$5M ‘FALL’OUT FOR WEDDING SMASH – GROOVING GRANNY SUES CAMERAMAN
BYLINE: DAREH GREGORIAN The New York Post
August 30, 2002, Friday
Let’s go to the wedding videotape!
A Park Avenue woman has filed a $5 million lawsuit against a videographer, charging he gave her the wedding-bell blues – and a broken arm – by tripping her during a friend’s nuptials.
The videographer, Bill Poznanski, maintains Babette Gruenberg walked into him because she wasn’t watching where she was going – and he has video showing the “seriously injured” woman partying it up at the reception hours after the accident.
“This is a case of an elderly woman who had a few stiff drinks along with her heart medication who was not looking where she walked,” Poznanski’s lawyer, Susan Chana Lask, said in court papers.
She told The Post the suit is “meritless” and “incredibly ridiculous.”
The septuagenarian’s side contends Poznanski “was lying on the floor [at the time of the accident], which constituted a dangerous, hazardous and defective condition.”
The stumble happened at the June 5, 1999, reception for Peter Kaplan and Karen Adler at the University Club on West 54th Street.
Poznanski said he was shooting the wedding cake in an empty reception room when Gruenberg and a friend strolled in.
Gruenberg says in her suit that Poznanski was lying on the ground, and with no room to get around him, she tripped over his leg.
She says the fall left her with “severe, painful and serious personal injuries in or about the head, limbs and body,” including “contusions, abrasions, lacerations, fractures and sprains,” “severe shock to the nervous system,” “internal injuries” and “mental anguish.”
As a result, she was “confined to a hospital, bed and home for a long period of time.”
At Poznanski’s deposition, he said he tried scooting forward as he saw the pair approaching him and figured they’d just walk around him because, at 6-foot-3, he’s hard to miss.
“I was stunned they bumped into me . . . I’m not exactly too small,” he said, adding that he was holding his camera and shining its light at the wedding cake at time of the collision.
He said he thought Gruenberg was fine since she stayed at the party.
Lask said Poznanski’s video shows her two hours after the fall “having a ball . . . with her pocketbook slung over her alleged $5 million broken arm and a drink in the other hand.” She added Gruenberg didn’t go to see a doctor until two days later.
Gruenberg’s lawyer didn’t return a call for comment.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick is allowing the case to proceed. “There are issues of fact as to whether or plaintiff should have observed [Poznanski] prior to falling over his outstretched leg,” the judge found.
GRAPHIC: GRANDMA A GO-GO: Cameraman Bill Poznanski’s tape shows an “injured” Babette Gruenberg tripping the light fantastic only hours after her stumble.