ConsumerAffairs.com recently reported on a lawsuit filed by Michael Dion, who fell between a subway train and a moving station platform, a mishap that broke his pelvis and lacerated his internal organs. Unsurprisingly, Dion, who was trapped for half an hour before workers were able to get him out, was angry enough to file a $15 million lawsuit against New York City.
Now a Pennsylvania woman is considering legal action for a different kind of fall -- and one that didn't cause nearly the injuries that Dion's did.
It all started innocently enough. Cathy Cruz Marrero was texting while walking through the Berkshire Mall in Reading, Pennsylvania when, apparently distracted, she tripped and fell into a fountain.
It was a harrowing scene.
“I saw the water coming at me, I could see the pennies and nickels at the bottom of the fountain and then I was in it,” Marrero told The Reading Eagle in an interview.
Mall security not “professional”
Rather than pick herself up, dry herself off, and perhaps chuckle at the ridiculousness of the situation, Marrero has hired a lawyer to investigate what she says is the mall's negligence for not coming to her aid. She says that the mall's security guards stood around laughing at her, rather than coming to her aid and making sure she wasn't injured.
“My issue is I don't think security was professional because they didn't send anyone to check on me until 20 minutes later and I had already left,” Cathy told the Eagle. “Instead of laughing, they should have said, 'Is she OK?' and been down there right away to check on me,” she said.
In a separate interview with ABC News, Marrero said she was “dumbfounded” by the guards' behavior.
“And all I kept saying was, 'I fell. I fell. I fell in the fountain. I fell in the fountain,'” she said.
A YouTube sensation
Adding to Marrero's outrage, video footage of the incident was leaked by a still-unknown person and has gone viral on YouTube, gathering over 1.5 million views so far. Merroro is signaling that she will pursue legal action against whoever took the video.
“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,” Marrero's attorney, James Polyak, told MSNBC. “We intend to hold the appropriate persons responsible.”
But Marrero may have bigger fish to fry. According to CBS's The Early Show, Marrero is in the middle of a criminal case in which she is charged with five counts of felony theft. She allegedly charged $5,000 worth of purchases to a co-worker's credit card.
Poylak said that Marrero's criminal record, which also includes a hit-and-run conviction, has no connection to the incident at the Berkshire Mall.
“Her prior personal affairs have nothing to do with what happened to her at the Berkshire Mall and the video that has been posted,” Polyak told the Eagle.
Meanwhile, Marrero has some plum advice for all you kids out there.
“Do not text and walk,” she helpfully instructed on Thursday's Good Morning America.