In 2001, during a Met performance of Strauss's Arabella, Estelle Gilson stepped into an aisle to allow fellow operagoer Donald Taitt to return to his seat. Tait, who has Parkinson's disease, lost his balance and fell into Gilson. According to her lawyer, she then fell 12 rows down the aisle, tearing her rotator cuff and breaking her wrist, her nose, and a bone under her eye.
In her lawsuit, Gilson had held that the Met was responsible for her injuries because an usher did not accompany Taitt to his seat. The Court of Appeals rejected that claim, upholding the ruling of a lower court. According to the Post, the court ruled that requiring patrons to be accompanied to their seats "go[es] beyond the standard of ordinary care."