The global fashion magazine March 1, 2024 
Out now: Lucire issue 48, with free shipping for UK and US


Breaking an umbrella is cheaper than losing a pair of pants


September 14, 2008/12.57

Anyone who sues someone over an umbrella—for a million dollars, no less—deserves to have their claim thrown out of court.
   As anyone reading this can guess, this lawsuit arose in New York. Where else?
   While the media do not always give a complete story, it appears restaurateur Nello Balan (of Nello’s) lent a model, Le Call, his Jean Paul Gaultier-designed umbrella and it was returned to him in two pieces.
   This appeared to have upset Balan so much that he sued for a million dollars, a tad more than the $5,000 value of the brolley.
   Financier Nathan Rothschild was also sued as Call claimed to have given the umbrella to him, and it was Rothschild’s chauffeur who returned the item in two pieces.
   The lawyer, William Beslow, was ?ned (albeit a mere $500) by the judge for bringing a frivolous claim.
   It sure wasted the judge’s time: Justice Madden had to write an eight-page opinion and had the case sent down to a small claims’ court.
   Imagine if Call and Rothschild had misplaced the umbrella. That, if we were to use the case of Judge Pearson and his missing pants (The Wrong Trousers, without Wallace and Gromit), could have produced a legal claim at $65 million.
   As I said last year with that vexatious lawsuit, Americans should not be worried about politicians giving them a bad name on the international stage. The stereotype is more than fuelled by Pearson and Balan. I realize they are the exceptions, and Justice Madden was right to kick out this latest, silly claim that can’t have arisen in normal minds. It not only preserves the judicial system, it saves the American character from ridicule.

You may also like
culture / New York / publishing / society
Filed by Jack Yan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *