SE Texas Record

Thursday, October 17, 2019

We’re not falling for this story

Our View

By The Record | Jul 23, 2019


Falling down used to embarrass people. The first thing they’d do is look around to see if anyone had seen them. If not, they’d still have their pride. It was like they’d never fallen at all. They might be hurt, but not embarrassed. 

Not that long ago, people really were more concerned about looking foolish than being injured, but not anymore. Now people who fall want everyone to see. They draw attention to themselves, even if the falls were their own fault. Like hypersensitive soccer players, they dramatize their falls and exaggerate their agony.

And then they try to profit from their falls by filing lawsuits – usually a couple of years after the incident, just before the statute of limitations runs out, to decrease the likelihood of witnesses being available to testify against them and having sufficiently vivid memories to do so.

The funniest part of this formulaic phenomenon is that so many of the falls, if not entirely staged to begin with, involve obvious hazards such as spilled liquids in front of a drink dispenser at a fast-food restaurant. Or, even funnier, they involve tripping over obstacles like safety cones that were put in place to warn of a hazard. Instead of slipping on the wet floor, they trip over the cone warning them about the wet floor.

Take the suit that Maria Frank filed just this month in Harris County District Court against Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, SMG, and Aramark Sports & Entertainment Services LLC, seeking up to a million dollars in compensation for injuries she allegedly received when she fell over a TV cable at NRG Stadium during a Houston Texans game on Sept. 10, 2017.

Actually, it wasn’t the cable she tripped over, but the object covering it so that fans like her wouldn’t trip on the cable. Never mind that TV cables running across the ground at football stadiums are obvious hazards and that the steps leading to the seats also should be negotiated with caution. This shouldn’t need to be said.

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