Showtime Beats Lawsuit Over Scary 'Dexter' Subway Poster

Dexter Final Season Key Art - P 2013

Dexter Final Season Key Art - P 2013

Showtime isn't responsible for the injured ankle of a woman who says she fell down the stairs at Grand Central subway station because of a "scary" Dexter ad, a New York judge has ruled. 

Anjanaffy Njewadda in February 2015 sued the pay cable network, claiming the sight of an oversized photo of Dexter star Michael C. Hall caused her to panic and fall down the stairs, injuring her foot and ankle in the summer of 2013. She claimed Showtime intentionally and negligently created a hazard for pedestrians by placing a "disturbing, provocative, shocking and fear inducing" image on the stairs and argued the New York City Transit Authority, MTA and CBS were liable for negligence for allowing the ad to be placed in that location.

The defendants asked the court to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Njewadda's reaction to an advertisement is an unforseeable act that doesn't impose liability and she failed to state a cause of action.  

Judge Shlomo Hagler last week sided with the defendants, finding there's no evidence Showtime or CBS owed Njewadda a duty of care, that they created a dangerous condition or that they had any obligation to maintain the subway stairwell. Hagler also found that MTA has no liability, as its role is limited to financing and planning and does not include operations. NYCTA is also off the hook because "it is uncontroverted that there was no defect or dangerous condition on the stairs but rather plaintiff's fall was caused by her reaction to the Dexter Advertisement under the stairs."

"Plaintiff argues at length that defendants' placement of the subject DEXTER Advertisement under the subject stairs 'induced a violent, disturbing and shocking reaction to commuters and  pedestrians thereto as they traversed up and down the stairs' in Grand Central Station," writes Hagler. "However, plaintiff has failed to plead a cause of action for intentional or negligent emotional distress and relies solely on causes of action for negligence. A cause of action arising solely out of the placement of an advertisement is not a cognizable cause of action in New York."

Read the full decision, below.