a part to play in this, were lucky that he was the only one who died. Why didn’t they insist he stop his asinine and potentially dangerous behavior, or be put out of the car, before it became dangerous and deadly?

  8. I side with the jury in this instance. We have all seen instances in which teenagers are horsing around in moving vehicles. However, in this case, Mr. Berman’s act of untying Ms. Lahm’s top constituted direct interference with her ability to safely operate the vehicle. She should not be charged with anticipating that action any more than she might anticipate that he would suddenly grab the steering wheel. Under this particular set of facts, I believe it was reasonable for the jury to apply the emergency rule.

  9. For anyone opposed to the graduated license wherein young drivers are only allowed one passenger, this should change their mind. That said, I’m not aware of graduated license restrictions applying to 19 years olds, although they probably should.

  10. Yes the emergency rule is appropriate. It was sexual assault in my view, I’m sure she was shocked and felt threatened, and probably wasn’t thinking clearly at that moment. Someone in the back seat should’ve helped her tie it. It sounds as if the all the guys in that car were being jerks.

  11. Whenever anyone is acting badly I always expect them to start disrobing the nearest woman. Did that judge expect someone to start stripping her after her ruling?

  12. Well, I hate to say it, but a bikini is really not appropriate unless you´re at the pool or the beach. My girlfriend found that out the hard way when she ran out of gas on a major interstate (before cell phones) while wearing only a bikini. Even today with cell phones, it is not a good idea. Men too. Seriously, put on a t-shirt if you´re driving home from the beach. The sand and saltwater and sweat will ruin your car seat.

  13. It seems to me, on a scale of competing harms, exposed breasts do not constitute an emergency of a nature that precedes the responsibility to maintain control of a moving vehicle. Certainly a vehicle can be controlled by a naked driver.
    The passenger is at fault for his contributory actions but the driver appears responsible for losing control of the vehicle by removing her hands from the wheel and also appears responsible for bad judgement with regard to operating with the obnoxious passenger on board.
    It appears to me the emergency first occurred when the driver removed her hands from the wheel at speed.

  14. Unless this jerk fondled the driver, this does not even constitute 4th degree sexual assault. As I said previously, our cultural puritanical view of the female breast was a contributing factor in this tragedy. Throwing out “sexual assault” cavalierly and w/o understanding of the statutes only diminishes the too many instances of REAL sexual assault.

  15. John, I would agree w/ our assessment if this occurred in Europe. Unfortunately, it is an “emergency” in this country for a woman to have her breast exposed.

  16. ok whats left out of this article is that the Brittany was driving on the highway at the time with traffic covering all sides of her.. exactly where would she have pulled over? slowed down yes but pull over. im not sure she could have.. as for pelletier suing her i wonder why he didnt do anything to stop brandons actions? he obviously wasnt in the front seat but in the back with brandon. he should have belted brandon to make him stop the minute he opened that umbrella. , when he stuck his feet in the girls face. or when he spit tobacco out the window… either way he played as big a part in causing the crash by not doing anything to put a end to brandons antics.
    as for the judge she apparently thinks brittany is a psychic and knew that brandon would loosen her bikini top. prude cow that she is.

  17. There are several cases of police officers in several states being charged with sexual assault in forced strip searches. To the attorneys here, could a person (non cop) be charged with sexual assault for forcefully removing a person’s clothing?

  18. A forced strip search would almost certainly include contact of areas deemed sexual. Undoing a bikini top from the back would not establish fondling or unwanted touching of a sexual area. If the bikini top were unhinged from the front, POSSIBLY 4TH degree sexual assault but I think the shoot from the hip, prudish, Midwestern sexual hang ups are in play here, There are interesting legal concepts here, sexual assault is a shoot from the hip distraction. He should not have done it, that seems to be undisputed, Maybe the more salient issues have eluded you.

  19. Spinelli, with all due respect I asked the attorneys here. I specifically asked them because I want the educated opinion of an attorney, unless you are also an attorney and forgot to add it to the list of all your other illustrious accomplisments.

  20. Annie,

    A lot of it depends upon circumstance because consent (or lack thereof) is a factor for most sex crimes in NYS, but arguably forcibly removing someone’s clothes might be forcible touching under NYSPC 130 § 130.52 which reads:

    “A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire.
    For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching.
    Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.”

    Or possibly sexual abuse –

    NYSPC 130 § 130.55 – Sexual abuse in the third degree.

    “A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact without the latter’s consent; except that in any prosecution under this section, it is an affirmative defense that (a) such other person’s lack of consent was due solely to incapacity to consent by reason of being less than seventeen years old, and (b) such other person was more than fourteen years old, and (c) the defendant was less than five years older than such other person.
    Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor.”

