Texting Woman Who Fell Into Fountain May Sue Mall

A woman who was so focused on texting that she fell into a fountain is suing is hinting that she may sue the mall after leaked security footage of the incident went viral.

The video was taken by someone watching the security monitors. In it you can hear laughs and see fingers pointing. The woman says that instead of chuckling, security should have sent someone down there to help her.

Her attorney told the New York Daily News that they might be pursuing a lawsuit.

“We are troubled by the fact that anyone at the Berkshire Mall responsible for releasing this video would find humor in an employee injured on the premises,” her attorney told the Reading Eagle. “We intend to hold the appropriate persons responsible.

The woman, 46, says that while she does not usually text and walk, that day she did. She says she was texting a church friend who wanted to know her and her husband’s birthday.

When she talked to the mall management, they blew off her concerns about the video getting popular online because no one can see her face. But a church friend of hers called her and said she recognized her from the way that she walks.

Now she is coming forward to talk about her lawsuit and to raise awareness about the privacy and security concerns stemming from the video’s release, and to warn others about the dangers of texting.

“Do not text and walk,” she said.1 step leads ‘Fountain Girl’ to unwanted fame [Reading Eagle](Thanks to GitEmSteveDave!)
Texting woman falls in fountain, files lawsuit [KFSN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Youngfrankenstein says:

    I’m sorry that happened to her but it was a bit funny.

    • Pedro666 says:

      She deserved it…

      “She has been out on $7,500 bail since her 2009 charges for alleged theft, records show… According to court records, Ileana Rivera of Reading, Pa., who worked at the Zales jewelry store in the Fairgrounds Square Mall with Marrero, reported that Marrero had used her credit cards without permission… Marrero allegedly made $4,177 in purchases at Zales and $1,055 in purchases at a Target around the time of August 2007, records show.” – ABC News


      • kenskreations says:

        Pedro666: I really don’t know that this matters about her past. It doesn’t really belong here (other than maybe needing money to pay lawyers). With that said, it is the best example of why you should not text and drive! She worked at the mall and must have walked this area before, but most of all, should have been watching what she was doing. I, for one, got a good laugh out of it. Glad she isn’t hurt (other than pride), but maybe she learned a lesson. I know that the people I’ve shown this to are thinking differently about driving and texting. Perfect example of how things can happen.

        • SabreDC says:

          I think it matters. It shows that she is willing to file a frivolous lawsuit because she has poor money-management skills.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      i agree it was funny…I was using my ipod touch and walking. I walked into a parked car. Pro Tip do not play Angry Birds while walking

  2. Rebecca K-S says:

    It was totally inappropriate for the security employees to leak this, and just stupid of them to do it with a recording of their voices, but really? A lawsuit? That’s just fucking ridiculous.

    • GMFish says:

      Totally inappropriate? Why? It was funny. If you don’t want people seeing the dumb stuff you do, do it in private. Problem solved.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        It’s just not really a great use of security footage, and it’s probably expressly forbidden by whoever owns the footage.

        • absherlock says:

          So let them sue the people who released it. She, however, has no case, at least not against the mall.

    • MMD says:

      If a lawsuit forces security firms to tighten up controls over their video footage, I’m all for it.

      • GMFish says:

        Why tighten it up? This was a public event. There are no privacy rights for things that happen in public. Are you saying someone could have been sued for capturing this on his cell phone? Of course not. Why is this any different?

    • blinky says:

      I thought it was hilarious. They released it for the public good. Why inappropriate?

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        Well, it’s just a dick move, and probably not an acceptable use of the footage. It’s certainly not “for the public good.”

        • Blueskylaw says:

          The reason they show blackened lungs on packages of cigarettes is to warn you not to smoke; the reason they show crashed cars is to warn you not to drink and drive; the reason they released this video is to warn you not to text and walk.

          Or maybe they just found it hilarious.

          But who am I to guess?

          • YoorCriptonite says:

            I think it’s equally reasonable to claim this was a “don’t text and walk” PSA as it is to sue a store for something similar to this (like suing a store because you spilled your coffee and then slipped on it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants wikipedia ftw)

            Both lack a droplet of common sense, yet one is slapped down and absurd and the other is somehow seen in the eyes of supposedly wise and professional people as a reason to reward lesser beings money.

        • El_Fez says:

          Of course it’s for the public good. I’m the public, I laughed, therefor it’s good for the public! QED.

        • guroth says:

          It’s for the public entertainment. It is the same reason half the content on any news program makes it in the final cut.

          You’re not able to identify the woman from the video alone. Unless someone already knew that SHE fell into the fountain, no one would know that it is HER in the video.

          The woman in the video needs to learn to laugh at herself.

        • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:


      • MMD says:

        Public good? Citation needed.

    • AustinDan says:

      She was in a public place, therefore she has no reasonable expectation of privacy, therefore the “leaked” footage does no harm since it was a public incident.

      It would be like suing a newspaper because they reported the incident. Or for that matter suing a TV News show if they’d caught it on camera and put it on the air.

      If you don’t want video of you doing something to go public, then don’t do that something in public.

      • MMD says:

        So it would be ok if a camera caught you slipping on ice or stairs and the video got released online? It would be your fault for being a fallible human being?

        • rdm says:

          Yes. You don’t have an expectation of privacy if you do something (even something stupid like fall on ice) in public. If you do, you shouldn’t.

        • Merricat says:

          Legally speaking yes. Even if your ego was bruised.

        • INTPLibrarian says:

          Actually, yes. It would be legal anyway.

          Now, it might be unprofessional for the security guard(s) to have released the tape and possibly cause for firing, but that doesn’t make it grounds for a lawsuit from the woman texting.

        • sagodjur says:

          That’d be great actually. You might get a web redemption on Tosh.0.

        • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

          Yes, in fact, if you slipped on ice it could be to your advantage – the store could not deny that you slipped on ice, and your lawyer would argue they were at fault for not removing the hazard.

        • bluline says:

          Absolutely okay. As long as you’re in public you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The only humiliation here is of her own doing. Lesson learned: Hang up and walk!

        • heismanpat says:

          Another person saying yes. You fail.

      • FrankReality says:

        I agree – public shopping venue, no expectation of privacy, in fact you expect security cameras. The Mall owns the video and they are free to do whatever they want with it.

        • wonderfibre says:

          and therein lies the rub. Was it the amll or an employee of the mall who released the video?

          • Megalomania says:

            That’s in no way ‘the rub’. Regardless of who released it, it doesn’t give her an expectation of privacy. The mall may have a case against the employee who leaked it, but not her.

    • NumberSix says:

      Especially since no one could even tell who it was since the footage was so crappy. That and she appeared to be just fine seconds later.

      • longdvsn says:

        “But a church friend of hers called her and said she recognized her from the way that she walks.”

        Probably not the first time she’s been texting while walking. Perhaps she’s run into the holy water in the past???

  3. MMD says:

    In before the inevitable posts that focus only on the dumb texting behavior instead of the real privacy issues this brings up.

    • Tim says:

      Privacy issues? It’s a mall. There’s no expectation of privacy in an open-air mall.

      • MMD says:

        Ok. If that’s how you want to play it, I’m going to follow you around with a video camera, wait for you to trip over a shoelace or slip on some ice, then post it online.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Do you work for TMZ? Because this is exactly what papparrazzi do for a living.

          • MMD says:

            So you’re going to invoke paparazzi here to make your point? Paparazzi are notorious harassers, so if you’re equating this security breach with paparazzi, you’re actually helping me make my point. So thanks.

            • Bye says:

              Dude, watch out for that fountain you’re heading for.

            • ClemsonEE says:

              Uhm, you’re the one who brought up the drastic measure of following someone around with a camera first…you can’t suddenly be against an extreme measure if it’s used against your argument.

              • MMD says:

                I’m not suddenly against it. If you’ve been following my comments (and I see that you have), you know that I’m against inappropriate use of video footage. I used an extreme example, sure, but in answer to a post way above where the poster claimed that he/she would never be caught doing something stupid on camera. My point in using the extreme example was to say that people do stupid crap all the time, which could be caught on film accidentally or on purpose.

                So you can nitpick my use of a rhetorical flourish if you want, but if you do, you are willfully missing my larger point: it is unethical to release video from a security camera on the internet just for the hell of it.

