Distraction action

The Madison County Record Mar. 22, 2009, 2:39am

It's that time of year. March Madness invaded American workplaces this week. The two-day distraction sapped an estimated $1.7 billion of productivity from our economy.

So do you feel cheated? Did the distraction of the NCAA tournament cost you?

Then call Belleville lawyer Paul Storment, Jr., the Metro-East's distraction fighter.

Storment doesn't take distraction lightly, as evidenced by a complaint he filed in St. Clair County court last week. It demands $50,000-plus in damages from Somi Shoes, accusing the store of unjustly "distracting" client Khristine Randolph with its attractive window displays.

Strolling through the upper level of St. Clair Square indoor shopping mall, Randolph's mind was taken captive by the store and its effectively dreamy window displays of in-season high heels and jewelry.

Distracted, her lawyer claims, Randolph tripped and fell while entering the store.

The story reminds us of a recent trip to a local steakhouse. A New Year's diet was being practiced until the server rolled out a cart of desserts. Cheesecake. Tiramisu. Key Lime Pie. All were lusciously displayed.

Fortitude and will power disappeared. Or, according to "Stormentian" logic, it was taken away by this dastardly server and her dessert cart. Both were active agents of the restaurant owner, dead set on distracting customers into spending money they didn't want to spend.

Ms. Randolph suffered a similar fate. Innocently strolling past JCPenneys, minding her own business, Somi Shoes abruptly grabbed her attention. Imagine, one moment you're satisfied with the shoes on you feet. The next moment someone has so convinced you to buy new ones from them that it causes you to trip and fall. Someone has to pay for such conduct.

If distraction litigation catches on here in the Metro-East, we all certainly will.

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