    NYSPC 130 § 130.60 Sexual abuse in the second degree.

    “A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact and when such other person is:

    Incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old; or

    Less than fourteen years old.

    Sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.”

    NYSPC 130 § 130.65 Sexual abuse in the first degree.

    “A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact:
    (a) By forcible compulsion; or
    (b) When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
    (c) When the other person is less than eleven years old.”

    If Bob, Esq. is reading this, he can probably give you a better answer. He’s from New York so he might know some specific case law. You can see an overview of the NYSPC that covers sexual offenses here. However, the general answer would be “yes they could be charged but what kind of charge would depend on the circumstances”. You may want to read §130.05 on consent.

  21. Suppose Brittany had been asked this question beforehand:-

    Suppose you are driving your car returning from the beach with several friends, you are dressed in a bikini and one of your friends unties your bikini top. Which of the following actions would you take:-

    A) Take your hands off the wheel to hide your breasts with the result that you crash the car, kill one of your passengers and injure the others;
    OR
    B) Keep control of the car long enough to pull over to the side of the road and to retie the bikini and to kick the obnoxious passenger out even though this allows drivers and passengers in other cars to see your extremely sexy and extremely vile filthy and disgusting breasts.

    Given Christian Americans’ beliefs about sex, ie that it is vile, filthy, evil and disgusting the answer she would give is obviously A. After all the worst thing that would happen is that she would crash the car, kill one of her passengers and injure the others, while if she chose B she let strangers see her breasts she is subject to a level of humiliation to which death would be preferable.

    Had she been allowed to meditate on the question for some time she might have come to the conclusion that risking death just to cover her breasts would be silly, but she did not have time to meditate, the emergency of uncovered breasts was thrust upon her, she did not have time to consider that taking her hands off the wheel would risk an accident, she was dealing with the emergency of uncovered breaths which because of her US upbringing she considered much more serious than it really is. Had I been on the jury I would have come to the same decision.

  22. A person is dead, there are seriously important civil issues, and one person is obsessing on a woman having her bikini top unstrapped from around her neck and if that constitutes 4th degree sexual assault.. Unfortunately, people like this often serve on juries. Thankfully, the jurors in this case followed the facts and jury instructions, which most certainly didn’t ask if 4th degree sexual assault was committed.

  23. Carlyle Moulton, Your assessment is superb. It is propelled to profound based on the previous Puritanical inquiry. Great job using reason.

  24. I’m not attorney, I state that regularly and proudly. However, I have participated in numerous sexual assault prosecutions as lead investigator and can do more than just cite statutes, having a working knowledge of both criminal and civil law. I defer to attorneys in most matters of law but even someone like you could have looked up the statute. The law is not rocket science. But, everything and everyone is relative, I urge you to read the Carlyle Moulton comment, it’s intelligent and superbly reasoned.

  25. Unfortunately some people think they deserve respect, some even say they “require” it, yet they engage in disrespectful behavior daily. Some people are not fooling others, they are quite transparent.

  26. And Spinelli, I don’t give your unsolicited legal opinions any credence , that is precisely why I asked for an attorney’s learned opinion.

  27. Nick:

    That girl was none to bright for worrying more about her tatas than safety.

    H3ll, I bet she pulled the guys swim suit off at a bar earlier and this was pay back. Guy probably walked around for 5 minutes showing off too before he pulled them back up.

  28. I have done some very stupid things in my life. I do not think anyone here can state anything different. However, it may have seemed like a good idea at the time. Dear Women on this blog, I am a guy, I have been yoiung, I have been stupid. I working on the stupid, Young is not an option. Stup-id is. …. I’m working on it.
    I am much smarter now, but is the experience of being stupid that has helped me get smarter.
    Such is life, such is stupidity, and learning.
    YOU can’t fix stupid, but I can. It is tough to be young. It is responsibility to me to get old. …. I think there is a number of responsible people on this blog. …… I like to play with my betters. I learn how to play better.
    College, sports, or life. Getting better seems like a good thing. Thank you all. …..
    .

  29. “I have participated in numerous sexual assault prosecutions as lead investigator and can do more than just cite statutes, having a working knowledge of both criminal and civil law.”

    Is that why you pulled something out of your ass instead of answering the question properly, nick?

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Some people never learn.

  30. The question was irrelevant, and stupid, not necessarily in that order. I gave it the response it deserved. I’m not an enabler.

  31. Well then I guess we’ll just have to ask Annie to clear her questions with you in the future before asking them since this is your blog.

    Or not.

  32. I would ask Professor Turley to reconsider allowing this commenter Nick Spinelli access to the comment section of this blog. His behavior is aggressive and abusive.

