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Books: So Sue Me, Jackass!

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You know all those questions that you really want to ask when you meet a lawyer at a cocktail party? But you restrain yourself because you figure it’s not polite to ask a complete stranger whether you could get sued if you broke someone’s penis during sex. Well, our friend Robin Epstein and her sister Amy Epstein Feldman have written a book to save you the embarrassment: So Sue Me, Jackass! Avoiding Legal Pitfalls That Can Come Back to Bite You at Work, at Home, and at Play. “At Play” being our favorite topic, of course — like, who gets to keep the ring in a broken engagement? Are you really “common law married” if you live together for seven years? Can you claim temporary insanity and get out of your marriage if you were drunk when you said “I do”? And why the hell do mattresses have tags that say “Do not remove under penalty of law”? Anyway, about that broken penis…

Q: I heard about a case where a man sued his girlfriend for breaking his penis during sex. Two questions: (1) Can you really sue someone for damages incurred during sex? (2) There’s a breakable bone in the penis?

A: Though it sounds like the stuff of urban legend, a man really did sue his long-term girlfriend for fracturing his penis during sex. The case—”Doe v. Moe” (to protect the privacy of two people who went to court over really bad sex)—turned on whether or not you have to exercise reasonable care when copulating. Here are the facts of the actual case: Boyfriend and girlfriend are in “the act.” She’s on top with her legs wrapped around him. To increase her stimulation, she “unilaterally” decided to change positions, moving her feet near his abdomen without consulting him first. The woman then somehow “landed awkwardly” on her lover, breaking his dick.

Doe did what any red-blooded American who got his pee-pee broke would do: he sued his girlfriend. Classy. Now generally, as the plaintiff claimed, the law requires that reasonable care must be exercised to avoid injury to others. But since the court determined that because it’s not “workable” to establish guidelines for sexual behavior, adults must take care not to engage in “wanton or reckless conduct” while doing the nasty. What was the verdict? The court concluded that in this case changing position mid-nookie did not constitute wanton or reckless conduct. [Phew!]

So Sue Me, Jackass! is on sale everywhere starting today. For more information — or to ask them your own embarrassing question — check out SoSueMeJackass.com. We’ll be posting more excerpts at EMandLO.com in the coming weeks.

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