Bad Ideas, Lawsuit of the Day, Videos, YouTube

Potential Lawsuit of the Day: ‘Fountain Lady’ Might Sue the Mall

A dry Cathy Cruz Marrero.

Hopefully everybody had a chance to see “Fountain Lady” before YouTube removed the clip. It’s the kind of thing that made YouTube famous: a woman is texting and walking and she falls right into a fountain at a mall.

It’s funny. And the woman walks away soaked, but unharmed.

Normally, that would be the end of the story. But in a classic example of a person who doesn’t understand how “the internet” works, Fountain Lady Cathy Cruz Marrero has decided to exponentially extend her own embarrassment by hiring a lawyer. She wants to know who allowed her watery tumble to become public, and bring them to justice.

What happens now? Well, unless Cathy Cruz Marrero gets elected president or something, the clip showing her falling into a fountain will be the first thing people see when they Google her name for all time.

And even though YouTube has now removed the clip, I’m about to link to it via any number of mainstream media reports now showing the footage…

By hiring a lawyer, Marrero ensured that her famous fall wasn’t just for YouTube aficionados anymore. The incident made it all the way to Good Morning America. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the George Stephanopoulos interview with Marrero, an interview where the clip is shown seven times:

If you actually listen to the interview, you can tell that she’s only thinking of suing because she’s incredibly embarrassed and wants somebody else to pay for it. Marrero tells the Reading Eagle (gavel bang: ABA Journal) what her “issue” is:

“My issue is I don’t think security was professional because they didn’t send anyone to check on me until 20 minutes later and I had already left,” Cathy said Wednesday in her first interview since the accident.

In the video, the voices of people laughing as they watch the security video footage can be heard.

Cathy said they are mall security personnel.

“Instead of laughing, they should have said, ‘Is she OK?’ and been down there right away to check on me,” she said.

Yes, Cathy, they were laughing at you. So was I. So was everyone who saw the clip. You know why? Because you are the idiot woman who fell into a mall fountain because you were texting instead of looking where you were going. I’d laugh at my own mother if she did that. Marin fell head-first off of a stage and I laughed. I laugh when people fall down. I’m that guy! Sue me (not literally, of course, you irrational person).

Still, I don’t really blame Cathy Marrero. Soaked and disoriented, she was probably just looking for an outlet for her distress. You know who I’m going to blame? I’m going to blame her lawyer, James M. Polyak, for capitalizing on Marrero’s shame and embarrassment. He should have been the one telling his client, “Lady, if you sue this video is going to be everywhere, only this time instead of ‘Fountain Lady,’ it’s going to be with your real name.” He’s the one who should say, “You don’t commence a legal action when all you want is an apology.”

Instead, James Polyak is the one sitting right besides Marrero on Good Morning America, undoubtedly thinking about how this “high-profile” case will help his business. Here’s his statement to the Reading Eagle:

“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,” Polyak said. “We intend to hold the appropriate persons responsible.

“No one from that security office came to her aid in a timely manner.”

Well, let’s give Polyak what he wants. Here’s his website. He got his J.D. from Penn State Widener Law. He seems to specialize in DUI defense. I particularly like his “advice” on choosing an attorney:

Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer because you saw his stern-faced picture on a billboard or in the Yellow Pages, could be a mistake you will live with for the rest of your life. Advertising claims mean nothing. Reputation and results mean everything. At the very least, you should interview three lawyers before making a choice about who to hire. There are many excellent lawyers who practice in the area of criminal defense law in Berks County. The problem is that there are many more who should never step foot inside a courtroom.

Reputation and results, baby! Somebody check Cathy Marrero’s Google footprint in ten years and tell me how that worked out for her.

1 step leads ‘Fountain Girl’ to unwanted fame [Reading Eagle]
Woman Whose Fountain Fall Is a YouTube Hit Considers Suing over Video Release [ABA Journal]

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