  33. Bron, Her reaction was stupid and deadly. But you know what, I’ve investigated death crashes involving people texting, smoking[cigs and joints] falling on their lap, putting on makeup, road rage, tuning the radio, getting a blow job, and many more stupid actions. So, this one really doesn’t surprise me.

  34. I think Tony C. and Carlyle have it right. I would just add that none of us are so controlled that we can’t be rattled by a surprising action. Her reaction was instinctive and ended in tragedy, but she couldn’t foresee what would happen and lost control. Sometimes accidents are merely accidents and no one is to blame.

  35. This case is total bullsheis. Did any of the ultracretins in the vehicle that sued Brittany Lahm do anything to stop or prevent Brandon Berman from acting like, well, another ultracretin? Did they even so much as suggest that Brandon cease his puerile conduct? Did any of the ultracretins suggest that Brittany slow down because there were so many ultracretins in the vehicle that an accident could easily occur because of their infantile, dangerous conduct? Is Brittany expected to be a mindreader?

    The answer to all of the above questions is no. And the ultracretins didn’t do diddly. The jury got it right.

    Will anybody learn anything from this terrible accident? Unfortunately, not. Reasonable, intelligent people wouldn’t be engaging in such conduct to begin with, so they would not confronted by such a situation. And ultracretins will continue to do what ultracretins do: make stupid, reckless decisions that endanger others and themselves.

  36. I’d analyze this case slightly differently. Two things appear true in this case to me. First, the decedent’s action in untying the bikini were foreseeable given his prior conduct in the car, and second, recovery should have been denied to both driver and passenger. Our driver should have slowed down and hence was negligent for not doing so given the carnival occurring in the car. And our decedent, even in his inebriated state, knew or should have known the reaction of the driver when he pulled the “rip cords.” As such he was a causative force in the accident which should, in my judgment, render no recovery for his estate. In essence the two were in a joint venture in this foolishness and neither should receive a recovery. One enabled the other in this likely drunken fools errand. Now, any third party injured in the accident should receive compensation from both negligent actors.

  37. However, to mitigate some of the vitriol against Pelletier here, I will play Devil’s Advocate on his side. I suspect Pelletier really was injured in the accident, and was attempting to recover damages from Lahm’s insurance coverage. If they were friends, she might not even have taken offense at that attempt, and in fact may feel responsibility and guilt for his injuries (IMO, misplaced). But the suit would be defended by her Insurance company as they saw fit; and despite any sympathy for Pelletier in his attempt or even hope that he succeeded, she may have still chosen to be honest in her testimony and hope that was enough. The verdict is correct, but we should not presume Pelletier is betraying his friendship with Lahm. I don’t know them or what happened to him, but I can see a plausible scenario where they both might have hoped he would prevail.

  38. TonyC, Having defended many accidents w/ this scenario you are quite correct. Your insured[the driver] wants to see the plaintiff prevail, making a defense difficult.

  39. nick:

    God forbid, you (unless you’re a physician) have any say in the policy you bought and paid for. It’s the insurance company who decides what you pay for premiums and what its pays it claims. Nice work if you can get it.

  40. mespo, Although I did a lot of work for insurance companies I have said here and elsewhere they are “soulless b@stards..” At least when I was a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit I knew exactly w/ whom I was dealing. I worked both sides, but mostly defense.

  41. Nick wrote: “Bron, Her reaction was stupid and deadly. But you know what, I’ve investigated death crashes involving people texting, smoking[cigs and joints] falling on their lap, putting on makeup, road rage, tuning the radio, getting a blow job, and many more stupid actions. So, this one really doesn’t surprise me.”

    This was an immediate and probably unconscious reaction. Texting, road rage, radio, etc are active chosen behaviors. Being uncovered by someone was not in her control. (And Mespo I don’t see anything in his behavior, based on the article, that indicated he would do something ‘to’ her, He was an ass in his behavior but attempting to remove, and continuing to do so after someone in the back tried to help her retie the first string he undid, was not foreseeable.)
    (But I wrote sometime back she was also negligent in that she continued to keep this fool in the car and did not pull over when he started acting out.)
    You can activate for our society nt being so ‘prudish’ but we are and little girls are taught very early on, you do not show your body. Even wearing a bikini or bikini top still keeps a woman clothed in the areas where we have always been taught is private and not to be exposed to the world. She responded in an immediate way as she had always been taught to respond.)

  42. leejcarol: She responded in an immediate way as she had always been taught to respond.

    Agreed, and anybody that drives even a moderately recent model car knows that we are so insulated from the speed by a “smooth ride” on a freeway in clear weather that it is easy to forget we are traveling at a lethal speed, particularly with distractions and irritations. Her response would probably have been quite different if the danger was more apparent; like on a motorcycle or climbing a cliff with the danger of falling prominent in her mind.