                • Hobz says:

                  An what if it had been someone using a camera on a phone? At the rate we are going in the area of personal communication technology, I see videos from from these devices becoming much more of an issue than a security camera. Do you think videos of police officers performing arrests should be allowed on line?

                  If it had been a video from the guy standing next to her would you care?

            • Opdelt says:

              This coming from the same person who suggested they will just follow me around with a camera? What exactly are you smoking? Is it premium-grade, or crap you find growing in a ditch?

        • PhantomPumpkin says:

          That’s your perrogative. I of course may file charges for harassment because you’re following me around all day. If you had your cell phone out and happened to catch me stumpling over a teacup poodle and falling into the fountaint, grats. You found a funny ass video.

          There’s nothing really that wrong here.

        • Opdelt says:

          As long as you aren’t breaking any laws, have at it! If I fell into a fountain because i was plugging away on my cell phone, then I’m fair game.

        • Opdelt says:

          As long as you aren’t breaking any laws, have at it! If I fell into a fountain because i was plugging away on my cell phone, then I’m fair game.

        • AngryK9 says:

          There is very big difference between capturing video of someone by happenstance and intentionally following someone around.

          • MMD says:

            Newsflash: Surveillance, by its very nature, follows people around.

            • PhantomPumpkin says:

              Newsflash. They have stationary cameras. Have you ever actually seen how security works, or do you just assume they have a camera follow everyone around the entire time they’re on the grounds?

              • MMD says:

                Some security cameras do move, you know. And surveillance is done in many ways – cameras, undercover cops, etc.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Then you would be just like the paparazzi who follow actors/actresses around. I mean, they get arrested all the time for doing that, don’t they? Oh wait, they don’t AND they get paid for it by magazines. I hope this proves that although you have a problem with it, it’s NOT against the law.

      • PhantomPumpkin says:

        That and the whole lawsuit now ousts who she is. No one except her and her friend would have known previous to the lawsuit.

        • MMD says:

          Not the point. The larger issue here is that the footage was posted online – at that point, it’s no longer serving any security function. If this mall gets away with it, it means that any mall can do it any time without consequences. Is that a society you want to live in?

          • PhantomPumpkin says:

            I honestly don’t care. If you’re in public, you have 0 expectation to privacy. Show me any law, or court case ruling that states otherwise.

          • Opdelt says:

            Newsflash: It is the society we live in.

            A private property owner can release CCTV footage whenever and however they see fit.

            • MMD says:

              The society we live in also necessitates lawsuits to force companies to behave ethically. If this lawsuit causes security firms think twice about who has access to video footage, it will have served its purpose.

          • Doubts42 says:

            how is that different from me watching traffic cams. I can even read identifying information such as license plates on the NTTA’s live web cams.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          And once again removes any doubt about how stupid she is. Falling into the fountain while texting, okay probably stupid. Filing a lawsuit and letting the world know who that blurry bimbo was, certified stupid. She may be able to wriggle something about recording a conversation by misusing a wiretapping law, but at least 48 states would throw that out when in public and ‘no expectation of privacy’ exists. How many other shoppers heard the conversation? Maybe she should add them to the suit for listening. ;^)

    • GMFish says:

      What privacy issues? This happened in a public place. You have no privacy rights in public.

      • Opdelt says:

        Actually, it’s private property open to the public. She has no case.

      • MMD says:

        So you’d be fine with mall video footage of you posted online without your knowledge or express permission? Really? Think about what you’re defending here.

        • GMFish says:

          We have no right to privacy in public. If I do something stupid in public, the world has a right to laugh about it. My subjective feelings on the matter are irrelevant. As are yours.

        • kcvaliant says:

          No one would know who it was unless you said to your church
          Friend I feel into the pool while talking to you.

          Then church friend says I seen that video, then you go public?

          The women is also dumb when not falling into water also.

          Sorry about double post if it happens.

        • kcvaliant says:

          No one would know who it was unless you said to your church
          Friend I feel into the pool while talking to you.

          Then church friend says I seen that video, then you go public?

          The women is also dumb when not falling into water also.

          Sorry about double post if it happens.

        • Opdelt says:

          I’d accept the fact that I can’t do anything about it, and that i should have been paying attention.

        • bsh0544 says:

          Sure. If somebody wants a video of me scratching my ass or walking into a door, they’re welcome to it.

        • El_Fez says:

          Yes, yes I am. You have no expectation of privacy when you are in the public (unless under certain circumstances, like me recording you over your shoulder at the ATM). If you are in a public space, and I take a picture (or video of you), I can do with that photo as I please. You dont like it? Tough titties – dont go outside.

          • MMD says:

            Ah, but what makes your ATM example an example of an exception? Where is that written? What makes my exception different from your exception?

            • axhandler1 says:

              Now, I don’t know for sure, but I think it applies in areas where you have “a reasonable expectation of privacy.” At an ATM, in the bathroom or dressing room, locker room, etc., people can reasonably expect that people are not taking pictures or video recordings of them and releasing them online. However, walking in the middle of the mall, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

              • SolidSquid says:

                Actually, changing room in a clothing shop is often *not* somewhere you get the expectation of privacy defence. Shops can (and have) put cameras in them to prevent shoplifting

        • Doubts42 says:

          yes 100% fine with it. Just as i am fine with the fact that i show up on on google maps when someone is looking up the street where I used to live.
          Google was nice enough to blur out my face, but they were certainly not required to.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        Through outer space and an in perpetuity.

        Recognize that? That’s the kind of language put up in notices where a recording may be distributed for entertainment purposes- language I’m 100% certain does not appear in any mall notices about a recording being made.

    • ClemsonEE says:

      Real privacy issues of being in a mall where there are signs saying you’re being recorded?

      It’s not like it’s footage from a satellite of you falling into your pool in your private backyard or anything, get off your high horse.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      Privacy?? Does that exist anymore? Did Paris Hilton and Britney get to sue because they were photographed not wearing underwear? Did the guy walking into a glass wall with a cup of coffee get to sue because now he looks a little spacey? No. If you are out in public then you pretty much have to hope nobody has a camera when you do something stupid. She isn’t going to find any laws broken here and will be forced to find some other way the mall was negligent in her accident.

      On second thought, it probably is a privacy concern. The concern is that WE HAVE NO PRIVACY. That is something she is going to learn PDQ.

      • MMD says:

        I never said a law was broken – it probably wasn’t. But releasing the video was at best unethical. Sad that it takes lawsuit to remind companies/security firms/whatever to behave ethically.

    • Costner says:

      There are no privacy issues in a public space. You can be photographed or recorded without your consent at any moment. The one and only place you are guaranteed a right to privacy is in your own home but even then you can’t complain if you are nude sunbathing on the front porch and someone snaps a photo from the street.

      • MMD says:

        Are you going to argue that it was not unethical for the security employees to leak this footage?

        And you could absolutely sue for harassment if someone posted an inappropriate photo online.

        • c!tizen says:

          I don’t think he’s arguing the fact that it was unethical, only that it’s not really illegal.

          And if you’re doing that inappropriateness in public where people can take pictures, they can certainly sue, but it’s nothing will come of it.

          I see your point that it’s not the nicest thing to do, but it’s a bit of a throw to reach sue-worthy status.

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            I’m going to say this again because no one gets it:

            Torts do not require a criminal violation.

            Once again, this is a civil case.

            • Costner says:

              So what? The defense will clearly show the video was legally obtained and that there is no easily way to identify her from the footage. She doesn’t have a case and is just hoping for a payday.

              This is exactly why we need “loser pays” tort reform. This type of case would likely never even be brought up if she thought there was a chance she would have to pay the legal fees of the defendant if she lost.

              • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                We already essentially have something of a “loser pays” system in place. If it skewed any further in that direction, no one could ever sue a corporation for any reason, legitimate or not, without fear of financial ruin. We don’t need this sort of nonsense “tort reform”. The system we have isn’t perfect, but let’s not make it even less perfect.

                Torts are about damages, not laws. Meaning that all you need to show is that you were harmed by the irresponsible actions of a defendant, not that the defendant broke any laws. The defendant breaking a law increases your chances of winning, but that the defendant broke no laws is no defense.

                Case in point- it’s not illegal for me to hit your car in the parking lot. Traffic laws have little sway, and as long as I was not acting maliciously or wrecklessly, I’ve broken no laws. Yet you, or your insurance company can come after me in civil court.The fact that I broke no laws is irrelevant. Believe it or not, its legal for me to hit your car by accident on private property.

