Jeb Corliss Lawsuit Update

A few days ago, I posted about Jeb Corliss, the man who attempted to BASE jump from the Empire State Building, and his lawsuit against the building’s management.

I have found a video of the incident and it has tilted my opinion just a bit.

I still think that his defamation suit is doomed to failure, and I do hope that it fails. I sympathize with Corliss, but I like the First Amendment more.

On that day, Mr. Corliss was arrested for reckless endangerment (a charge he later beat). Watching this video, it seems to me that the security officers themselves were the only ones who recklessly endangered anyone. Corliss thinks so too, and is also suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress. I think that an impartial jury could find for him now that I have watched this video. Unfortunately for Mr. Corliss, I still think that the Building’s defense attorney will have a pretty easy time playing on non-skydiver’s prejudices about the sport.

Here is the video, and afterward, Corliss’ statement. You decide. Did these guards needlessly and recklessly endanger Mr. Corliss? I’m convinced that they did. I’m just not convinced that it adds up to intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Now, Corliss’ statement (gathered from youtube)

This is footage of the empires security staff grabbing my legs as I stood on a 4 inch ledge. I was the only person on that observation deck that had training in base jumping. I was the only person on that observation deck that understood how base jumping equipment worked and I was the only person that no one was listening to. If my parachute had opened while the security was holding on to me I would have been yanked from their arms and I would have impacted one of the buildings ledges 4 floors down. The fall could have killed me. I had to keep my back as far away from the security as possible. My parachute was being held in with velcro. Had the security put their hands behind my back they could have forced my parachute open. I knew that if they hand cuffed me to the bars and my parachute were to open my arms would be severed and I would fall to my death. So I tried to keep them from hand cuffing me. But eventually they did hand cuff me and I started telling them that if my parachute opened my arms would be severed and I would die. NO ONE WOULD LISTEN TO ME. Finally after repeating, if my parachute opens my arms will be severed and I will die many times one police officer looked at me and said ” what did you just say” I repeated my self again. He told me to take the rig off. I told him I was sown into it. He pulled out a knife and started cutting. I said please don’t cut me. He said cutting you is the least of your worries right now sir. I agreed and he cut the rig off me. Once the rig was cut off and I was finally safe I said I will climb over the bars now. They said they couldn’t let me climb over the bars because I could fall. I said you didn’t seem to care about that 5 minutes ago. But they said I would have to wait till a harness got there. They then put a net over me and I waited for a harness to get there. They then decided that they were going to remove a small part of the fence by removing a few bolts. I told them it was totally unnecessary but they did it anyway. I could have easily climbed back over those bars.

Now, the only person whose life was in danger that day was mine. The security was on the other side of 11 ft high security bars. It was physically impossible for them to fall from the building in their position. If I had fallen at that point I would have hit a ledge 4 floors down hurting no one but my self. If you would like to learn more about the technical reasons why it was impossible for me to squash someone on the ground if I had jumped you can go to I write in my blog about the technical information behind my jump…

He makes a good point, no?

13 Responses to Jeb Corliss Lawsuit Update

  1. Xof says:

    Go Hard Jeb!

  2. Jonathan Oxx says:

    Jeb you had a chance there to jump from the top of the fence, but you dropped down. …And you told me you’d never get caught. it’s all good homeboy. let’s go surfing sometime. Jon Oxx

  3. Mikey says:

    To Corliss and Co,

    This is called “taking a dump in someones backyard”. These people did not ask for you to do this. Major ego trip so you can sell some clothes. It is greatly hoped that you lose the 12 million dollar lawsuit and go to jail. You are not cool, and you do things in places that you are not welcome.

    I.G anyone?

  4. JJC says:

    “You are not cool, and you do things in places that you are not welcome.”- Clearly you need to do more research on him before you say something like that. There are no laws preventing someone from BASE jumping. Yes it may be trespassing in some cases but most of the time he is jumping from places that are completely reasonable. Maybe if you watched some videos on him then you would respect him more. Do more research before you judge next time “Mikey”. He stayed calm and kept his composure throughout that entire sequence of events. It’s not an ego trip. It’s his life.

