Not really hurt by cop’s negligence

He’s basically fine and so is his bike after being doored by the NYC officer, but friends advise suing anyway. Should he? New York Times ethicist Randy Cohen fields the question. [NYT Magazine]


  • If the guy had opened his door and hit a cop on a bicycle, he would’ve gotten a ticket (assuming it’s illegal, as claimed) and probably been charged with assault too, so yeah, he should sue.

    BTW, the ethicist’s answer to the Sharing Medication question was hilarious. I’m still amazed that people can be so wimpy and in such awe of rent-seeking “authorities”.

  • I’m with you, Le Mur – what, exactly, qualifies Randy Cohen as “the ethicist”? He was a comedy writer, if memory serves.

    Anyway, the suit Mr. Mann contemplates would have been what I’d call a very strong lawsuit against the City of New York. Liability is nailed down — almost a “res ipsa loquitor”, really. As to damages, a crafty plaintiff’s attorney could take the bumps and bruises suffered and turn them into allegations of brain injury, thus boosting the value of the case significantly. Has his spine been MRI’ed? I’m sure a bulge would be revealed, which could then be attributed to the accident, and boom! you have a spinal injury.

    I would be surprised if a plaintiff’s attorney couldn’t wring this opportunity for at least $12,000, leaving Mr. Mann with $8,000 and his lawyer with $4,000, less filing fees.

  • He’s lucky he is in NYC, in Ohio he would have been charged and billed for the damage. Traffic approaching from the rear has no right of way.

  • Mr. A.A.

    This scenario illustrates what’s all wrong with our legal industry and what this whole web site is about.

  • While I think the idea of suing would be a waste of time, I expect that what he is really looking for is an apology from the officer who knocked him down.