Bad Ideas, Cardozo Law School, Drinking, Lawyer of the Day

A Recent Cardozo Law Grad Gets Trashed — Literally

Warning: for law degrees only, not lawyers.

After a late night out on the town, many of us have probably come up with ill-conceived plans that seemed like great ideas at the time. For example, I recently concocted a plan to move to a remote island to escape my soul-crushing student loan debt, and even started packing a suitcase. But then I fell asleep. Upon awakening from my drunken stupor slumber, I realized just how absurd that plan was. Come on, I can’t afford plane tickets.

But what if you never had the chance to sleep it off? What if you thought that your harebrained plan would actually work?

That may have been what happened this weekend to a recent Cardozo Law School graduate who was unable to get into her Chelsea apartment in New York. She cooked up a plan so convoluted, so MacGyver-esque, that 1Ls the world over would cringe if it ever appeared on a torts exam. This lawyer thought it would get her back into the comfort of her own home, but instead, she only succeeded in landing herself in the hospital — with significant damage to one of her limbs.

We suppose this must be what happens to newly minted lawyers who are used to receiving walking instructions from their law schools….

Meet Margaret Baumer, a 2011 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a lawyer at Goldstein & Lee, a corporate immigration firm. She had given her keys to a friend, and when she returned home in the wee hours of the morning, she found herself unable to get into her apartment. Instead of calling her friend or her landlord, she did what she thought was the next best thing.

The New York Post has the details of Baumer’s best-laid plan that went awry:

Maggie Baumer

Baumer rang every bell until someone let her into the building, according to her super. But she got a little too creative with her plan to get into the apartment.

Baumer figured that sliding down the trash chute would get her to the building’s basement. From there, sources said, she planned to go through the cellar and enter the building’s garden, where she would be able to open a window in her own apartment and climb inside.

Yup, Maggie Baumer jumped into the trash chute — head and hands first — and thought she’d be able to get to the basement that way, instead of using the things we commoners frequently refer to as “the stairs.”

What happened next is enough to make even fans of horror film blood and gore a bit squeamish. You see, one of Baumer’s arms got caught in the trash compactor, triggering a motion detector. Before she knew it, her arm was being crushed to the point where rescuers noted that it was “barely hanging” on her body.

Baumer was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she had emergency surgery. On the bright side, if she loses her arm, she may be able to get a disability-based discharge or an “undue hardship” discharge on any student loans.

A source at the Fire Department of New York told the Daily News that alcohol may have played a role in this incident. If so, perhaps Cardozo should roll out a guidebook for functional alcoholism, so things like this don’t happen again.

Woman’s arm nearly severed after she fell through garbage chute and got stuck in trash compactor
[New York Daily News]
Drunk lawyer crushes her arm trying to get into her Chelsea apartment [New York Post]
Manhattan lawyer’s arm nearly severed as she ‘drunkenly’ tries to enter ground-floor apartment through garbage chute [Daily Mail]

(hidden for your protection)

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