  5. Bob Haning says:

    Had Jeb Corliss taken the time to obtain permission for the Empire State Building jump I would be in total agreement. The video clearly shows he waited until the guards were facing away, then he burst through a door and onto the fence immediately, with quick deliberation. The guards DID attempt to stop him before he topped the fence – HE refused to comply and went over the top.
    I believe the young man should drop the lawsuit (his attorney sees big dollar signs, as does Mr. Corliss) and go quietly on his way. The fence is there for a purpose and no one should have the (perceived) right to go out of his or her way to scale it. This is another example of a “You made me do it!” mindset, which is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Go away, Corliss, you don’t have the right to sue!

  6. James Crain says:

    The problem with obtaining permission is the whole “obtaining” part. Havnt you heard Bob its easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission and its obviously true in this case lol. Man im going to laugh my ass off if he wins this lawsuit. GO CORLISS!!!

  7. JG says:

    Mikey you are either an idiot or you got beaten a lot in school by other kids and now have major psychological issues. either way i feel sorry for you. JJC said it all for me, I hope everything turns good for Corliss if he doesnt win the law suit at least to avoid jail and paying em back. You make us proud mate!! keep it up!

  8. JailBait says:

    I hope he gets the full extent of the law thrown at him, he needs to serve time for this, his continued above everyone else attitude is a joke. Maybe a little jail time will calm him down. The guy is a douch bag.

  9. chino says:

    Hey jeb, it’s chino the guard with the long hair in the video. Again i’m there for you if you need me. i no longer work for the empire state uilding so i have no obligation to them. holla back

  10. Adelphi says:

    “I will fall and I will die if you do not let me go.” Jeb sounds like what he is–AN IDIOT! Did he really expect these men to say, “Oops, sorry, you’re right. You’re the parachuting expert–we are the ignorant idiots”? How the h@ll are they supposed to know that he’s just another jerk trying to make a name for himself? For all they know he is a suicidal man who’s planning on taking a header off the Empire State Building. As for “respecting” him, I don’t respect people who waste taxpayer money. Times are hard enough without the city having to waste resources on people like this. JJC: You’re probably right, there are no laws against BASE jumping, but that’s just an example of the law lagging behind the depth of people’s stupidity. They’ll get him on trespassing and, hopefully, update the lawbooks to include this latest idiocy.

  11. Karl says:

    Comment deleted due to terms of use violation.

  12. jay says:

    Like they say… If you build it, they will come. Jeb wasnt gonna jump it to promote stuff. he was gonna jump it to jump it. Im pretty sure there arent too many BASE jumpers with the empire state building on thier resume. Maybe they should open it once a year like they do with petronas towers in malasia. but you know the us gov’t would never do something like that.. That building will be jumped again, as will El Cap as will every other tall object that exists. We dont randomly jump off things whenever we can, we research every jump and do it as safe as possible.. sometimes others dont think its safe, but that jump would have been safe… and it would have been a SICK video. and they coulda arrested him at the bottom.

  13. Agreed. The problem with American authorities is they are infested with flunkies — idiots with no ability to rationally think problems through. “Because I said so” becomes the rule of the day, leaving no flexibility. Well, any fool knows that something which will not flex will eventually crack.

    The once-a-year availability of the Petronas Towers is a great example. The Malaysian authorities have some intelligence about them. They realize that BASE jumpers are a reality. They can either prohibit jumping altogether or they can open the towers once a year, let a few jumpers get their jollies, and then if they arrest someone for jumping on a different day, they certainly seem a lot more reasonable.

    As far as BASE jumpers being careful goes, Jay speaks the truth. I have never made a BASE jump. The reason being that I don’t think I have the mental discipline required. The planning and attention to detail that BASE jumpers put into their sport is rivaled only by NASA planning a space mission.

    There may be reasons to criticize Mr. Corliss. He certainly isn’t a saint. However, if I were below a building and someone said Jeb Corliss is jumping off the building, I wouldn’t be worried that I was going to either be injured or see something bad. I would, however, whip out my camera!

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