Weak Toilets Make For Strong Lawsuits

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Here’s a new one: A judge has ruled that a 7-year-old Brooklyn girl may sue the city for injuries she sustained before she technically became a resident—when she was still in her mother’s womb. Sarah Elizabeth Leighton was only [a 14-week-old fetus] when the toilet on which her mom was perched collapsed at the Brooklyn public school where she worked. The family claims that the fall ruptured Mom’s placenta, and Sarah was born prematurely. So what else could the Leightons do but sue the city for $1 million on their daughter’s behalf?

Sarah's parents claim that her asthma symptoms and learning disabilities are a direct result of her early birth. City lawyers argued that the child had to have been able to survive outside the womb at the time the injuries were sustained if she is to recover damages. Eh, semantics. A judge originally agreed, but the decision was just reversed.

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