                And she has a case- it’s security footage, she can point out that one of the purposes of security footage is to identify people.

                • c!tizen says:

                  “Meaning that all you need to show is that you were harmed by the irresponsible actions of a defendant, not that the defendant broke any laws.”

                  How was she harmed? Yeah, her ego was bruised and she has a bump on her leg, but none of those were the mall’s fault.

                  And yes, you’re right… it’s not illegal for you to accidentally hit my car, but it does make you legally liable for the cost to have it fixed. That’s monetary loss on my part caused by you, and depending on the extent and circumstances you may be in for a hell of a bill, which is why my insurance company gets involved. By this example she should be suing the person that text’d her since that text is what started the whole chain of events. Even then, what did she lose? Nothing.

                  The point I was trying make was that constner (above) was trying to say to MMD that nothing illegal was done by security and that she really has no case, be it civil or criminal court. She exposed her identity to the media, not the security guards. One person from her church recognized her by her walk… whoopty dooo. Now the whole world know who she is and that’s her fault.

                  • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                    Actually, how her image is presented and disseminated is the mall’s fault, and once again she had a reasonable expectation that it wouldn’t be disseminated that way.

                    She can sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress. For someone who’s so obsessed with the fact that no laws were broken, I can assure you this cause of action is in fact on the books. Like it or not, it’s not just about “hurt feelings”. All she needs to show is that she had a reasonable expectation that the security footage would not be disseminated and that the misconduct on the part of the mall employees is something that people generally recognize as something causing emotional distress. I think she might have a less of a case for defamation.

                    • c!tizen says:

                      “For someone who’s so obsessed with the fact that no laws were broken, I can assure you this cause of action is in fact on the books.”

                      You should really look up the definition of “obsessed” in your next internet lawyer class. You seem to have a great amount of knowledge of civil court and tort reform, but you’re severely lacking in the comprehending of people’s written word. I don’t know why you’re so defensive about this, I didn’t really say anything to set you off, aside from the fact that you misunderstood my reply to MMD about costner’s post, but I can see it’s kind of a touchy subject for you so I’ll leave the final judgement up to you and Judge Judy… good day sir.

                    • borgia says:

                      A Civil lawsuit can not override laws. The fact that the woman does not like the light she is presented in does not matter. The first amendment would protect the disseminators of this video. She is not presented in a false light. If your argument held true then every celebrity in the world could sue the press when they are caught in stupid acts.

                    • huadpe says:

                      She was in a public place. She did NOT have a reasonable expectation that recordings of her would not be made and/or disseminated.

                    • Papa Bear says:

                      You may well be correct, but that still is not an invasion of privacy. As far as emotional distress, this does not meet the standards. Just because someone is upset, that does not mean they are emotionally distressed. Emotional distress require that your life functions were somehow negatively impacted. For example, if this had happened and a year later she could not bring herself to go shopping for her necessities because she was embarrassed by the video and the public attention, she would have a case for emotional distress. Bringing a case a few days after it happened is stupid lawyering and frivolous.

                • Papa Bear says:

                  It isn’t even illegal to hit a car on the open road. It may be a cause of action for a civil suit, but there is no law against accidentally hitting another person’s car.There are two types of torts: negligent torts, such as accidents, and intentional torts. Some intentional torts may also be criminal.

                  • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                    Oh I know, I just didn’t want people to lose the plot (as they are prone to doing here) and get into texting while driving or various “following too closely” tickets that people will sometimes get after an accident. Which is a different case, but I didn’t want to get into that.

                    I mean, IANAL but I’ve read a few books on civil law. Failing that though, people here could stand to learn a few basics. I’m not even talking Wikipedia basics, I mean Judge Judy basics.

                • The Porkchop Express says:

                  we have “loser pays”? really? so you don’t think that her attorney is taking this on a “you only pay if you win” case?

                • Costner says:

                  Didn’t really need the “Torts 101” intro considering I took two semesters of Business Law, but thanks anyway.

                  “…all you need to show is that you were harmed by the irresponsible actions of a defendant, not that the defendant broke any laws”

                  I understand that, but again – you cannot identify her from her face, but she is the one responsible for any harm that is done to her because she has openly identified herself. Even if you could identify her (which you can’t since this is a video of a screen playing back a video… essentially a copy of a copy), she still cannot prove she was harmed by irresponsible actions, because nothing that was done here was irresponsible (with the exception of her texting herself into a pond).

                  This is nothing more than a frivolous lawsuit and an example of our ever-increasing litigious society. Enough is enough – time to bring back some personal responsibility and add it into the mix.

        • Costner says:

          “Are you going to argue that it was not unethical for the security employees to leak this footage?”

          Unethical != Illegal.

          I never made any comment about it being unethical, but aside from the fact they may have broken company policy by releasing it, there is really nothing that can be done to the person or persons who released the footage. There is no expectation of privacy.

          “And you could absolutely sue for harassment if someone posted an inappropriate photo online.”

          You can sue for getting a disproportionate amount of meatballs in your spaghetti-o’s too… it doesn’t mean you are going to win. Being able to sue has nothing to do with the actual legality of the situation.

          It is legal to capture images of people in public settings whether they like it or not. The law surrounds a reasonable expectation of privacy, and walking down the middle of the mall there is no such expectation. Had she fell into a toilet in a restroom or slipped in a locker room at her local gym then yes capturing such images would be illegal.

          Same is true for capturing images of private property. If I stand on a public sidewalk or street I can take photographs all day long, but if someone is standing in the window I could get in legal trouble for taking their picture or videotaping them because inside their home they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

          There are additional rules, but that is the basic premise. At the end of the day this woman has no expectation of privacy and the mall has ever right to videotape her in a public space – or even a private space since it is their property.

          I sincerely hope she spends thousands of dollars on attorney fees before the case is thrown out, and I hope her name is printed in her local newspaper that she wishes she would never have brought such a frivolous lawsuit in the first place.

        • Chaosium says:

          “Are you going to argue that it was not unethical for the security employees to leak this footage?”

          “And you could absolutely sue for harassment if someone posted an inappropriate photo online.”
          Not exactly.

    • INTPLibrarian says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. There are NO expectations of privacy when you’re in a public space. SHE can’t sue the mall for this anymore than she could sue me for taping it with my phone and putting it online.

      The mall can probably fire the people who were laughing at the footage while working and the one(s) who released it.

    • Froggmann says:

      The mall is a public place. Besides the restrooms you should not have any expectation of privacy there.

  4. TVGenius says:

    Having worked in TV and TV news for most of my life, the way I see it, anywhere like a mall nowadays will have signs saying that you’re going to be recorded by security cameras. They own that footage, and have the rights to do what they want with it. Your entering the property, after seeing the clearly posted signs, in effect serves as your ‘model release’. It has always been the case that if you are in what is considered a ‘public’ place, you don’t have to consent for someone to film you. If someone was actually profiting from the video, then maybe I could see wanting a share, but nobody (other than YouTube) is making anything from this. She’s making more people know by making a big deal and going on morning shows about it.

    • MMD says:

      Yes, she’s making a bigger deal about it – in order to shed light on the mall’s irresponsible handling of the footage. And rightly so.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Did you ignore his comment entirely? The security agency has no obligation not to post online videos taken in a public place. In particular when the individual cannot be identified.

        Caveat emptor, so to speak.

      • danmac says:

        She also might be making a bigger deal out of it because winning the lawsuit could net her quite a bit of money.

      • Milch says:

        This will be on Tosh.O as soon as the case is dismissed in court, as with all the other videos like the guy taking a crap in the flower pot at a mall.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        You’re dead wrong. She is a slimeball trying to get hush money by acting all indignant. She knows it takes $40K to defend a lawsuit, will settle for $25K of which the bottom feeding can’t-get-a-real-client excuse for a lawyer will get 66%. I usually don’t use the word ‘cunt’ but this exactly describes her.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      Yup. The Mall may fire the employees for violating some company policy, but they didn’t do anything illegal. There isn’t an expectation of privacy walking around in a mall with security cameras everywhere. Just because she did something embarrassing doesn’t mean she is entitled to any type of compensation.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      That’s like no model release I’ve ever seen. When it comes down to a judge, the question will be, “Would a reasonable law-abiding (as in not stealing from stores) person expect this to mean that their image will be broadcast in perpetuity?”

