So a guy hurt himself doing something that most of us would consider stupid. Then filed a lawsuit. It’s all hilarious.
Spreading stories about frivolous injury claims poses a moral quandary. While snicker-worthy suits like those often chronicled at Overlawyered are highly entertaining, the thinly veiled motivation behind circulating these tales is eroding confidence in the courts and promoting the dangerous assumption that all plaintiffs are crazy people trying to get rich quick. It’s all about using wacky outliers to convince everyone that the system is “out of control” before the next time some company poisons a water supply or something like that.
But there are some wacky lawsuits that need to be discussed because they ask something more fundamental. Like this one where a physical trainer decided — for no real reason — to do something EXTREME, got an EXTREME injury, and filed an EXTREME lawsuit.
And the fundamental question posed by this case is why we’re seeing more and more people with all of the sense of entitlement to do “whatever they want, whenever they want,” yet simultaneously possessing none of the commitment to personal responsibility for the consequences…
In this instance, as Gothamist explains, a grown-ass man saw some boulders in the park and decided to climb them. He got hurt. This is why you never climb anything without a Sherpa:
But eventually, this back-to-the-schoolyard attitude was going to lead to some casualties — and the first may be Brooklyn resident Jonathan Stock, a personal trainer who is suing the city after he injured himself falling from a boulder in a Manhattan park. “Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I don’t get to explore the world, too.”
Aw. Good on you ersatz Dora. The world must be such a magical and whimsical place for you. You could also act like a damned adult. A 32-year-old Brooklynite? Really? The only attractive nuisance he should be falling for is a Trustifarian in Williamsburg. You had your chance to climb trees and run around parks and it was called prepubescence. Welcome to being an adult. It looks a lot like this…
Except exchange “pass butter” with “review documents.”
Guess who’s right there to file a lawsuit against the city for failing to — I don’t know — put up signs saying, “Don’t do what Johnny Knoxville do”? If you guessed “the same lawyer who thought a Yelper should go down for publishing negative reviews,” then congratulations! You’ve given up your faith in humanity too.
Alas, Stock was seduced and abandoned by a sweet slab of granite. “It just invites you or anybody with any athletic sense to give it a try,” said his attorney, Andrew Spinnell. Stock is seeking unspecified damages, although he might be better served channeling his energies toward a middle school-level climbing class.
In the first installment of the most recent Batman trilogy, Alfred motivated Bruce Wayne in his crime-fighting efforts by repeating a mantra originally delivered by the deceased elder Wayne, “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” There are a few ways of reading this quote, but the one that best fits the character who chose, of his own free will, to dress up like a rodent and fight mobsters, is that if you try to do something and fail, you should accept your licks and move on.
This heroic ideal is lost on a bunch of people. If Bruce were on top of his game, I guess he’d have sued the bejeezus out of his parents for maintaining a shoddy well on top of the Batcave. This isn’t about hating on people who happen to struggle and fail. And it’s not about hating on people who take bold risks. But this mentality that stupid, self-indulgent actions should be protected, if not encouraged, is curiously anti-social. Rules mean nothing… until the embrace of freedom gets you hurt.
Everyone would benefit from revisiting the maxim of Fight Club: You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. So suck it up and accept the consequences of your actions.
Earlier: Morning Docket 03.21.14