Parade Watcher Loses Claim Over Coconut Toss

(CN) – A Mardi Gras parade watcher failed to prove that she was negligently bombed by coconuts from a passing float, a Louisiana appeals court ruled. “She did not try to catch them, nor did she try to take cover,” Judge Charles Jones noted.

     Daisy Palmer said Namaan Stewart hit her in the head with one of five coconuts that he tossed in rapid succession from a float during the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club’s parade in downtown New Orleans.
     The incident was captured by two video cameras, but both showed only Stewart tossing the coconuts. There was no video evidence that Palmer was hit by a coconut.
     Still, Palmer suffered a cut on her forehead and had to be treated for “anxiety, depression, a loss of interest in Mardi Gras, and nightmares of coconuts striking her,” according to the ruling.
     She sued Stewart and the parade’s organizers, Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, for negligence.
     The trial court sided with the organizers, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed.
     Judge Jones noted that Palmer knew that there were coconuts in the air when she chose to look down the street at the next float.
     “She did not try to catch them, nor did she take cover,” he wrote.
     Also supporting dismissal was the fact that Stewart had lobbed the coconuts underhand, and that the parade organizers had switched to lightweight, hollow coconuts that weigh four or five ounces, the court ruled.

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