      The notices put up likely clearly indicated the recordings were being made for security purposes. So the notices do not in fact generally lead me to believe that if I’m eating an ice-cream cone, it’ll get used as stock footage.

      • Chaosium says:

        “That’s like no model release I’ve ever seen. “

        You don’t need a model release in public spaces.

        “The notices put up likely clearly indicated the recordings were being made for security purposes.”

        The notices are primarily posted for loss-prevention purposes.

    • seanjustinpenn says:

      She’s not just a visitor to the mall. She says she’s an employee, so she probably signed something with regards to being video-recorded.

    • dangermike says:

      I saw the video on my local (Los Angeles affiliate of either CBS or NBC, I don’t remember) TV news the same night it went up on liveleak.com. So actually there are others that may have profited from the video, although it would be difficult to determine by how much and even moreso, it would be difficult to claim damages from improper use of her likeness since (a) it was taken in a publicly accessible venue and (b) her likeness is not readily identifiable from the video.

  5. GMFish says:

    to raise awareness about the privacy and security concerns stemming from the video’s release

    There are no privacy concerns. It took place in a public place. If you don’t want people seeing you do dumb things, don’t do dumb things in public.

    There are no security concerns. A dumb woman did a dumb thing. There was no reason for any security officer to be called.

    • lunasdude says:

      sorry, not a public place since it’s on Private Property.
      I know this all to well.
      Try taking a photo in almost any mall and see what happens

    • dangermike says:

      Excellent points. Also regarding the lack of a privacy concern is that the video does not have sufficient detail to identify the girl in the video. This means (a) she can’t really prove that she was in the video and (b) except for by self admission, nobody else would know that it was her in the video.

      • dangermike says:

        Oh, and before any grammar nazis jump on me, that should have been “it was she in the video” and not “it was her.” I didn’t notice until just after I hit send. Damn the predicate nominative.

  6. Tim says:

    It’s obvious from the video that the security folks were replaying it, so they weren’t literally laughing at it instead of helping her. She didn’t look injured, and as the narration says, a custodian asked her if she was alright, and she said she was just a little wet.

    She’s embarrassed (rightfully so) and wants to get back at someone about it. I hope she loses.

    • c!tizen says:

      ahhh, the voice of reason.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      She’s embarrassed (rightfully so) and wants to get back at someone about it.

      Exactly. The money isn’t the main thing here, revenge is. She’d likely be happy with getting nothing as long as the the people who released the footage face some negative consequences.

      Personally, I don’t care who wins since everyone involved is an asshole.

  7. You Be Illin' says:

    Ha, she’s worried about her privacy, so she files a lawsuit and poses for a story with the local paper. Suuuure.

    • MMD says:

      Her privacy was already violated. Might as well use that for good.
      You’d think differently of security footage of you was posted online for ridicule. And before you say you would never do anything stupid enough – video can be edited, you know. If a lawsuit forces security firms to tighten up controls over the footage, I’m all for it.

      • PhantomPumpkin says:

        It was ousted to her friend and her. Before the lawsuit, the video just showed a nameless, faceless person. She’s an idiot. Would she be suing any random person who happened to have a camera phone pointed in that direction?

      • Opdelt says:

        Did we have any clue about her identity prior to her filing a lawsuit? Hell no!

        She did something stupid, and she is simply continuing to be stupid. The video is a subtle reminder to pay effing attention where you walk.

        • MMD says:

          The number of people who recognized her is not the point. The larger point is the inappropriate use of the footage. What’s the “security” purpose in posting a video online?

          • PhantomPumpkin says:

            Whoever said there was one? I’m sure they violated a company policy in doing so, but they violated no law that I’m aware of.

            The most that should happen is disciplinary action towards those releasing the video, that’s it. The mall should have no liability in this case. Any action she takes from this point on that brings about a defamation of character, intrudes upon her privacy, etc is on her, not the mall.

          • Opdelt says:

            Let’s quit dancing around this… What law did the mall break?

            • PhantomPumpkin says:

              The imaginary “all our videos are private and will never be released from the grounds” law.

              • MMD says:

                The lawsuit is pretty clearly to draw attention to the bad *policies*, not a legal violation per se. It’s a public relations ploy. And if it forces security firms to tighten up their policies, it will have served its purpose. Sad that it takes a lawsuit to get people to behave ethically, but here we are.

      • Chmeeee says:

        First of all, her privacy could not have been violated, since the incident happened in a location with no privacy. Second of all, her name was never tied to that video until she went ahead and did so herself.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      I agree. You can’t tell who the heck she is from the video… however, she wants to maintain her “privacy” by revealing her identity and doing media and morning talk shows with her lawyer. YA, RIGHT.

    • ecwis says:

      She didn’t file a lawsuit.

  8. Gladeye says:

    If they didn’t know who she was before, they’ll know who she is now. I work SO hard for the modest money I earn. I can’t stand the idea of her getting a settlement out of this. I think justice would be the people who leaked the video getting fired and the mall issuing a formal apology and maybe giving her a gift card. Do churches teach people not to exploit and take advantage?

    • Youngfrankenstein says:

      I think that’s a great point. If a wrong was done to her, take actions to “discipline” the people responsible, she doesn’t need to get money out of it.

  9. VOIDMunashii says:

    I knew this was going to happen. She got called out for her unsafe behaviour in public and now she feels she should be paid for it. If that’s truly the case then shows like Tosh.0, Informania’s Viral Video Film School, and Web Soup are not going to be long for this world.
    She had no expectation of privacy; she was in a public place which any reasonably intelligent person knows is full of surveillance cameras.

  10. paoyu says:

    Streisand Effect anyone. Should’ve just ignored it, now everybody will know the moron who fell into the fountain.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      But if Fountain Lady just ignored it, how would she then try to collect for humiliation, pain and suffering?

      • arachne says:

        Well the proximate cause of her “humiliation, pain and suffering” was her own carelessness. And I would love to be in court the day this is heard. I hope the judge allows a camera.

    • flychinook says:

      Came here to say this. I saw her on the news this morning, where they went as far as to talk about HER past legal issues (“borrowed” a co-worker’s credit card and spent $5grand). Her complaining about supposed humiliation has taken this video from being a 20-second laugh on the internet to making national news. Streisand Effect at work.

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “But a church friend of hers called her and said she recognized her from the way that she walks.”

    You mean, into fountains?

    Seriously, “how you walk” is not a legitimate source of identification, so the security’s stand that she is not recognizable still stands. Still stands….unlike her in this video. HY-OH!!

  12. PLATTWORX says:

    1. I keep wondering why here and on the news this morning, she insists on repeating she was texting a “church friend”, not just a “friend” as if the fact the person is someone she knows from church should make people forigve her stupidity. Who cares if the friend was from church?

    2. It WAS wrong of the mall security to make and release a tape of what happened, to be foolish enough to be laughing on it (I am sure that helps ID who made it) and not once go to her and offer assistance. They put the mall in a really bad situation.

    That said most “mall cops” are minimum wage kids… and are such because the mall is too cheap to hire a real security team. Lesson learned.

    A lawsuit does sound silly. However, she is suing beause her lawyer has told her she can get a settlement…. which she can. The mall WILL cut her a check long before this ever gets to court. That is why she is suing.

    • GMFish says:

      It WAS wrong of the mall security to make and release a tape of what happened

      Why was it wrong? Sure, it might have violated a work rule, but someone’s employment rule certainly isn’t a moral issue. Would it have been wrong to record it on your cell phone? Why?

      Once again, WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN PUBLIC. This is not hard, folks. Seriously.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        If I owned that mall, I’d probably let the incident slide. No apology, no discipline action, no settlement other than a $50 gift card. Her bottom feeding lawyer can suck it.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        Really? Turn out your pockets right now then. Why is it that TSA agents can’t take photos of your nudie scans?

        Actually, we do have certain privacy rights in public. And you can say we don’t as much as you like, doesn’t make it so.

        Meanwhile, privacy isn’t a word I would use, but I could sue for defamation. Why not? I wasn’t informed in any signage anywhere that security footage would be used for entertainment purposes. I didn’t sign up for that, where’s my cut? I knew that “security footage” was being taken, meaning as long as I abide by the law, it’s not supposed to find it’s way into the public record, because the transmission of said recordings was not something I was warned about prior to entering the mall.

