’Tis the season for the Christmas tort. For lawyers, Christmas remains a horn-of-plenty for the practice of law. Indeed, mayhem and madness have been part of Christmas since its very founding. Thus, each year we gather for the posting of the annual list of Christmas torts and crimes. Fortunately, the holiday is much more than the entries on the criminal or civil dockets. However, these cases remind us all that, even when chaos lurks around holiday gatherings, we somehow survive and return year in and year out. So Happy Holidays to everyone.
This year, we saw the ultimate Santa mishap when the jolly elf thought it would be fun to dispense with the reindeer and paraglide with a sled filled with presents near Sacramento. The problem its that the reindeer can steer away from obstacles and Santa ran into a power line. The miracle is that the sled hit the power lines just right and Santa was sitting in a way that avoid electrocution. Santa was red-faced but saved. The presents were delivered by more conventional means.
Other mishaps are more reflective of the season. Dr. Fauci insisted that Santa could not spread Covid-19 because he has natural immunity. Strangely, however Fauci later said that he vaccinated Santa — seemingly a conflict in the scientific data. Even worse is the fact that Santa is accused of being a super-spreader in Belgium where 61 of the home’s 169 residents and 14 staff members at an elderly home have tested positive after the elf visited. This will undoubtedly be the subject of a congressional hearing on what Fauci knew and when he knew it.
This year’s Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center had its own inter-species tort when an owl was found in a tree driven from upstate New York. This false imprisonment tort however addressed by a relocation to a forest and the owl appeared entirely without counsel.
The greatest tree moment remains the one caught on tape by Aubrey Iacobelli of [ … ]