P. Diddy’s new rap version of “Send in the clowns(?lawyers)”.

Saw a great article in the NY Post today about P. Diddy accidently tossing a diamond ring into a crowd of fans in a mid-town studio. If losing a ring worth $20,000.00 wasn’t bad enough it was allegedly decided to frisk the crowd/fans of about 160 by security staff before they were allowed to leave. The Post story also contains some Twitter posts from crowd members and they didn’t seem too happy.  One Twitter post quoted in the Post story noted “When it was over, diddy held us hostage looking for his lost ring. don’t like him anymore.”

Losing the affection of fans may be the least of Diddy’s worries. How long do you think it will be before the crowd “lawyers up” and sues everyone in sight? This could be a nightmare for Diddy since any insurance he might have may well not apply to this situation leaving him to hire lawyers to defend any lawsuits out of his own pocket.

There was a case awhile ago reported by the Village Voice in which a bunch of kids on their way to a funeral were stopped and frisked by the NYPD. In the end the City of New York ended up paying $257,000 to 16 of the kids/plaintiffs. That works out to approx. $16,000 per plaintiff. In the Diddy matter there seem to be approx. 160 potential plaintiffs. If the all settled for $16,000 it comes out to a total of $2,560,000. That doesn’t include the fees and expenses of lawyers to defend the claims which could add a few hundred thousand more dollars to the potential total. So whoever make the (alleged at this point) decision to frisk the audience essentially ended up risking over $2.5 Million dollars to recover a $20,000 ring. That’s just bad decision making.  But there may be a silver lining, these days those who make bad financial decisions are eligible for government bailouts.

One final note (if the story is true) whoever made the decision to frisk the audience or carried out the frisking could possible by guilty of the crime of Unlawful Imprisonment. It has been years since I practiced criminal law but if you unlawfully prevent someone from leaving a place against their will you might be charged with this crime. It may well be that the New York County District Attorney’s Office will look into this situation. According the Diddy Wikipedia page that office previously indicted and failed to convict Diddy on weapons charges stemming from an incident at Club New York in 1999. Prosecutors tend to have long memories and celebrity defendants are tempting/career making targets.

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