NEW YORK (AP) - A TV daredevil and the Empire State Building’s owners are poised to settle the landmark’s $12 million lawsuit over his April 2006 parachute-jump attempt, lawyers for both sides said.
Court records show the building owners’ civil case against Jeb Corliss was closed last week, and his lawyer said a confidential deal has been reached. Lawyers for the building said Tuesday the agreement hadn’t been finalized yet, but they anticipated filing final paperwork next week.
Corliss is “very, very pleased with the resolution,” said his lawyer, Mark Jay Heller. “It’s been a tremendous drain and emotional strain on him.”
Corliss is a BASE jumper _ the acronym stands for “building, span, antenna, earth” _ who says he’s made more than 1,000 successful leaps from structures and cliffs around the world. He lives in California.
He was the host of a Discovery Channel program called “Stunt Junkies” when he donned a fat suit with a parachute hidden underneath and went up to the 102-story Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observation deck on April 27, 2006. He stripped off the disguise in a bathroom, put on a helmet with a video camera and scaled a fence at the edge of the deck. Security guards stopped him by grabbing him through the fence.
Corliss was later convicted of a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to 3 years’ probation and 100 hours of community service. The Discovery Channel dropped Corliss after his arrest.
He told the jury he didn’t “think there was anything wrong with what I do” and believed BASE jumping should be a right.
The Empire State Building’s owners saw those remarks as a continuing threat to trespass at the storied skyscraper. The lawsuit also argued that the stunt attempt harmed business at New York City’s tallest skyscraper, in part by forcing an hourlong shutdown of the observation deck.
Corliss denied those allegations and said the handling of the incident caused him emotional distress.