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Thursday, April 15, 2004   |    Non-Fiction

Great Moments in Pantyhose Jurisprudence

by Richard Grayson.

Since the 1959 invention of pantyhose, this single-garment combination of underpants and stockings has been mentioned time and again in the decisions of American appellate courts. Here are the highlights:

In trademark dispute, pantyhose and tights not equivalent because pantyhose show the leg through the material while tights are opaque and can be worn as outerwear.
Kiki Undies Corp. v. Promenade Hosiery Mills, 411 F. 2d 1097 (2nd Cir. 1969).

Patent covering a “combination panty and stocking” did not cover all such garments but was restricted by its terms to those pantyhose constructed with a single U-shaped seam running from front to back through the crotch area and having no intervening crotch-piece.
Tights, Inc. v. Acme-McCrary Corp., 541 F. 2d 1047 (4th Cir. 1976).

Decedent’s suicide by hanging herself with own pantyhose at Bayonne Municipal Jail not the result of negligence on the part of jail personnel for failing to remove pantyhose when they took her earrings, shoelaces, and gold chain prior to incarceration.
Kocienski v. City of Bayonne, 757 F. Supp. 457 (D. N.J. 1991)

Contract provision regarding amortization applied to all the defendant’s pantyhose, not merely those bearing the Sheer-to-the-Waist label.
Doral Hosiery Corp. v. Sav-A-Stop, Inc., 377 F. Supp. 387 (E.D. Pa. 1974).

In prosecution for larceny, trial court not in error when it permitted a witness to testify concerning the value of four cartons of pantyhose which defendant had stolen.
State v. Carter, 211 S.E. 2d 813, 24 N.C. App. 688 (1969).

Criminal defendant’s counsel not ineffective in the testing of garment to determine whether victim’s foot had been cut off while wearing pantyhose when testimony indicated there were strategic and tactical considerations in attorney’s decisions regarding the pantyhose.
Stoppleworth v. State, 501 N.W. 2d 325 (N.D. 1995).

Plaintiff, held by store personnel after being accused of stealing coupons from pantyhose packages, established a prima facie case of unlawful detention because a 35 cents-off coupon did not meet legal definition of merchandise.
Liptak v. Rite Aid, Inc., 673 A. 2d 309, 289 N.J. Super. 199 (N.J. App. Div. 1996).

Workers’ compensation commission acted correctly in denying benefits to employee injured in a car wreck during lunch break; retrieving new pair of pantyhose to replace damaged one not considered part of employment duties.
Coble v. Modern Bus. Sys., 62 Ark. App. 26, 966 S.W.2d 938 (1998).

Conviction for robbery of pizzeria overturned on basis of testimony that witnesses could not ascertain whether defendant was wearing both legs of pantyhose or only a single leg.
State v. Jackson, 621 N.E. 2d 710, 86 Ohio App. 3d 568 (Ohio App. 1993).

Richard Grayson is an elderly recluse who leaves his apartment only for daily mall-walks in Brooklyn's Kings Plaza Shopping Center. In 1979, his first book, With Hitler in New York, was called "really funny" by Liz Smith in The Daily News and "where avant-garde fiction goes when it turns into stand-up comedy" by Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone. It's all been downhill from there. A chronicle of his decline is at