This week we have two cases rivaling for the most frivolous litigation of the year. In Pennsylvania, Cathy Cruz Marrero is shown in the video below texting while walking through the mall. Marrero was not looking where she is going and walks right in a fountain. She has now retained counsel. In the meantime, Hubert Blackman of New York City is suing a Las Vegas company after a prostitute failed to give him a full hour of service.
Ironically, Marrero complains that the video is terribly embarrassing, but no one knew her identity before she sued. She insists that security should have been more helpful. She explained “I’m just like dumbfounded. And all I kept saying was, ‘I fell. I fell. I fell in the fountain. I fell in the fountain.'” She says that security just laughed and someone then leaked the video.
What is astonishing is that this was a remarkably careless (and laughable) act committed in public. Yet, Marrero, 46, believes that she is entitled to recovery over the release of the video or mirthful response of security.
It appears that she may have worked at the mall. Her attorney is quoted as saying “[w]e are troubled by the fact that anyone at the Berkshire Mall responsible for releasing this video would find humor in an employee injured on the premises.” Yet, she did not appear on duty at the time of the accident and said she was texting a friend. If true, that would make her just another person walking in public in a mall. Moreover, one could not recognize her face in the video below.
It was Marrero who went on national television and made herself a household name.
Marrero insists that she simply wants to warn people of the dangers of texting: she warned on national television “Do not text and walk.” I would add “do not text, walk, and sue.”
In the meantime, Blackman also appears willing to become a national laughing stock. On a trip to Las Vegas, Blackman, a college student, allegedly hired Las Vegas Exclusive Personals to send a stripper to his room. He says that she stripped and gave him a lap dance for $155. He then reportedly arranged sex for an additional $120. Blackman called the company to complain that the woman did not stay for the entire hour. When the company dismissed the complaint, Blackman went to the police who informed him that he had committed a crime and suggested that he call the Better Business Bureau.
Blackman charges in his lawsuit that “an escort did an illegal sexual act on me during her paid service to me and “I almost had gotten arrested.” In a filing alleging mental duress filed without an attorney, he is demanding $275 back as well as $1.8 million damages.
We are only in the first weeks of 2011 and this is pretty tough competition.