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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Riss v. City of New York

Headnote

Should the government pay for a failure to protect an individual citizen from harm? For six months, a rejected suitor threatened to kill or maim the plaintiff if she did not give herself to him. Plaintiff pleaded with the police for protection, to no avail. After plaintiff became engaged to another man, she received a phone call warning her that it was her ‘last chance.’ The plaintiff begged the police for help once more, but was refused. The next day, a hired thug threw lye in the plaintiff’s face, blinding one eye, partially blinding her in the other eye, and permanently scarring her face.