Anyone who reads this website with any regularity knows that we regularly rail against lawsuits. We make it very clear to clients, insurance companies, and our opponents, that we do not file lawsuits lightly. We know that lawsuits are generally expensive, time-consuming, and are often emotionally exhausting for our clients. In short — we think of lawsuits as a big deal. We generally consider a lawsuit a last resort – after all other efforts at resolving a dispute have proven unsuccessful.
This is why I was so disturbed to read a story on the InsuranceJournal.com website detailing a lawsuit filed in New York by a Yankees fan who was the object of some humorous comments by a couple of ESPN television sports anchors. Apparently, the gentleman had fallen asleep at a Yankees game, and the commentators were having a little fun talking about him.
In response, the gentleman filed a lawsuit seeking $10 million in damages because, essentially, his feelings were hurt. Specifically, he claims that his character and reputation were substantially injured and that he has suffered mental and anguish and loss of future income.
It is beyond me how something like a couple of flip comments by former athletes — who every person in America who saw it would consider to be attempts at humor — could possibly injure his man enough to warrant the filing of a lawsuit, much less harm this man’s ability to earn money in the future. After all, who really cares if this guy fell asleep at the Yankees game or not?
As a trial lawyer, and for ESPN’s sake (and for the sake of common sense) I hope the judge in this case tosses this lawsuit out (where it belongs) and awards whatever sanctions might be appropriate.
If you have any questions regarding a lawsuit in Florida, or whether one might be advisable, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444.