Do you remember Jeb Corliss? He’s the clown that tried to BASE jump off the Empire State Building in 2006, got busted by security, and then sued the building claiming emotional distress. I know, I know, that sounds even dumber than the claim of being fired for being too sexy, but it’s true, he actually did make such claims as I wrote about a year ago: Empire State Building v. Jeb Corliss.
Well, first he was convicted of reckless endangerment, and sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours of community service. Then his lawsuit for defamation — he claimed it was defamatory to claim his conduct was illegal, a concept that fell by the wayside upon his conviction — and his claim for emotional distress, were tossed out.
Justice Jane Solomon wrote that “Preventing an individual from jumping off of the 86th floor of the Empire State Building is neither extreme nor outrageous,” (h/t Overlawyered).
And just to make sure he got the point, the judge also banned him from ever setting foot in the building again. Why do that? Presumably so that if he tries again, and again endangers the lives of the pedestrians on the street below, a future judge can add contempt of court to the charges that he will face.
He was also fired from his job as host of the show Stunt Junkies. And the Empire State Building’s lawsuit against him for disrupting its business will be allowed to go forward, meaning that he might stand to lose a pretty penny in cold, hard cash when this is all over. Unlike the overwhelming majority of injury cases, it’s rather unlikely that there is an insurance company standing there beside Corliss for his intentional act.
Was all the publicity worth it?
Maybe he can commiserate with ‘too sexy’ banker Debrahlee Lorenzana who is now the laughing stock of New York (because with two wars, a crappy economy and a massive oil spill, we need something to laugh about). They’d make a great couple in the never-ending pursuit of celebrity. They could even make babies together: Imagine the offspring of a dipsy banker and a brainless stunt junkie. I know there’s a joke in here waiting to get out, but I can’t really top what the two of them have already accomplished, and besides, their abuse of our court system saddens me too much.
You see, when people go into the courthouse for “regular” lawsuits over real wrongs and real injuries, it is the high-profile nonsense that jurors will have have read about. It’s the nonsense lawsuits — the outliers — that get all the attention, and they get it for just that reason, they are outliers. And that taints the jurors’ perceptions of the justice system, and makes everyone more cynical about how our judicial system operates.
Jeb Corliss and Debrahlee Lorenzana may have made fools of themselves,but they have hurt others who actually need access to the courts.