        In other words, I think she has a case. Weak or strong, it’s a case.

        • Geekmom says:

          search and seizure is not the same as privacy. They can’t pat you down and take stuff out of your pocket, but if you’re out in public in the middle of a crowded mall your words and actions are fair game. There isn’t much difference between this and some person with a cell phone hitting record when they notice someone’s about to do something stupid like say walk in to a fountain. You can’t tell who it is and if she wasn’t so stupid to announce who she is, no one would have known.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        It did violate Wheaton’s Law, but probably no criminal or civil ones.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Wrong means it’s against a rule. Yes, it would probably be wrong to record it on your cell phone because it’s probably against the employer’s rules. That makes it wrong…probably not illegal from the individual’s point of view (but maybe from the employer’s), but that’s a different kind of wrong.

    • coren says:

      From what I can tell, they were replaying the video, not watching it on the fly. Not that releasing it becomes acceptable then, but it certainly excuses not going down to help (because the incident was not happening at that time)

  13. Qolotlh says:

    Suing for embarrassment? Yes the security people probably violated a policy when they posted it online but seriously.. The Mall should file a counter suit for draining and cleaning the fountain.

  14. darthwaveous says:

    Lol.. Pwned. It was definitely inappropriate for the security personnel to release the video but for her to try to sue the mall is ridiculous. It just goes to show with all the mindless lawsuits we have going on there is some need for tort reform. If anything fire the security folks because they are clearly reckless and are opening your mall up to a frivolous lawsuit.

    • GMFish says:

      It was definitely inappropriate for the security personnel to release the video

      Why was it inappropriate? Would it have been “inappropriate” to record it on your cell phone?

      This happened in public. We have no right to or expectation of privacy for things we do in public.

      I think releasing the video was a great thing. First, it made us laugh. And laughter is the best medicine. Second, it’ll make idiots less likely to act like idiots.

      • evnmorlo says:

        “Inappropriate” does not mean “illegal”. Ridiculing your customers is generally a bad business policy. Idiots will continue to be idiots because they are idiots.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Which is why the police aren’t involved, and this is a civil suit. Because it was inappropriate, not necessarily illegal.

      • Noadi says:

        The mall not the security personnel own the video footage so it absolutely was inappropriate and probably illegal in the sense they didn’t have permission to release the video.

  15. erratic_behavior says:

    Epic fail on both sides

  16. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “The woman says that instead of chuckling, security should have sent someone down there to help her.”

    Not real time. The laughing employees were watching a replay from an incident that happened hours before.

    • rdm says:

      …and even if it wasn’t. Sent someone down to help her with what, exactly? She got up and walked away.

      • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

        Precisely. If she was floundering in the fountain for a while, perhaps she might have a point. But she got up and walked away pretty quickly – – faster than security probably could have reached her even if it was in real time.

        I think she just smelled a payday.

    • faea says:

      so… what about the janitor who was on tape approaching her and the security guard state, asked her if she was okay?

  17. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    This video is way more embarrassing:

    I laugh so hard every time I watch it.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Even though the guy staged that video, I agree. In the full one, you can see him standing there watching multiple people go through the door. But he waited until no one was around(right before it happens, you see him look around and when the last person walks by, he goes for it), probably so he could claim he tripped/slipped on something in order to get a judgment.

  18. nutbastard says:

    Special place in hell for people like this.

  19. Supes says:

    The mall handled this inappropriately, and should not have leaked the footage. But that being said, there’s no real case here.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      Yup. Employees probably breached some sort of security rule or corporate policy, but no laws were broken, therefore no suit against the mall. She may be able to file a civil suit against the employees if she can somehow calculate monetary damages, but if those damages are inflicted because she runs out and tells everybody about it, then that kind of kills that case for her too. She just needs to dry off and watch where she is going.

      • Papa Bear says:

        First of all, I agree she has no case. However, no laws have to broken or money earned or lost for a civil suit to be brought. An injury claim can be brought even though no laws were broken and the injured person lost no money. Some actions, such as discrimination suits, do not require actual injury. For example, the simple act of a company publicly promoting a discriminatory policy is a cause of action in most jurisdictions. No person has to suffer actual damages.

  20. Daverson says:

    At the company I work for, the surveillance videos are considered to be confidential. We have strict protocols in place for reviewing, burning segments to CD/DVD, etc. If any of our security officers had released something like this to YouTube, they’d be fired.

    • El_Fez says:

      Now THAT might carry some weight. The guards might be in trouble for violating company policy, but no actual laws were broken.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        You know I haven’t broken any laws when I get in a fender bender in a parking lot, right? Does this mean I can’t go to court for it.

        Civil lawsuit. As in not criminal.

        • borgia says:

          I think you missed part of the point, in the car accident case there is a direct liability. In this case there is no liability between the woman and the employees or the mall. The only real liability is between the employees and the mall. The mall could conceivably sue the employees for breaking store procedures and rules and thus “damaging” the malls reputation by violating the employment contract. The woman has no such claim and no expectation of privacy.

    • Jimmy60 says:

      I would consider anything else to be unprofessional.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Yes, but is your company a place where the public wander around viewing and listening to everything? Or is it a place where the public is not generally allowed to wander?

    • Chaosium says:

      “At the company I work for, the surveillance videos are considered to be confidential.”

      Yeah, to protect YOUR COMPANY from liability, not to protect the people on video.

  21. D0rk says:

    Really? Your friend recognized you by “how you walk”?

    Unless you regularly walk into objects (texting or not), nobody could have recognized you by that fact alone. Typical stupid lawsuit.

  22. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I sense this lawsuit will have the same outcome as the video of the DEA agent who shoots himself in front of a classroom full of kids, right after he states he is the only one professional enough to handle the weapon: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/bizarre/dea-agent-foot-shoot-suit

    He sued because he became the object of (justified)ridicule after the video was leaked, and also because he was no longer “permitted or able to give educational motivational speeches and presentations.”

    • PhantomPumpkin says:

      And rightly so. However, a classroom, based on location, may or may not have different privacy expectations. I think here the issue is was there an expectation of privacy?

      No, there wasn’t.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      Yeah, but in that case the video was in the control of the DEA and they have policies not to release that type of thing. It was videotaped by a civilian, but it was not a digital recording. The civilian turned the tape over at the event and didn’t have the opportunity to make a copy. When the tape was returned to him, the DEA had removed the incident from it. So the DEA is responsible for the leak and the man can prove damages. Sure it was embarassing, but for someone who relies on people not being able to identify him as law enforcement, the leaking of this tape and the number of people who have seen it, pretty much ruined his career in undercover work. He has damages and he had a case. I don’t know what happened to that case, but it was definitely something a good lawyer could have gotten him something for.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        edit: http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/teg/tsg/release/sites/default/files/assets/leepaigeorder.pdf A judge threw out the case based on precedent I wasn’t aware of. Nothing which couldn’t be brought back though. More research would need to be done for him to file it again, but I’m sure he will. His lawyers just weren’t aware of the other cases I guess. I still think he has a case, he just needs to prove it better to get it heard.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        But wouldn’t the video of him, which clearly shows him in a DEA shirt, also ruin his chances of doing undercover work? How many undercover agents go around in DEA shirts and tell members of the public they are DEA agents, if they want their cover to remain solid?

  23. Spook Man says:

    Toward the end of the video, Pedro the cleaning guy asks her if she’s ok.. I’m sure if she wasn’t then he would be able to call for assistance..

    So fraudulent case.. Throw it out.. Hope the magistrate sees it and doesn’t allow it to go to the judge..

    • RandomHookup says:

      Frivolous, not fraudulent. I don’t think she is trying to defraud anyone.

      • Chaosium says:

        “Frivolous, not fraudulent. I don’t think she is trying to defraud anyone.”

        She’s going to be a felon for identity theft and larceny very soon, for things that happened before this incident. Read up!

  24. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    So many comments running through my head it is going to ‘slode (with apologies to Ricky Riccardo).

    No, it probably should not have been released.

    It appears that she worked at the mall, so she should know that there are cameras everywhere recording everything.

    3, 2, 1… until states start passing anti texting and walking laws.

    Is typing your birthday that engrossing that you don’t notice what is around you?

