NYC lawyer loses $100K suit over healthclub that stopped supplying yogurt and cereal

Richard Katz, a NYC lawyer, has lost his breach-of-contract lawsuit against a pricey healthclub that changed its breakfast menu. Katz was a member of The Setai Wall Street Club and Spa, and he was upset when the yogurt and cereal normally provided by the club was discontinued. He sent a series of upset emails to the club's manager, who cancelled his membership. Katz sued, citing damages in excess of $100,000, and an additional $5,000 in damages for an alleged libel from the manager, who wrote an email in response and is alleged to have shown it to a third party. Lowering the Bar has more:

To me, the great thing about this email is not that a lawyer got furious over somebody failing to dish up the yogurt and cereal. It's that even in the grip of this fury, he still wrote "two (2) weeks." Why do people do this? Maybe it made sense when things were written in longhand, but now that we have email and printers and whatnot there is generally not much controversy over what "two" is supposed to mean. If you haven't picked up this habit yet, don't...

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Coin dismissed the case this week, according to the New York Daily News. While there seems to have been no written opinion, according to the manager's attorney the judge told Katz at the hearing that "he should be ashamed of himself" for filing the suit. That's hearsay, but the judge did order Katz to pay $440 in costs, which suggests what she thought of the case. The manager's attorney praised the decision for throwing out a case that was "embarrassing to the profession."

Lawyer's Defective-Breakfast Suit Dismissed

(Image: Yogurt freak, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from dan4th's photostream)


  1. Ah yes, lawyers and their “lawsuit culture”, expecting us to quiver in fear and ignorance at the Latin mass in the court of law, heretofore and theretofore, nolo contendere, etcetera.

    In the same spirit, I visualize these Grima Wormtongues whispering in the ears of CEOs, prodding their egos with a sense of injury because some freckled student in the University Of Oklahoma downloaded a bunch of MP3 files, and justice must be served, goddamit!

    Isn’t it time to declare these entitled imbeciles as “enemy combatants”?

    1. Exactly. Many lawyers are true terrorists, or qualify as organized criminals at the very least. Here in L.A. a group of lawyers went down main street suing every restaurant (it doesn’t matter for what), then offering to drop the suits for a few thousand dollars. And most of the restaurants complied, as putting up even a minimal defense would cost them much more. Welcome to justice in America! And lets not forget that the government is full of these monsters.

      1. A group of lawyers went suing every restaurant, offering to drop the suits for a few thou. Most restaurants complied.

        Gotta be one of the most infuriating things I’ve heard so far this year.  Gleefully abusing the system with malice… what does it take to be disbarred?

        Lets not forget that the government is full of these monsters.

        Gotta be the most depressing bit of insightful perspective.

  2. “but the judge did order Katz to pay $440 in costs”
    Congratulations, Dick!  That’s $440 that you could have spent on yogurt and cereal instead.

  3. $100K in “damages”?  Damages to what?  His upper and lower GI?

    This cat should be sanctioned by the Bar.

    1. It’s potentially double-hearsay, since the blog is repeating what the attorney said the judge said.  But really, it’s not hearsay, as it is neither being offered into evidence, nor being used to prove the truth of the statement

  4. he still wrote “two (2) weeks.” Why do people do this?

    To emphasize their temper tantrums.

    1. I do it for fun sometimes.  First came across it in references to invoices from the turn of the last century and found it inexplicably charming.  Norton Juster used it in The Phantom Tollbooth in the titular booth’s shipping manifest.

      “One (1) genuine turnpike tollbooth,
      Three (3) precautionary signs, to be used in a precautionary fashion,” etc.

      It kinda emphasizes the formal legalese, I suppose.  I had occasion last week to use the convention when ordering some large external firewire drives via email.  To avoid confusion, I wrote that I needed “three (3) 2TB drives and one (1) 3TB drive.”  I suppose I could have written “3 2TB drives and 1 3TB drive,” but I like to avoid potential embarrassment for my vendors.  Call it an overabundance of caution coupled with a fusty state of outdatedness.  You may have noticed that I still put two spaces after every period, too.

    2. That is not uncommon in contract drafting where amounts of things, dates, ordinals, and headings with numbers might be swimming around the document.  

  5. I am still trying to wrap my mind around sending so many irritating emails (about yogurt and cereal) that your membership is cancelled. That’s a long, slow temper tantrum. Suing is just the final act of throwing yourself to the floor and holding your breath.

    What a jackass.

    1. I wonder how the first “incident” went when the person behind the register/food bar said we no longer have your usual yogurt and cereal…
      Something tells me it wasn’t a calm rational reaction.

  6. You people who are all deriding the lawyer are forgetting one thing:
    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

  7. This idiot is cut from the same sputtering-moron cloth as that derpface who tried to sue the dry cleaners for millions because of an incredibly minor quibble. #firstworldproblems doesn’t even begin to cover “$100,000 in damages because of a change in the snack bar menu.”

    #entitledlawyerassholeproblems more like it.

  8. How many emails did he sent? What were in those emails? Given that he already paid for membership, can she just cancel his membership just like that? Did they refund the membership fee he paid?

    What did she say in the email that amounts to defamation? We need more details.

    You guys see this as a lawyer being a dick for suing over a small matter. But I see it differently. What if you find yourself in dispute with your club, and they suddenly just decided to cancel your membership in response?

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