Tears of the Clown: Woman Sues After Falling in Over-Sized Clown Shoes

Sherri Perper, 56, of Queens, New York has filed a personal injury lawsuit due to defective shoes allegedly acquired from Forum Novelties. The shoes were over-sized clown shoes that she was wearing as part of her Halloween costume in 2008. She tripped and fell.

She is reportedly claiming that the shoes were dangerous. While “open and obvious” is no longer an absolute defense in such products cases, such arguments may still be made to counter claims of defective products. In most jurisdictions, you must show that the product is more dangerous than the expectations of the ordinary consumer. It is hard to see how Perper could be surprised that it is a bit difficult to walk in over-sized shoes. Then there is the problem of assumption of the risk.

I am still trying to find a copy of the complaint.

The story is from The New York Post.

6 thoughts on “Tears of the Clown: Woman Sues After Falling in Over-Sized Clown Shoes”

  1. I work in a costume shop and sell these shoes all of the time. These shoes have an insert of foam at the toe to keep them from bending. The shoes are NOT that oversized, they are WIDER than an ordinary shoe but are relatively small, they are not skis! With that said, I do have customers that NEED to be told that a Superman costume is not magic, and will not allow the wearer to fly. We also get calls for giant padded “Fighting Sumo” suits-there is no way we would ever rent one of these out. We toyed with an idea of having people sign a waiver when they rent but decided in the end that a waiver would probably not protect us anyway so we just decided to say no to the suits.


    “Spouses deal with their mates’ hideous pre-couple stuff
    By LISA GUTIERREZ- McClatchy Newspapers
    To every wife who has ever threatened to throw out her husband’s tools …

    To every husband who has ever wanted to give away his wife’s shoes …

    Jenny Arbanas feels your pain.

    She feels it every time she walks down to her nicely finished basement in Leawood, Kan., and comes face-to-face with two taxidermist-stuffed, 20-pound turkeys standing on the counter.

    “I bet it’s too big for Cabela’s or Bass Pro even,” Jenny grouses.

    When we asked readers what stuff of their partners’ they would toss right out of the house, Jenny sent us a picture of the two birds in her basement.

    AdvertisementHer husband, Mike, bagged them about five years ago on a hunting trip in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

    To Mike, who has hunted since he was a boy, they are beauties – two toms with longer, prettier feathers than those found on turkeys in this neck of the woods.

    To Jenny, they’re a “monstrosity.”

    “They’re like a trophy,” she says. “He’s just displaying his prowess in the hunting field, I guess.”

    Mike took them to a noted taxidermist in northern Missouri and paid $900 to have the two birds mounted together on a platform, like they’re squaring off.

    He paid a higher price when they arrived at the house: He hadn’t told Jenny about them.

    “What do they say? It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission,” he says, with a laugh.

    “I’ve never forgiven him for this one,” Jenny says, without a laugh.

    She would never dare try to get rid of them, though, “because something of mine would turn up missing.”


  3. This is ludicrous. No rational person would expect these shoes to pose no potential hazard. I don’t see a jury ruling in her favor. God help us all if one does.

  4. Thank goodness she never dived. Have you ever tried to walk on shore/land with fins on?

    Aren’t clown shoes designed for an already ordinary purpose? Now if John Wayne Gacey came in them, that would be another story. But then again she is too old.

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