If we were counsel to MTV, we’d advise them to include a warning each time they play the mesmerizing music video for “Hips Don’t Lie.” As Shakira’s hips undulate hypnotically to the beat, a warning should scroll across the bottom of the screen: “Don’t try this at home.”
Why? A failure to warn could subject MTV to a wave of lawsuits. If the 15-year-old daughter of a plaintiff’s lawyer pulls her groin while trying to “get her Shakira on,” expect MTV and Shakira to get served the next day.
If you find this far-fetched, consider this wacky lawsuit:
A New Jersey woman who fell off a wet bar and injured herself while dancing in a “Shake-It-Like-Shakira” contest is suing the Manhattan bar that sponsored the shake-off.
Megan Zacher, 22, of Delanco, N.J fell inside Calico Jack’s Cantina on 42nd Street at Second Avenue on July 8, 2006. Her lawyer, Lawrence Simon, said the fall caused a torn ligament in her left knee and required surgery.
And what’s the plaintiff’s theory of liability?
[Zacher] has filed suit against Calico Jack’s Cantina, saying the bar “knew or should have known that the ‘Shake It Like Shakira’ promotion was dangerous and likely to lead to injury.”
We’re of two minds here. On the one hand, the plaintiff bears some of the responsibility: she may have been negligent (or drunk) herself, or at least assumed much of the risk. On the other hand, any reasonable barkeep “knew or should have known” it could be dangerous to let a bunch of drunken bridge-and-tunnel girls dance, on top of a wet and crowded bar, in a contest to imitate a talented terpsichorean.
Remember, dramshop owners: Coyote Ugly was only a movie.
Earlier: Previous Lawsuits of the Day (scroll down)
Those Hips May Not Be Judgment-Proof [TortsProf Blog]
Hips Don’t Lie For Injured Lady In Wet Bar Contest [WCBS – NY]
GAL $HAKES HER FIST AT HIP BAR [New York Post via WSJ Law Blog]
Shakira: Hips Don’t Like [YouTube (click through and enjoy now, before it gets yanked)]