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Mirror Falls and Shatters, Injures Woman in Yoga Class

in Lawsuit-asana, YD News


Holy shards of horror. A woman in Portland was injured by a mirror crashing down on her in yoga class and now she’s suing the yoga studio and glass company who installed it. Talk about the worst position to be in when a huge piece of glass pops off the wall and shatters into a million sharp pieces. We could pass this off with a silly comment about reflective revenge — because we love karmic puns! — but Mary mother of mirrors this is a terrible accident we’re glad wasn’t way worse.

Earlier this year, Lindsey Eltinge was minding her own breath in savasana when all of a sudden the large section of glass came loose and fell across her body, cutting her legs and severing a nerve in her ankle requiring emergency surgery.

It was pratyahara at its finest. “My eyes were closed, and I didn’t see it, I didn’t hear it, just all of a sudden I was in excruciating pain and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why,” said Eltinge.

Neither the yoga studio, CorePower Yoga, nor the glass company, DT Glass, assumed responsibility, so Eltinge filed a $455,000 lawsuit to cover the $40,000 for past medical costs, $10,000 for future medical costs, $5,000 for lost wages and $400,000 for pain and suffering.

That sounds like an awful lot for pain and suffering (which we yogadorks will forever find hard to understand: how that’s quantified by monetary compensation), but when you think about how vulnerable we all are in savasana and the kind of trauma an enormous piece of reflective glass shattering over your entire body and almost cutting your foot off might incur, perhaps that amount’s not out of the acceptable range? (Ed. note: It’s not to discount this woman’s pain and suffering, which is surely indisputable, it’s how this translates to money. Is her trauma worth 200k? 400k? 500 kajilion? How to arrive at the number for something that is so deeply personal and non-material is the perplexing part.)

We sometimes make fun of mirrors in yoga class — yoga is an inward practice! sigh* — but forget all that. This, THIS would be our reason numero uno not to practice in front of them. And hey, you might want to steer clear of the ceiling fans and lighting fixtures while you’re at it.

*We know there are some benefits to practicing with a mirror. This is not one of them.

Image via The Oregonian courtesy of Sean DuBois



10 comments… add one
  • Carly

    Ouch. This article is written with such mockery, disdain, and “humor”. Meanwhile, a woman did NOTHING WRONG to make this happen, has glass break all over her body, and suffered a “severed nerve”. I just really HAD to say something about the tone of writing in this article. Really?!? Not funny.

    • Elliene M

      Completely agree with you. Who on earth is the blogger to say that you can’t put a price on pain and suffering? This woman’s life will never be the same; her activity will be limited and no court in the world or big apology can restore her health. Our legal system can only offer financial compensation which will, hopefully, allow her to obtain some pleasurable experiences — I’m sure she’d gladly give up ever dime to have not suffered the injury and the trauma. The tone of this entry is rather off-putting and only contributes to the opinions so many hold that yoga devotees are weirdos with their heads in the clouds…or maybe stuck somewhere else. Very odd blog.

      • YD

        Elliene, to clarify, it’s not that she doesn’t deserve something for what she went through, it’s that it’s such a strange system to offer money for trauma, even though that’s pretty much the only thing that can be done after the fact, since it can’t be undone unfortunately. Plenty of people sue for pain and suffering all the time, and it’s not a comment on yogis being “weirdos” but on how they arrived at such a number. In all honesty, trauma of that sort or of any sort doesn’t seem translatable to a sum of money, as the feeling of being safe is priceless. Hope that clears it up for you!

    • YD

      Hi Carly! Thanks for commenting and reading the blog. The intention behind this post was not mockery or disdain in the least. If you’re not familiar with the writing on this site it might have come off a different way for you. In any case, this is clearly a super terrible situation and we’re glad it wasn’t much worse, as mentioned above.

      • Carly

        Frankly, I don’t care about the lawsuits or monetary damages. I just know that if I were attacked by a mirror, ceiling fan, or 8′ grizzly bear in MY yoga studio – then my husband had to come home from overseas, I had to have surgery, and family members helped me function on a daily basis, I wouldn’t want someone making Batman-style (BAM! POW!) quips about it. “Holy shards of horror” “Mary mother of mirrors”.

        YD is a pretty clever blog for us Yogis. And totally voluntary reading, right? 😀
        Namaste’ and Bestest Regards! C

  • Robin

    I agree that this is a serious matter. But my question is what about the insurance? The yoga studio did not assume responsibility? Is there a waiver for that? As an independant yoga teacher working for a non-profit, all my students pay an annual “membership” of $16 which covers any injuries during the classes as well as any damage to the room caused by a student. Maybe it’s different in the US (I teach in France) but I could not imagine teaching without insurance. And this is an example of why. Do other teachers/studios insure their students?

  • rebecca

    I guess I read the tone of the article very differently because I didn’t hear the author being dismissive towards the woman who was injured. I read quite the opposite and agree with the authors comment that it was a terrible accident. Too bad the studio didn’t take responsibility which is what I would have expected to happen. I noted that it was one of the big chain studios right? perhaps that wouldn’t be the case in an independently owned studio where in my experience the owner is very present and invested in the students. Just a thought.

  • Jerome

    This is interesting as it’s something that DT Glass would obviously be responsible for, but say they are not. I wonder if it’s because of the heat? I know CPY does have hot classes.

    Anyway, I have been to this studio, but always was nearer to the door.

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