How to beautify a fountain

by Walter Olson on August 30, 2013

FHFountain1

All it takes are a few warnings for the benefit of visitors who might not otherwise realize watery surfaces are wet [Chevy Chase, Maryland; courtesy Carter Wood]

{ 12 comments }

1 John Burgess 08.30.13 at 9:56 am

This is unkind.

Rather than yellow pyramids, there should be recent law school grads standing by the fountain with claims forms. As there are obvious design flaws with the fountain and its surroundings, there’s someone who is liable for the inevitable slips and falls. This should be the bread and butter of young lawyers aspiring to riches.

Maybe those young lawyers can sue the county for unfair restraint of trade?

2 peter 08.30.13 at 11:16 am

Dont dismiss those law grads just yet. After all those caution pyramids don’t provide any information of what the hazard is. It may be obvious to us all, but remember no-one is more stupid than a litigant in search of a lawsuit.

Let us not forget that the caution signs are themselves trip hazards (but maybe one caution sign is there to warn against tripping over the other caution sign. If so, what is the third sign for?)

3 DEM 08.30.13 at 11:34 am

Somewhere, a trial lawyer smiles, knowing he has made the world a safer place. After all, how many ankles must be broken in service in our desire to gaze upon a beautiful fountain?

4 wfjag 08.30.13 at 12:50 pm

@peter
“Dont dismiss those law grads just yet. After all those caution pyramids don’t provide any information of what the hazard is. It may be obvious to us all, but remember no-one is more stupid than a litigant in search of a lawsuit. ”

Perhaps Mr. Gee, the cat owner from Oregon, will bring his cat to Chevy Chase, MD, and it will fall in, and he can sue there on the grounds that the warnings do not warn of the dangers posed by wet cats?

5 Yong En 08.30.13 at 1:19 pm

What design flaws? You would have to be a special kind of idiot to walk into water and not expect to slip.

6 Bob Lipton 08.30.13 at 2:29 pm

New around here, Young En?

Bob

7 E-Bell 08.30.13 at 2:30 pm

Peter: Let us not forget that the caution signs are themselves trip hazards (but maybe one caution sign is there to warn against tripping over the other caution sign. If so, what is the third sign for?)

I present to you the case of American Multi Cinema v. Brown, 679 S.E. 2d 25 (Georgia 2009), in which a movie theater patron sued after tripping and falling over a yellow caution sign.

Lest we judge Ms. Brown too harshly, said sign had been knocked down during the crowd’s rush to leave the theater and so she did not see it. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of Georgia cited to two other Georgia appellate cases for the proposition that a properly-erected caution sign is not, as a matter of law, a tripping hazard (even if it later gets knocked flat).

8 jesse spurway 08.30.13 at 2:51 pm

I only speak Greek, so those signs mean nothing to me.

9 prior probability 08.30.13 at 4:09 pm

Or, as Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution might say: the culture that is Chevy Chase, Maryland

10 Bumper 08.30.13 at 6:34 pm

Disney World has several fountains like this throughout the parks. I find it amazing that small children, some not even old enough to read, can figure these out, so it must be that the adults are having problems. Why else would they need signs to signify that water is wet?

Maryland sure does seem to pop up a lot in these pages. I wonder why…

11 kimsch 08.30.13 at 7:54 pm

I started to slip on some water near the bakery at the grocery store today. So I told a bakery worker that there was some water on the floor. And I stayed to show her where it all was. That is all. No suits. Holding onto the cart kept me from falling.

12 Bill Poser 09.02.13 at 2:07 am

Kimsch@So you’re Canadian, eh?

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