Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Paramedic Sued for Stealing Crash Victim's Severed Foot

Legally Weird is full of weird stories that often seem too bizarre to be made up. Here's a little story of two people by the name of Cynthia Economou and Karl Lambert.

The story goes like this: Lambert, of Florida claimed that Cynthia Economou stole his foot after it was severed in a car accident. Economou, a paramedic, admitted to taking the foot, but said she did it to help train her body recovery dog. Even with such a unique excuse, you're really not supposed to just take people's severed limbs.

Economou was charged with second-degree petit theft. "It was an unrecognizable mass of flesh ... It wasn't a clean cut. You couldn't even recognize it as a foot.... If I had thought it was somehow reattachable and usable, I would have gone to my commander," she said at her sentencing, where she received six months of probation.

But of course, it's not over yet! Karl Lambert is suing Economou, along with the St. Lucie County Fire District, the NY Daily News reports. Lambert's suit calls Economou's actions "odious and utterly intolerable." Lambert contends that if Cynthia Economou promptly delivered the foot to the emergency room, they might have been able to reattach it, but that now it will never be known.

So what can we learn from the case of Cynthia Economou and Karl Lambert? Don't steal people's feet? Well, sure, but at its core, the broader lesson is quite simple: don't take other people's things, even if you think you have a good reason. That goes double for when we're talking about things that involve life and literally, limb.

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