    Does the Ministry for Silly Walks have an US office in that mall? How distinctive can your walk be that someone can recognize if from this footage?

    You notice that she is bringing how good of a person she is by mentioning a church friend and not just a regular friend.

    Troubled by the fact that someone finds humor in this? There are multimillion dollar web sites based upon the fact that people find humor in this type of thing. Slapstick humor has been around for as long as there has been humor.

    Upset that no one went to help her? According to the youtube time stamps it was less than 25 seconds from when she fell until she was out of camera range- looks like 50-75 feet. She did not appear to be injured or incapacitated. I can not see mall security running that fast anywhere in a mall for someone that just fell down and walked away. Heck, I can’t see them getting to a shoplifter that quick.

    • Exclave says:

      Not to mention that this is a recording of a recording. The way they rewind shows as much. This could have been taped several hours after the incident happened. Perhaps the security guard on duty did call immediately for assistance.

  25. Exclave says:

    1. Depending on the state, she may have no recourse on the release of the tape as an invasion of privacy. Many states do not require 2 party consent to be filmed. The release of the tape is no different than if I had been there filming with my handheld and stuck it on youtube.

    2. Does anyone else notice the way she slightly hesitates on her final step before her knee goes onto the ridge of the fountain? I would think a normal person would knock their foot into the base of the retaining wall prior to falling forward. It looks more like she takes a hesitant step, then rests her knee on the wall and falls forward.

    Something smells fishy… and it’s not the fountain water. I think she was hoping for this. The way she keeps stating that it was a “church” friend she was texting just makes it seem that she is trying to make herself look better as well.

  26. human_shield says:

    I just think it’s weird that she did a dive in the fountain and no one seems to notice.

  27. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    I think she should be applauded for starting the grass roots organization based on the dangers of texting and walking.

  28. bonzombiekitty says:

    Oh cry me a river. Besides the fact that she’s in public so there’s no expectation of privacy; she isn’t recognizable in that footage. Even if someone managed to supposedly recognized her by her walk (huh?), it would have been easily deniable.

    She complains that security didn’t come and help her. In the video, it didn’t appear that she needed help. She fell in, immediately got out, and walked away. There was not any indication that she needed any help, if anything, she looked embarrassed.

    Sure the security guards were a bit stupid for putting it on the internet – but could you really blame them? It was pretty damn funny.

  29. harumph says:

    The worst part is her including all the church references, as if that will make her more sympathetic to people.

  30. snowtires says:

    I grew up in Berks County (where the Berkshire Mall is located) and the fountains at either side of the mall are a staple of not only the mall but of that area. EVERYONE knows about the fountains in the Berkshire Mall. It’s a small area and that mall is pretty much it (there’s Fairgrounds, but it’s… a little sketchy, to say the least. No one goes there) as far as shopping malls go. This woman isn’t going to get any sympathy from anyone in the area. Next time, get your head out of your ass, you fucking moron.

  31. Red Cat Linux says:

    I don’t think that leaking the mall video was illegal. I don’t think she has a suit. But I do think it was unethical.

    Just because legally you can post it to YouTube doesn’t make it the wisest choice. Berkshire Mall shoppers, if they happen to agree with the texter (right, or not) might be creeped out by the idea. Chances of the thing blowing up to those proportions are probably small, but stupider things have happened.

    • RandomHookup says:

      It probably isn’t legal to post to YouTube because the people posting the video didn’t own the underlying content. The security company could have insisted on the video coming down (and I doubt they were the ones who posted it online).

  32. Sunflower1970 says:

    So, before, no one know who she was, it was just some anonymous person who was an idiot for not watching where they were going, and now, due to the suit, we all know who she was, and can all giggle and point.

    The woman, 46, says that while she does not usually text and walk, that day she did.

    Yeah, riiiiiiight. Did it just this once.

  33. John Gage says:

    Since this was taken at a mall, wouldn’t it be considered private property, not public.

    Regardless, the woman cannot be indentified from the video so i don’t know how it violated her privacy. Plus, she got out so quick, what kind of aid did she need?

    She should just have fun with it instead of suing.

    • Exclave says:

      The building may be privately owned, but you are in public view, therefore a mall is considered a public place. Also, zoning is commercial at a mall which also emphasizes the public aspect.

  34. Rachacha says:

    How is this any different than when the TSA posts videos online to counter a claim made by an airline passenger that they were abused/humiliated/prevented from flying. Actualy, the TSA videos are worse because you can clearly make out the person’s face. In this case, you could not identify the person’s face.

    The woman was in a public place, and should have no expectation of privacy, except in a store dressing room or restroom.

    While the recording and releasing of the video may have been a violation of mall policy and the mall would be right to consider disciplinary action against the employee(s), Idon’t see how she has any viable case.

  35. rambo76098 says:

    If she had never said anything, we’d never know who she was. Dumb move on her part to file a lawsuit.

  36. Reading Rainbow says:

    Why not market yourself to Microsoft for their windows mobile phones? This is exactly what happens in those ads. Hell she could do a testimonial and say she doesn’t have this problem anymore. Easy $. Turn this into an opportunity, just like the boom goes the dynamite kid should have.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      Was thinking the same thing. She should have come out saying it was her, making jokes about it. Probably would have gotten some attention and more money than from a lawsuit with lawyer fees.

  37. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    As for privacy issues…you are in a public place called a mall. I hate to burst your bubble, but stop texting and take a look around at all the people.

  38. The Cynical Librarian says:

    Who Would Jesus Sue?

  39. kokathy says:

    I don’t think security would have had time to get to her to help her. Her complaining about no one helping her is just silly. She basically fell into the fountain and got back out as if it was nothing. No one around her had time to react.

    She’s just a moron trying to find a way to make a quick buck. I hope the mall doesn’t settle.

    She was worried about her privacy being ruined now she’ll forever be known as the woman who fell in the fountain and then sued the mall for her own stupidity.

    Maybe all mall fountains should be removed?

  40. friendlynerd says:

    Anyone here who can see the woman’s face in the video, raise your hand. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    My point is that nobody would know who she was if she were not attempting to cash in on her own stupidity.

  41. Markitect says:

    Totally funny accident. Good luck trying to sue for privacy reasons when it happened in public. If it was me, I’d just sit back and enjoy my 15 minutes of fame. As it is, she has exposed herself to far more ridicule. Waa-waa-waa. Somebody call the wambulance.

  42. dolemite says:

    Her church friend is correct! Out of over 6 billion people on the planet earth, absolutely no one else walks like that!

    Also…the mall is public domain. What happens there is for the public to see. It’s not like her employer had cameras in the women’s locker room.

    If she got up and walked away, obviously she was ok.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Not really public in the same way as you walking on the street. That’s why there are usually surveillance warnings on the doors as you enter.

      • Chaosium says:

        “Not really public in the same way as you walking on the street. That’s why there are usually surveillance warnings on the doors as you enter.”

        It’s exactly the same as you walking on the street. The surveillance warnings are to proactively ward away shoplifters and vandals.

  43. fujii13 says:

    Sorry, if you do dumb shit in public, and it goes public, it’s no one’s fault other than your own.

  44. Zenaiah says:

    After reading the whole story, perhaps she is more peeved that the security people wouldn’t give her footage of the person who stole her phone later in the week and yet were happy to post this footage online for their own amusement……

    • Chaosium says:

      Nobody “stole” her phone, it was SOAKED IN WATER and she’s defrauding the phone company to avoid extra fees for having damaged it.

      You’re gullible as heck.

  45. The Cynical Librarian says:

    She’s also very classy; according to the Reading Eagle, she was in court this morning stemming from stealing a co-worker’s credit card and buying $5,000 worth of merchandise on it.

  46. HeyApples says:

    If I was the mall owner, I would put up a warning sign at the fountain. Except that the warning sign would be a video monitor with this clip on repeat.

  47. MaxedOut says:

    I’m thinking about suing this lady for wasting the air that I breathe. It’s amazing that people this damned stupid grow up into adults. You think they would be run over or drowned by now.

  48. OldSpinDoc says:

    Anybody can sue anyone for anything.

    Just look-up the story of the doctor suing the Florida restaurant for “allowing” him to eat a whole artichoke, which then clogged-up his gastrointestinal tract.

    Now, winning the lawsuit is another matter.

    But at least a few lawyers will make a buck!