    I don’t blame her for her response, in the circumstances I think her response should have been more predictable to Brandon.

  43. “Given Christian Americans’ beliefs about sex, ie that it is vile, filthy, evil and disgusting the answer she would give is obviously A.”

    I’ll admit that I don’t know any Christians (American or not) who hold this view.

  44. “Whenever anyone is acting badly I always expect them to start disrobing the nearest woman. Did that judge expect someone to start stripping her after her ruling?”

    Well put, particularly in light of comments that Mr. Berman’s act was foreseable based on his other actions while in the car.

  45. (Tony, the only speeding ticket I ever got was on the turnpike, no other cars in site, (and this was in a 1964 Plymouth belvedere stationwagon – in 197 2, or 3. When I noticed the radared state trooper I looked at the speedometer and I was going 90 mph. It felt like not going fast at all. -he was nice enough said he clocked me at 85, would cite for 80 so I wouldn’t lose my license.) Even when there is traffic it is sometimes hard to gauge, look away for even a few minutes form the speedometer and you could be speeding by a lot, often just to keep up with the rest of the traffic.

  46. leejcarroll:

    ” Being uncovered by someone was not in her control. (And Mespo I don’t see anything in his behavior, based on the article, that indicated he would do something ‘to’ her, He was an ass in his behavior but attempting to remove, and continuing to do so after someone in the back tried to help her retie the first string he undid, was not foreseeable.)”

    *********************
    From the opinion:

    “Brandon, who had been laughing about his actions, then proceeded, from the backseat, to stick his feet over the center console into Brittany’s face. While the source of Brandon’s merriment was unknown, Brittany noted it was Brandon’s birthday and assumed that he was “on something” that day. ”

    Given this recitation of facts a reasonably prudent driver with his feet in her face (and fairly pretty face etc. to boot) would probably have concluded that things were going to escalate into a dangerous situation in the cab of that car then traveling at 65 mph.

  47. Some further thoughts on this:-

    1/ The appeal court as well as the jury deserves praise for getting it right;

    2/ A significant proportion of 19 year old US females would act the same way as Brittany did, what the percentage is I do not know but as a guess I would put it between 10% and 90%;

    3/ Given America’s draconian laws about sex offender registers, maybe covering her breasts was a sensible thing to do since indecent exposure is classified as a sex crime in at least some states and being convicted of a sex crime comes with compulsory sex offender registration which leads to results such as people unable to hold a job or who are forced to live under bridges in the back blocks.

  48. mespo im sorry but i dont see your point at all. granted brandon was the total ass in the backseat. but at 19 he had to know HIS ACTIONS could cause a deadly accident it isnt like car accidents happen once every 6 months

    they happen 6 -10 times a day everyday. opening a umbrella in a car. sticking his feet in her face. sticking your feet in the face of someone who is driving. is sure to cause a accident. I DONT GIVE A DAMN WHAT HE WAS ON. we all know cars are lethal weapons. and considering they were on a highway. he had to know and understand his own actions….

    im wondering if brandon had a death wish and used these antics to fulfill his wish?…. and no im not sorry for my speculation brandon wasnt a 9 yr old though he was acting like one that day…

    if anything pelletier should have sued brandons family.. if not for brandons actions none of this would have happened. so i totally agree with the jury. you can’t blame brittany for a natural reaction to being unclothed.. she leaned forward for the passenger to help her tie one end and he untied the other… which could have caused the death of not only all in brittanys car but if she had of hit someone elses car their death also……. Brandon is to blame and his family is the one to sue… since in the society i live in. its always the parents fault when the adults children cause mayhem and destruction. the child could be 45 and the first thing out of idiots mouths is.. where are the parents. im sure the parents are to blame they raised this criminal…. if the parents had of been sterilized etc…..

    brittanys guilt is enough. but brandon is the culprit…

  49. Vernon, a person with whom I worked related an event that happened to him. He was driving at speed on a highway near Kangaroo Valley south of Sydney when a huntsman spider dropped into his lap, startling him and causing him to swerve across 3 lanes. IIRC there was a police car near by and the police stopped him but the police accepted his explanation.

    Huntsman spiders are perfect for startling people in situations like this, they are harmless but big, the spread of their legs being of the order of size of a human hand.I suspect that such spider incidents are responsible more than a few road accidents in Australia.

  50. First rule as a passenger: Do NOT distract or interfere with the driver.

    The moron could have placed his hands over Brittany’s eyes and said “guess who”. She’d probably take both hands off the wheel to remove his hands, and the same result could occur (his death).

    Doesn’t matter if you think puritanical views caused this. Not every woman desires to flash her breasts at the nearest punk kid.

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