Fountain Girl is No Longer a Laughing Matter

| January 24, 2011 | Comments (0)

If you have been online or have watched TV lately, you have more than likely saw the video of a young woman falling face first into a fountain while texting.  The video went viral over night; it should have, it was funny!

In this one short video you not only have the slapstick humor of someone falling (harmlessly into a public fountain, but also have a pretty accurate illustration of our current society.  A society so attached to our cell phones and their constant distractions that we sometimes forget about the simple things – like walking.

More than anything, it was just plain harmless comedy.

Well guess what? The young lady isn’t laughing and, along with her lawyer, has decided to make a mockery of our justice system by attempting to sue the mall and its security guards.

That’s right, Cathy Cruz Merrero, better known as Fountain Girl, is suing and has even (sadly) found an attorney willing to take her case.  Her attorney has said he will investigate the incident and decide how best to proceed.

Her attorney had this to say in a recent interview, “We 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.”  He went on to say, “We intend to hold the appropriate persons responsible. No one from that security office came to her aid in a timely manner.”

A seemingly innocent funny video has now turned into a ludicrous case that will undoubtedly become a springboard for vitriol and rhetoric aimed at my profession.  I am no longer laughing.  I am furious.

Where to start?

Fountain GirlHow about with the actual incident itself?  Fountain Girl has nobody to blame but herself.  In the video, she is clearly at fault.  She was so engrossed in her precious text message that she couldn’t even look down and notice where she was.  It is not the mall or the security guards’ fault that she wasn’t paying attention.  Oh yeah, she is an employee of the mall, so there is no way the fountain snuck up on her.

Or maybe there is the fact that she wasn’t even injured.   She is upset because security didn’t try and help her after SHE almost HURT HERSELF.  Watch the video.  Does it even appear to be time enough to help her? She was up and out of that fountain faster than a cat that has fallen in a swimming pool.  Maybe if the security guards real names were Flash Gordon and Clark Kent they could have made it there in time to prevent her from falling in.  Instead, they did what any human being did.  They laughed.  Who couldn’t? They just witnessed a person walk directly into a fountain.

Another thing – you can’t even recognize her in the video.  It is far too grainy to recognize a face.  There is a good chance that if she would have stepped back from the situation and laughed along with the rest of the world, nobody would have ever known who Fountain Girl was and left it at that.

Instead, Marrero has decided to do the unthinkable.  She and her lawyer are doing immense damage to the legal system.  This is where we should all stop laughing.

You see, I spend every single day fighting for individuals who truly rely on the legal system for protection.  I, along with my colleagues, represent victims every day who have been injured or maimed by negligent doctors and nurses.  Children who will spend their entire lives suffering the effects of Cerebral Palsy because of a preventable birth injury.  Comforting and fighting on behalf of families that are torn apart and grieving because they lost a loved one to a drunk driver or defective automobile.  When you look at the cases I do on a daily basis, you begin to see the gravity of the situation.

The fact is, cases like this are not a joke; not just a pockmark on my profession, but also a slap in the face of those victims who have the right to legal recourse.

I am not talking about people who are out to make a quick buck or who are embarrassed by their own actions.  I am talking about real life victims of negligence and a corrupt insurance industry set up to deny everything.

Cases like Fountain Girl’s do a disservice to the whole legal system and society as a whole.  Read any blog or watch any show discussing this case and you are bound to hear the usual comments about the legal system.

“Ambulance chasers…”

“Sue happy…”

“Litigation is the American way…”

Sadly, the real cases and victims almost never make the news.  Nobody wants to hear about the good our profession does for society.  They don’t want to hear about the safety regulations created or the laws enacted to protect consumers due to landmark cases.

Why? Because it is not easy to make a joke about the baby that was torn from a young family due to a drop side crib malfunctioning and strangling them to death.

At the end of the day, this case will more than likely never be filed, and if it is, I am confident it will be thrown out.  Unfortunately the damage is already done.  The case of Fountain Girl has already given the opposition the ammunition it needs.  I just hope people realize this woman and her lawyer do not speak for an entire profession.

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Category: In The News

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