  49. lunasdude says:

    sorry, not public place since it’s on Private Property.
    I know this all to well.
    Try taking a photo in almost any mall and see what happens

    • PhantomPumpkin says:

      They can ask you to leave. That’s it. There’s no law against it, unless of course you refuse to leave and they can press tresspassing charges, but the actual act that got you to that point is completely legal.

      Even in that situation, I wonder what a court would rule, as it is indeed private propery with public access. It’s quite different than someone walking into your house and snapping photos.

      • Papa Bear says:

        Absolutely correct. Simply because somethings occurs on private property does not mean that it wasn’t a public event.

    • Chaosium says:

      “sorry, not public place since it’s on Private Property.
      I know this all to well.”

      Private property can be a public space, goof.

      “Try taking a photo in almost any mall and see what happens”

      That’s because they do not want people taking pictures that can be used for liability against the mall, for security issues (scoping out a robbery) or for corporate spying against any particular store.

  50. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    “But back at work Sunday, the phone was stolen as Cathy helped customers in the store where she works.” Yeah, that’s right ahuh, the phone wasn’t ruined, no, it was stolen, because they won’t replace the phone for dropping it in a fountain.

    After reading her interview, she so much reminds me of a roommate I once had. He too, was a complete scumbag-moron who claimed to be a born again Christian (he used that to prey on the congregation) who also lost his driver’s license. He was a druggy that killed some innocent people while driving but that’s okay now that he’s ‘born again’. He was a pathological liar and always stealing stuff and using people. He tried suing us after he attacked me without provocation and ended up in the hospital with a split scalp from where he charged into a wall corner. She sounds just like him.

  51. Jimmy60 says:

    It’s quite obvious that phones need a camera that can be tilted slightly so that it can show, in a little window, where you are going. Texting and walking can be made safe. Somebody get on it.

    • arachne says:

      There’s an app for that. Not kidding. It’s called text n walk or something similar. Uses the camera on the iphone to show you where you are going with the text on an overlay.

      • Charmander says:

        I hope they make one for texting and driving, too. I hate it when I’m forced to look up from my phone to see what the car in front of me is doing.


  52. PeteWa says:

    “God” must have planned this. The walking, texting, recording and posting have been done according to his design. Right?

  53. Michael Bauser says:

    “She says she was texting a church friend who wanted to know her and her husband’s birthday.”

    “But a church friend of hers called her and said she recognized her from the way that she walks.”

    Personally, I think the real moral of this story is “Don’t have church friends.” They apparently just cause trouble.

  54. kriswone says:


  55. msky says:

    what a dumbass.

  56. u1itn0w2day says:

    Didn’t know or care about this woman until she sued the mall. Now I know.

    Uh, did she ever hear about hiding in plain sight. So what, her friend recognized her. Privacy is an issue but her name or even that a clear picture of her was released to the public. Yes releasing your employers property without permission is an issue but that is an issue for the employee and employer.

  57. nodaybuttoday says:

    “The woman says that instead of chuckling, security should have sent someone down there to help her.”

    Help her? Help her with what? She fell into the fountain and then immediately got out, seemingly uninjured. If you can’t text and walk, consider stopping one or the other, seriously.

  58. MrEvil says:

    Does anyone else find it a bit odd that the woman is suing because of a privacy violation and yet goes on the fucking national news with her lawyer about the lawsuit over the situation? If this woman was really concerned about her privacy she should just be thankful that nobody can make out her face in the video and she could just live on as the anonymous dumbass that was so pre-occupied with her texting that she walked into a mall fountain.

    Now we know its a double-dumbass on her because she works there and we know exactly who she is. The internets really don’t care who this dumbass is and wouldn’t have pursued the matter further.

  59. YokoOhNo says:

    this is what happens when you believe that invisible men in the sky control things…she should sue god for allowing this behavior to exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. horns says:

    Another sign that church people are just as evil as the rest of us. Forget about forgiveness and let’s make a quick buck.

  61. Buckus says:

    This lawsuit will get thrown out. She was in a public location with no expectation of privacy. Ask any Hollywood starlet about this.

  62. Xyjar says:

    Privacy is not implied when you know security cameras are watching you everywhere. Yeah it was rude of the security guys to leak this, but honestly, I would have done the same. People need to deal with this type of stuff like big kids. If it were me in that video I’d probably be sharing it to everyone I know too and laughing about it.

  63. bigd738778 says:

    NO fucking way was she texting a “church friend”, thats from her lawyer to get the right wing support. The woman is an idiot and it’s not the Mall’s fault nor security. The woman is stupid, period. I hope the lawsuit gets thrown out of court since laughing at a customers stupidity is not a crime.

  64. ecwis says:

    Headline is completely false. She did not sue the mall. She is not in the process of suing the mall.

    Shame on you Consumerist.

  65. Papa Bear says:

    This woman is nuts and her lawyer is a dirt bag! Unfortunately, people can sue for anything they want. To sue only means to file a complaint in civil court. Prevailing in that suit is another thing altogether. One problem is that many civil courts end up looking for causes of action in frivolous claims so they can make new law. Case law is as enacted law and much of tort law is case law or common law.

    Then there are the lawyers who are looking to get every dime out every case they can. Many take cases knowing they will lose just to get expenses. They know that there is little that can be done to them because they regulate themselves through state bars. State supreme courts may be the final arbiter, but most complaints against lawyers rarely get past the disciplinary boards.

    On the other hand, there has been an increase in sanctions from local courts inundated with frivolous suits. A good thing that we need more of. Also, we need to make people aware that not every little thing that happens to them is injurious. People just feel sorry for themselves and think they deserve something when, in reality, they should just suck it up. They just make it harder for real cases.

  66. glasscocked says:

    Them: “You want to sue me..me?”

    Her: “Sue everybody”

  67. ZukeZuke says:

    Wow, now following this embarrassing incident up with a lawsuit, where her name and the video are gonna get widespread exposure just confirms her innate stupidity. Wow.

  68. dush says:

    Omg, first driving and texting laws and now there will be walking and texting laws.
    Both stupid.

  69. INsano says:

    “The Dangers of Texting and walking”

    I’m here to warn everyone about the dangers of gravity, sharp objects and not washing your hands.

  70. bethshanin says:

    UPDATE: http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=12685189&sid=81

    She’s in trouble for Theft?

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Sure is in trouble for theft. No wonder she was worried about her ” privacy “. She’s on the lam. LOL

  71. bluline says:

    “We are troubled by the fact that anyone at the Berkshire Mall responsible for releasing this video would find humor in an employee injured on the premises,”

    What injury? She didn’t look injured to me.

  72. bluline says:

    “We are troubled by the fact that anyone at the Berkshire Mall responsible for releasing this video would find humor in an employee injured on the premises,”

    What injury? She didn’t look injured to me.

  73. damngregg says:

    This makes me embarassed to have grown up in this town. My mother used to work in this mall…never heard of anyone falling in the fountain for any reason. Of course she’s considering suing…of course.

  74. Pig_Farmington says:

    It’s the Mall’s fault that they don’t warn people that there’s a fountain in front of them.

    Does anyone else hate the direction society is moving to.

    Too funny. Texters like her deserve things like this to happen to them.

  75. ArgusRun says:

    She’s also a criminal. A repeat offender. A thief. A horrible person. I think God pushed her in.

  76. borgia says:

    Apparently the woman is currently going through the court for chriminal charges.

    Cathy A. Cruz Marrero, 49, was charged in October 2009 for using a co-worker’s credit cards to make more than $5,000 in purchases at two local stores.

    and has been convicted as well

    Marrero has convictions for retail theft four times and one other theft in New York from 1997 to 1999 and retail theft in York County in 1999. She also served a year of probation after being convicted of a hit-and-run charge in Berks County in 2009

  77. Noadi says:

    I’m totally going to side with the woman on this. A mall is a public place and if this had been a fellow mall patron recording her with a cell phone camera it would be totally okay. However this was security personnel deciding to laugh and release a video online they had no rights to (security camera footage belongs to the mall not the employees) instead of doing their jobs which would have been to check that she was okay and send someone to dry the floor so no one would slip.

  78. RyansChestHair says:

    It was bound to happen. Another person on unemployment due to stupidity.


  79. RyansChestHair says:

    She’s trashy and a thief! Thanks to the newspaper, her face will be CLEARLY seen by MANY!!!!!!

