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Texting Teen Takes Tremendous Tumble

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the watch-where-you're-going dept.

Idle 15

The Narrative Fallacy writes "We've all heard about the dangers of texting while driving, but 15-year-old Alexa Longueira from Staten Island recently learned a painful lesson about the hazards of texting while walking when, preparing to send a text, she stepped into an open manhole, scraping her arms and back as she slid into the sewer, which had some muck at the bottom. The manhole had been left open briefly by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) just as workers were grabbing some cones to cordon off the area. 'It was four or five feet, it was very painful. I kind of crawled out and the DEP guys came running and helped me,' Longueria said. 'They were just, like, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"' DEP spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said in a statement that crews were flushing a high-pressure sewer line at the time. 'We regret that this happened and wish the young woman a speedy recovery.' After being released from Staten Island University Hospital, Longueria's parents say they are planning to file a lawsuit and displayed their daughter's injuries to a photographer from the Staten Island Advance. Longueria's mother said doctors were concerned about possible spine damage suffered in the fall and want a follow-up MRI. Her mother added that she was particularly upset about the sewage. 'Oh my God, it was putrid. One of her sneakers is still down there.'"

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Can I sue the parents? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692041)

IF the manhole really was left uncovered for only a moment, then this lawsuit is absurd. No reasonable person expects to be able to walk down a street or sidewalk with their head in a book or device and not be at risk. I expect another McDonald's coffee verdict - a ridiculously high initial reward, followed by a reduction to something "reasonable" where "reasonable" takes no account of the millions spent on legal fees, court resources tied up, lives disrupted, etc. all for a simple mistake that the girl in question walked away from.

Re:Can I sue the parents? (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28692083)

KIDS THESE DAYS! I like the people who text while they are driving more... I want to see one of those lawsuits.

Re:Can I sue the parents? (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28695049)

Honestly. To quote her mother from the link, "Something like that should never have happened. There should have been cones in place, there should have been a man in place."

Ok, first, CONES do not stop someone. They're just to provide a more obvious warning sign (as if the maintenance trucks aren't enough). And they want someone to stand guard over the manhole at all times? Hey, how about we place people by every light pole in case a texter walks into one? Or crossing guards at every street? Oh, but you don't want to pay for them I bet.

Your daughter ignored her surroundings and got a very distinct reminder to not do it again. If this happened in a savannah, she'd be tiger food by now.

Moron (2, Insightful)

teknosapien (1012209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28698291)

yes there is a basic protocol for open man hole covers fenced off or a person making sure that no one falls in, this was not the case. reasonable safety precautions to protect the public were not taken into consideration in this case. A light pole is something all together to different it doesn't change configuration as a man hole does when left uncovered. Lastly she doesnt live in the savannah so

Re:Can I sue the parents? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28698575)

No Tigers in the savannah... nor manholes, for that matter, but I agree wholeheartedly with your idea

Re:Can I sue the parents? (1)

unix_core (943019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28700821)

Ok, first, CONES do not stop someone. They're just to provide a more obvious warning sign (as if the maintenance trucks aren't enough).[...]Your daughter ignored her surroundings and got a very distinct reminder to not do it again..

Maybe she was busy looking at the trucks to see what they where up to?

Yeah that right (2, Funny)

Lazypete (863757) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693745)

Im sorry i forgot to teach my kids to look where she walks, so instead of admitting im a idiot, i'll sue the city for not looking where my kid was walking. Dont you watch before you cross the street ? Well its the same damned thing...

one word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28695877)


Cordoned off (3, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696935)

Actually, proper civil engineering procedure where I come from requires you to physically cordon off the area before opening any hole in the street. Any system that depends on proper behaviour of passers-by is an unsafe one.

Re:Cordoned off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28698357)

Granted, the area should have been cordoned off before the man hole was opened. The teenager is not without fault.

I've seen people texting while walking and walk into other inanimate objects. Safety is a two way street. It requires all parties actively participate in the safety of themselves and others. Barriers, physical or otherwise, will only dissuade those that understand the risk from entering. Clearly this teenager failed to understand the risk associated with being distracted in publicly shared space as did the construction crew.

Re:Cordoned off (1)

BrunonurB (1598085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28699017)

While I do agree with that policy, you've got to admit she's at fault. You can't expect the government or it's agencies to guide you through your entire life, if you can't even walk down the road without falling through manholes, you're truly in trouble. Not to mention she was texting, so the fault is at her own. Think about it, say a teen is driving in their car and decides to shoot off a quick text. She goes off the road down a hill that had no guardrail and slams into a tree. How is it even remotely ethical to then sue the DOT because they didn't put up a guardrail?

Re:Cordoned off (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28709471)

It's nothing really new, though. My father once saw a guy crash his bicycle into a car because he was reading a comic book while he was pedaling. That was a very long time ago.

Ethical to sue? Hang on, how many lawyers have you met?

Re:Cordoned off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28762201)

I'm guessing that even if cones and tape were there she would have tripped over those and gone in head first.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28736093)

i warned her, "look out for that man, ho!"

stupid is as stupid does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28738069)

I seen an accident and the driver didn't get out of the car until he finished texting. Was he tweeting that he rear-ended someone, or was he searching for a lawyer?

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