Like most big cities, Los Angeles is home to a number of shady neighbourhoods that do not usually show up on tourist maps. Awash with violence, drugs, gun crime and robbery, these areas are best avoided unless you are a gang member or documentary filmmaker.
Esther Shapiro recently found out the hard way exactly how dangerous the City of Angels can be after losing both her front teeth in an incident that took place last year.
However, Shapiros’s attacker was not a drug-crazed gunman demanding money, but was actually a lowly piece of sidewalk that tripped the screenwriter as she walked along Restaurant Row.
After a particularly nasty face-plant, Shapiro was left with a bloody nose, broken teeth and minor cuts and bruises. The creator of Dynasty now wants the city of LA to cough up more than $25,000 to cover her medical bills and loss of earnings.
Therefore, she insists the sidewalk was directly responsible for her painful fall and subsequent trip to hospital.
Esther Shapiro is best known for creating the hit TV show Dynasty alongside her husband Richard Shapiro. The series followed the lives, loves and catfights of an extremely wealthy family living in Colorado.
One of the show’s most popular characters was played by Joan Collins who turned the fledgling series into the number one TV show in the US during 1985. Other notable actors included Heather Locklear, John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Rock Hudson.
As well as Dynasty, Shapiro also wrote several TV movies and was an executive producer for a number of TV series that aired during the 80s. However, Dynasty remains her greatest achievement and even spawned a spin-off show named The Colbys that ran for two years.
Fans of Dynasty were delighted when the show made a return in 1991 for a miniseries entitled Dynasty: The Reunion. The four-hour miniseries was broadcast in two parts and finally brought closure to the original series that ended in a cliff-hanger.
Due to the phenomenal success of Dynasty, Shapiro is already pretty well-off and is not exactly struggling to pay her medical bills.
Filing the lawsuit is most likely an expression of anger and dented pride rather than actual financial hardship. However, demanding compensation from a city is not the most ridiculous celebrity lawsuit that has hit the headlines over the years.
In 2010, Lindsey Lohan sued a company named E-Trade for a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. The commercial featured a baby named Lindsay that is referred to as a ‘milkaholic’.
Lohan’s lawyers argued that the name Lindsey is primarily associated with the star in the same way that the names Madonna, Cher and Bono all refer exclusively to famous musicians.
The prosecution also claimed that the advert poked fun at the actress’s recent troubles that involved several stints in rehab and having to wear an ankle bracelet that monitored her alcohol intake. The case was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum that Lohan was reportedly more than happy with.
Whilst a celebrity falling over is usually a humorous occurrence, Esther Shapiro is only five years shy of becoming 90 years old.
The legendary producer could have ended up with much more serious injuries and actually had a lucky escape. America is well-known for its booming ‘compensation culture’ where trips and falls are no longer a part of everyday life.
A skinned knee or a bumped head can turn into a payday for the injured party. This is especially true if the victim happens to be famous.
Whilst the $25,000 that Shapiro is demanding will not make a difference to her already bulging bank account, it will certainly help her feel better and show the LA city council that tripping celebrities with rouge paving slabs is simply unacceptable.