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

November 30, 2006

noisy-shower condo lawsuit ain’t sunk yet

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 2:18 pm


You may recall that we had a lot of fun earlier this year writing about the water-torture lawsuit brought by Denver lawyer Sheldon H. Smith, on behalf of his parents, against their condo neighbor Shannon Peterson — the suit was based on her allegedly tortious, too-early and too-noisy morning showers. [See our prior posts: get that lawyer out of my shower, Feb. 28 2006; and water-torture bathtub lawsuit still afloat, April 26, 2006, which have lots of links to newspaper and weblog coverage, including Walter Olson’s  Overlawyered.com posting, which brought the matter to our attention.]   The Smiths wanted special-ed teacher Peterson to shower no earlier than 8 A.M.

showerHead  To no one’s surprise, Peterson’s friend and lawyer J. Michael Dowling submitted a motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim.  We had asked for feedback from Lawyer Dowling, and he was good enough to leave the following Comment yesterday, at our original posting:

“The court recently denied [our] motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim asserting that there may be a claim if one doesn’t allow your neighbors’ plumbers into your apartment. “

Thus, the lawsuit is still afloat.  As we reported last April, Peterson had told the Denver Post that: ““I’ve done everything I can think of to work this out,” she said:

“I’ve had maintenance men remove all my tile and insulate the pipes. I’ve had sound engineers measure my unit and others in the building. Nothing’s abnormal. Even the homeowners’ board investigated and told the Smiths they should install sound barriers in their unit.”  

If this goes to trial, of course, the court will hear evidence on what the parties (and their plumbers) did and didn’t do, and when.  Perhaps condo law and tort experts will let us know just how much Peterson should have done, and how often, to avoid liability.  We will keep you posted.  Meanwhile, I get to reprise some of my favorite shower and bathtub haiku and senryu.




in the shower
an economy size bar of soap
lands on my toe


by Tom Clausen – Homework (Snapshot Press 2000)



midwinter bathing–
his head, the moon
in the water

in dawn frost
at the bathhouse door

mountain village–
even the horse bathes
in pure water

. . . by Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue


January thaw –
the cracks reappear
in the birdbath

. . . . by Yu Chang – Shiki Kukai (April 2000)


from the shower
a sad love song –
bathtub cricket


the shower massage   showerHead
finds her navel —
buddha smile


headful of suds
the shower
turns cold.

. . . . .. . . . .  . by dagosan


  1. […]  p.p.s  Although my posting today at f/k/a, “the noisy-shower condo lawsuit ain’t sunk yet” (Nov. 30, 2006), isn’t about self-help law, it is about housing, so I’m going to assert Editor’s privilege and point to it.   The cases shows that an irked couple with a lawyer son can bring a pretty silly lawsuit — and, that having a lawyer friend represent you for free doesn’t always bring about a quick resolution.    […]

    Comment by shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » are nyc housing courts too tenant-friendly? — November 30, 2006 @ 9:01 pm

  2. Updates…

    Recent developments on past stories: * Remember Shannon Peterson, the Denver condo owner who got sued by a neighbor who complained that she was taking baths too early? (Feb. 27). The case is still dragging……

    Comment by Overlawyered — December 1, 2006 @ 12:20 am

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