Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz is now the plaintiff in slip and fall against TD Garden for an injury that he suffered in an arena bathroom during a Celtics game. Dershowitz blames the lack of paper towels for the wet floor that caused him to slip and injure his right knee and leg.
The complaint states that Dershowitz, 76, (who has been a Celtic season-ticket holder since 1965) went to the bathroom in the fourth quarter of the game against the Miami Heat. His former law student, Alex MacDonald, is handling the lawsuit and alleges that “The bathroom at this time — and plaintiff believes for at least 60 minutes before his entry into the restroom — had no paper towels to allow male patrons to dry their hands post washing of them. This dangerous condition allowed water from the recently washed hands of each of the myriad bathroom users to drip or be ‘shaken’ onto the floor, negligently creating a hazardous situation for all users.”
That can make for a very difficult causation challenge. Sports bathrooms are notoriously messy, particularly men’s rooms, due to the eagerness of people to return to the stadium and the high traffic rate. The stadium however must take reasonable measures to make such floors safe and warn of slippery conditions. One question is how long such conditions existed before Dershowitz took his fall. However, there is also a duty to keep such locations free of dangers, particularly highly foreseeable dangers like wet floors.
There is also the question of the damages. Dershowitz returned to the game and watched the exciting end. Celtics fought off a late push by the Heat to win Game 3 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, 101-91.
Dershowitz says that his medical bills after insurance was $5,984.22, including $1,150 for an ambulance ride from the Garden to Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also seeking an unspecified amount as compensation for “economic and intangible damages.”
In the meantime, Dershowitz recently lashed out again at a woman who accused him of having sex with her while she was underaged. Dershowitz is quoted as saying that Virginia Roberts “is going to jail” for her statements under oath against him. In a case in Florida, Roberts claims that Dershowitz joined his friend and one-time client convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein at a party where she had sex with him. Epstein is a remarkably sleazy character who served 13 months for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution before being released in 2009.
The comments about Roberts out of court can be the basis of a defamation lawsuit. Dershowitz himself has raised his own such claims against her lawyers as previously discussed.