We are on vacation in Florida today. Two of my kids were on the beach playing a game called Kadima. That's a game involving oversized paddles and a small soft squishy ball. Anyway, my son hit the ball way over my daughter's head and he ran to get it.

As he was approaching the ball, I saw him drop to the ground and start screaming in pain. He was grabbing his foot, staring at it. I ran over to find out what was going on. What I saw what shocking.

His foot was bleeding and he was screaming. On his flip flop was a spiny sharp needle sticking up through the sole of his flip-flop. Under his flip-flop, on the sole, was a dead small catfish with razor sharp whiskers that were dried up, spiny and sharp as a knife.

My son stepped on this dead fish and the spiny whisker penetrated the sole of his flip flop and punctured his foot about 2 inches in. Not a pretty sight. Not fun.

I couldn't even yell at my son for not wearing flip flops on the beach since he was wearing them while playing on the beach!

After I carried him from the beach to the pool (a significant task since he weighs 80 lbs and it was a sizeable distance, at least it felt that way as I was carrying him)  I made sure there was nothing in his foot and he was slowly calming down, I began to think about who was responsible for this awful incident...

  • Hmm...a dead fish on the beach.
  • No property owner to point a finger at.
  • Nobody around who might have eaten the fish and thrown it nearby.
  • My son was an unknowing victim of an unfortunate combination of events.
  • What about the manufacturer of the flip flop? Should they have designed their rubber/foam sole to withstand penetrating spiny beach needles? I honestly don't know and to tell you the truth, I wasn't going there.

The bottom line...

There was nobody who was truly 'responsible' for this terrible incident. My son will do fine as he recuperates and milks this event as much as possible. I really felt bad for him though. (He did get a virgin banana daquari with whipped cream while soaking his foot in the pool which made it feel a little better!) Sometimes, there is no one to hold accountable for an accident and that's a fact.


Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer