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A SWAT for parents seeing dollar signs in the sewer

Submitted by on Thursday, 16 July 2009 No Comment

In this era of texting-happy teens, it was only a matter of when, not if, someone would take a tumble while messaging on a walk – apparently there are no laws against that yet.

So it’s not surprising that 15-year-old Alexa Longueira sank four or five feet deep into a sewer during a stroll on Staten Island.

The only shock was her parents’ reaction: We’re going to sue.

The girl was unharmed other than a few scrapes, so a reasonable reaction would be, “Get your nose out of the phone and watch where you’re going.”

Instead, Longueira’s parents want to make someone pay, though it’s not clear whom. The city, which forgot to put out warning signs that the manhole cover was lifted, is a likely suspect, though the daughter could be a defendant as well if klutzy airheadedness is a crime in New York.

The latter is not likely. According the MSNBC, Longueira’s parents still are verklempt over her pain and suffering. “Oh my God, it was putrid,” her mother said. “One of her sneakers is still down there”

How horrible for the tennis shoe. The stench from the sewer isn’t the only putrid smell in this case, though.

It’s hard to say which possibility reflects worse on the parents: That they genuinely believe that their daughter deserves money for her “trauma” or that they’re just looking for pockets to pick.

Though there are some folks who believe there’s no such thing as an accident – count the Centers for Disease Control among them – that’s exactly what this appears to be.

A silly accident, granted, as well as one that could have been prevented with a modicum of care on Longueira’s part. Don’t bother blaming the tumble on a lack of a warning sign – that’s pure Oscar Mayer.

The lack of warning could be enough to give the parents a hook for a small settlement, but it’s baloney nonetheless.

It’s sad that the family could collect money for their daughter’s irresponsibility. It’s even sadder that even if they lose, they’ve forced the city to spend money defending itself.

Longueiras, Stop Wasting America’s Time with your silly threat. Any lawsuit you might file is nothing more than a classic slip-and-fall with a modern, air-headed twist.

Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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