  80. EverCynicalTHX says:

    This says more about her character than any stupid accident. Hit and run and stealing from her friends/co-workers…she’s not only stupid, she’s also a lowlife.

    “The Reading woman who became an Internet sensation by falling into a fountain while sending a text on her cell phone was in Berks County Court on Thursday for a status hearing on theft-by-deception and related charges.

    Cathy A. Cruz Marrero, 49, was charged in October 2009 for using a co-worker’s credit cards to make more than $5,000 in purchases at two local stores.

    She also has several theft cases and a hit-and-run charge on her record.”

  81. EverCynicalTHX says:

    This says more about her character than any stupid accident. Hit and run and stealing from her co-worker…she’s not only stupid, she’s also a lowlife.

    “The Reading woman who became an Internet sensation by falling into a fountain while sending a text on her cell phone was in Berks County Court on Thursday for a status hearing on theft-by-deception and related charges.

    Cathy A. Cruz Marrero, 49, was charged in October 2009 for using a co-worker’s credit cards to make more than $5,000 in purchases at two local stores.

    She also has several theft cases and a hit-and-run charge on her record.”

  82. halo969 says:

    The mall should counter-sue her for contaminating their fountain.

  83. halo969 says:

    Uh oh, after reading about her record we might want to be careful or next thing you know she’ll be trying to sue all of us.

  84. OMG_BECKY says:

    Splish splash I was takin’ a bath!

  85. Baron Von Crogs says:

    The lawyer is assuming someone watched this happen live and failed to ‘help’. All those cameras are fixed, thus someone could’ve just rewound after they heard about what happend and recorded it on their phone for the lulz.

  86. Ducatisti says:

    I guess she needs money to pay off her other debts to society, including hit and run and theft.

    Sounds like a real class act. Hope this all really boomerangs on her in a big way. She’s damaged many other people’s lives, she should be paying instead of being paid.

    Looks like the security guard who posted the video got fired. Bummer.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Looks like the security guard who posted the video got fired. Bummer.

      How is that a bummer? It’s almost certainly against policy for the mall employees to post security footage like that.

  87. KhaiJB says:

    I think she’s just mad they put out there and she now can’t put it on America’s (un)Funniest Videos…

  88. Sword_Chucks says:

    Ha! Thats awesome.
    The problem with her suing, is the tape isn’t detailed enough to personally identify her. So, this shouldn’t be a privacy issue, by going out of the way and making it public on her own did she identify her self.

    She MAY have a suit for neglecting to help her, maybe someone wasn’t watching that monitor and found the video later.

    It may not be entirely appropriate to put the video online, but maybe this will help people be less stupid. Oh, and reasonable expectation of privacy, what if someone were just standing around taking video, caught it and uploaded it. She is in a public place, no reasonable expectation of privacy.

  89. Kingeryck says:

    It looks like she fell on purpose. Look at the way she raises her leg right before she falls in.

  90. 451.6 says:

    She’s got nothing. The Mall has already fired the security guard for releasing the tape. That’s the only thing that should happen. I hope the mall doesn’t cave to get her to go away. I think public support is squarely in their corner, so there’s no reason for them to do that.


  91. cromartie says:

    Malls are not public places, they are private places in most states, there’s roughly 30 years worth of court cases, starting with Lloyd Corp v. Tanner, that back this up.

    Second, when you enter the mall, the specific disclaimer denotes that you may be taped for “security purposes”. You can interpret this fairly broadly, including an event where a criminal act is committed against your person, or whether you commit a criminal act against the property or even, reasonably, a recording can be used as evidence in a civil case either for or against you.

    And, without any further notification or permission from the participants, that is where the line involving videotaping and the distribution thereof on private property without the permission of the participants on private property ends. (Except in California, which defines malls as quasi-private property for free speech purposes differently).

    Look, I find the incident as funny as the next person. And I do dislike it when someone in this situation can’t laugh at themselves and move on with their lives, particularly because there’s no clear way to identify who she is. (In which case, if she sues, she should lose, IMHO).

    But if her identity was verifiable, and a video of this was leaked by an employee of the mall, you bet your ass I’d support her right to sue the guard for distributing it, YouTube for generating revenue off of it as a distributor, and the Mall for employing the guard for damages.

  92. SnotSucker says:

    She’s thinking of suing because she has some bills to pay… her motive is being uncovered

  93. maynurd says:

    Seriously, how many people had the slightes idea who this woman was BEFORE she started drawing attention to herself???

  94. RiverStyX says:

    Hey, want to know something even worse? Some people drive 60 or even 80 mph barreling down the highway while taking their eyes off the road to text.

  95. phallusu says:

    you’re in a public place in public space so there’s no invasion of privacy and if she had been doing HER job of personal responsiblity that she is implying the guards lack-there’d be no trouble

  96. Rhizzo says:

    Honestly, this lady going to the media with her story is the only reason it has my attention. I saw the video, laughed, and was planning on going on with my life. Now that I know she may be suing, I’ll be following it more closely.

    If she want to preserve her privacy, and ultimately her dignity, she needs to drop the lawsuit threat.

  97. Mold says:

    How does one get hired by a store after convictions for retail theft? Seems she has a history.
    Don’t blame the lawyer, they have to work too. Might as well pout that eveel Michael Vick done hired him a plumber to stop a leaky faucet. How dare he!

  98. CWG85338 says:

    As long as the lawsuit is for the leaked video, and not for having a fountain for her to fall in, it’s understandable. If the mall management has integrity, they will settle before this goes to court. It was inappropriate to leak the video.

  99. Sword_Chucks says:

    Oh jeeze, this woman is just a scumbag. Stealing a couple credit cards from a coworker and spending $4177 at Zales, then another $1055 at Target. For both cards she changed the mailing address so the coworker wouldn’t get the bill. Somehow the bill from Target was dismissed.

    She also has a hit and run, running a stop sign, hitting a car which hit 3 other parked cars, then left the scene, while only on a learner’s permit.

    Seems her plan is to sue the mall for easy money so she can pay the good faith part of the $4177 restitution… sad sad sad.

  100. framitz says:

    Well, she has helped raise awareness of the dangers of texting while walking.
    It was inappropriate for the video to be posted and not send someone to check on the woman though.

    And it was funny.

  101. madfrog says:

    Get a life, lady. It’s your own damn fault that you are so obsessed by texting, you don’t what where the heck you are going. You and the woman who sued MCD’s for the too hot coffee should be deported to the land of really stupid people who need a life. Get over it.

  102. howie_in_az says:

    “Nobody [from the mall] called to see if I was okay.”

    “Police said Marrero allegedly used the credit account of a women she knows to buy more than $4,000 worth of purchases, then another $1,000 of the same person’s credit at Target.”

    So it’s very bad that nobody from the mall called her to see if she was OK but perfectly fine for her to steal another person’s credit card and charge $5,000 to it?

    wtf is wrong with people?

  103. Omali says:

    There’s an important lesson to be learned here.

    I would have never had the opportunity to see this girl make an absolute dumbass of herself publicly if she hadn’t threatened to sue. Thank you, Streisand Effect!

  104. nodaybuttoday says:

    So that’s not all. Turns out the fountain lady is in “deep water”! Get it..?! Ha…

    “But “The Early Show” has learned Marrero has recently been in court for a completely different reason: a status hearing on five felony charges — including theft by deception and receiving stolen property.”


  105. PupJet says:

    I thought it was funny to find out that she was currently going to court for fraud. That made me bust one right there.

  106. IraAntelope says:

    I agree they should not have gone public with the video without her permission, but, really, texting while walking into pools? If she had been texting while driving and drove into a river, who would she sue? God? This texting crap has gotten out of hand. Foolish people.

  107. Charmander says:

    She’s going to sue on what grounds?

    That the mall failed to protect her from her own stupidity?

    Thank god she didn’t walk into a baby stroller or a person in a wheelchair.

  108. verbatim613 says:

    “…and to raise awareness about…” — wanting her wallet to be fatter.

    • Chaosium says:

      “Raising awareness” is what people do for legless children and land mines, not being a grifter tool who looks for easy money.

  109. PBallRaven says:

    Defense for the mall: Prove that was you. Can’t identify from video image, so how do we know that is was you who fell in?

  110. FenrirIII says:

    Why do people who do dumb things continue their streak by always suing someone? It won’t get your dignity back.