f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 29, 2005

the Chamberlain Family: famous for not suing

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:34 pm

Just yesterday at Blawg Review #34, Phosita‘s Doug Sorocco revealed that
David Giacalone never ceases to amaze me with the stories he
finds, and this is a gem.”  In a Comment to Doug’s post, I confided that
most of my stories are just picked from the news here in New York’s
Capital Region.
Well, from that very source, comes a story that has gone national, balloonParade
because it seems too amazing to be true: Sarah and Mary Chamberlain were
injured (including a cut on Sarah’s head needing nine stitches
and a chipped tooth) by a giant M&M balloon during Macy’s Thanks-
giving Day Parade last week.  Nonetheless, despite the sympathetic
case, two deep-pockets defendants, and the Mayor Bloomberg’s
immediate appointment of a holiday balloon safety task force — her
dad, Stephen Chamberlain, has stated that he does not plan to sue
Macy’s or New York City.  According to the Albany[NY] Times Union,
Mr. Chamberlain (staff director for the New York State Public Employees
Federation) stated:
“It was an accident,” . . . The close-knit family feels extremely lucky, he said. “Looking to profit from something like this” borders on dishonesty, Chamberlain said.
Asked whether they should sue, Suzanne Chamberlain, mother of Sarah and
her bruised older sister Mary, added “What for? They’re OK. And that’s
the most important thing”Albany Times Union, “Sisters cope with their
accidental fame,” Nov. 26, 2005; NYNewsDay, “They still love a parade,” Nov. 25, 2005; via Overlawyered.com
balloonParadeN Their refreshing and surprising lack of litigiousness has garnered
the family more publicity and plaudits than they could have ever imagined.
Macy’s treated the family to a performance of the Rockettes and promised
reserved bleacher seats for next year’s parade.  Many tv shows and news-
papers have wanted interviews.  And, Sarah got her wish — to be on the
Ellen DeGeneres Show, which airs today, Nov. 29th, on CBS, at
4 PM EST.   WRGB.com, “More exposure of Chamberlain sisters,” Nov. 29,
2005)  Meanwhile Walter Olson’s weblog fans seem a bit incredulous, but
would like to nominate the Chamerlains for sainthood.
tiny check If the Chamberlains start a trend, there will be more p/i lawyers being laid off (see RiskProf, “Hey, Whaddaya Know?,” Nov. 29, 2005)  Of course, attitudes like this are even more likely to lead to associates losing their jobs.
instant update (Nov. 29, 4 PM):  A pointer at Overlawyered just led me to a very
good column by NY Daily News columnist Michael Daly: Greed Didn’t Suit Him
(Nov. 27, 2005).  Daly invites us to compare Stephen Daly’s attitude to an
“. . advertisement in the lead car of an uptown No. 2 train
that rumbled directly underfoot yesterday morning.
Accidents happen. And when they do … INJURYLAWYER.COM
1-800-LAW-KING … Recent settlements: $10 million, $6.25 million,
$2.5 million, $2million*
Daly advises: “The father’s words should be inscribed on a plaque and affixed to the base of the pole, memorializing a place in the city where a mishap occurred and nobody went to court.”
a   y
birthday balloons the one that doesn’t burst

autumn wind —
trying to keep myself
under my hat
leaves flying

fierce wind
street sweeper has
another coffee
statues in the square
the raised hand of the war hero
fills with snow
the anger from work
in my son’s birthday balloons
the gull with one leg       soaring

in the freezer,
three starter snowmen —
cloudless sky


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