Snakes-in-a-Cab or Torts-in-a-Taxi? New York Comedian Works The Line Between Laughs and Liability

SNAKECAB14 There is an interesting controversy out of New York (where so many interesting controversies can be found). In this case, taxi driver and comedian Jimmy Failla has been filming the reaction of passengers when they encounter his 10-foot albino python in the backseat. He calls the video below “Snakes in a Cab,” which he hopes to draw attention to a forthcoming book. While he says that he is not afraid of liability, he should be. This could easily turn into Torts In A Taxi.”

This is not Failla cab. He rents it from a medallion owner. He has said that he is not concerned about liability because everyone signed a consent and waiver form. However, while such forms are enforceable, he is taking quite a risk. Generally, post hoc waivers are a dangerous game. Someone could have a heart attack or have a pre-existing phobia with regard to snakes. You take your victims as you find them and this appears not just negligence but an intentional infliction of emotional distress to put someone into a close cab with a massive snake.

We have previously discussed how such pranks dance on the line between laughs and liability.

Indeed, this is likely negligence per se since taxi regulations clearly would prohibit non-service animals.

For the Taxi and Limousine Commission it is a very serious breach. The last thing that the Commission wants is for passengers to add a fear of pranks or snakes or snake pranks to the other risks that occupy the mind of a typical New Yorker.

In one video, Failla yells at a panicked woman that “You should have told me you didn’t like snakes!” Failla says to her.” Of course, legally he should have told her that he is not a real taxi driver.

Of course, PETA also fails to see the humor.

Source: ABA Journal

9 thoughts on “Snakes-in-a-Cab or Torts-in-a-Taxi? New York Comedian Works The Line Between Laughs and Liability”

  1. Well…. One thing for certain…. This taxi driver understands English….. Rather than…. I get you there…. And the scenic route you do take…… And as you circle the same building…. You say… Do you know where we are supposed to go…. He say….. I get you there……

    Yes… I’d have a problem with the snake…..

  2. I’m with Dan and Nick on this one. Nothing is left to chance. Failla is not worried about liability because everything has been arranged, papers signed, i’s dotted, t’s crossed beforehand. Reality? Ha.

  3. Yeah, but who is going to protect the reptile?

    I mean who is going to represent the reptile in a lawsuit against that snake?

    She looks like a man-eater.

  4. If this was unstaged as Dan suggests it is only going to take one person who was so frightened and refuses to sign the waiver and Jimmy is going to be paying out a damage claim. I don’t think a jury is going to like his cavalier attatude and his dismissal of how he cannot be sued.

    Not only that, but I would say the actual cab medallion owner would be at risk too since he/she agreed to loan it/cab out knowing what was going to transpire.

  5. ” He has said that he is not concerned about liability because everyone signed a consent and waiver form.”

    In other words, they are actors and like all ‘reality’ TV it is merely a pre-planned scene.

    Nothing to see here…

  6. This is not funny, I’ve been carrying a ‘pocket knife’ since I was 11, 60 years ago…. maybe I should switch to a machete? I live in Florida, I’ve killed snakes before… not because I liked it…. two of them were in my pool! One was a ‘Coral Snake’!

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