The Curious Case of the Falling Moose Head

Bizarre lawsuit story has a twist

By Jennifer Millman
|  Thursday, Dec 31, 2009  |  Updated 7:46 AM EDT
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The saga of the falling moose – ahem, caribou – head continues. The story broke earlier this week: A patron sued a trendy Lower East Side restaurant after a 150-pound stuffed animal head (with antlers) fell on her, causing a concussion and chronic pain.

Raina Kumra, 32, filed a lawsuit against the White Slab Palace and its owner, claiming that the restaurant exhibited negligence in the Oct. 4 incident because the establishment is supposed to prevent 100-plus-pound things from falling on customers who eat there.

However, if one witness account is true, it may not be the restaurant's fault at all.

A Brooklyn artist told the Daily News that the moose head didn't randomly fall from its post on the wall. The 44-year-old source says it wasn't Kumra's fault either, but that of another patron, who began tugging on a balloon string tied to the moose's antlers.

"She was pulling on the balloon. I thought, 'That looks dangerous,'" the witness told the News. "The girl was sitting right under it."

He told the paper that Kumra had been hanging out with a bunch of NYU grads in the White Slab's back room when the moose came crashing down on her. The source even produced photos he snapped of the animalistic scene – a massive moose head lying on the ground at Kumra's feet as the victim massaged her aching scalp.

"I took the pictures because I thought she might need them later," the source told the News, indicating he expected there may be a lawsuit. "She was holding her head. She said her head hurt."

The owner of the Lower East Side restaurant didn't immediately return a telephone message. Nor did Kumra, who is representing herself in the case.

She's seeking unspecified damages. The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

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