Other contestants comfort Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, center, after she was incorrectly crowned Miss Universe at the Miss Universe pageant Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. According to the pageant, a misreading led the announcer to read Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner before they took it away and gave it to Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. AP
Only for damages, but not to dethrone the Philippines’ third Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, according to legal experts.
This as reports circulated online that Colombian lawyers were mulling a suit against the Miss Universe organizers for the confusing end to the Dec. 20 beauty pageant, where Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez Arévalo, was briefly crowned the winner only to have to hand the tiara to Wurtzbach after host Steve Harvey admitted his mistake.
Former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, chair of the Binibining Pilipinas 2015 panel of judges that crowned Wurtzbach in the country, believes that while lawyers may sue for civil damages, they may not take away the Philippines’ crown.
De Lima said the suit “would essentially be a civil case to be determined under the state laws of Nevada, where the pageant was held.”
“Assuming that Nevada’s laws on torts and quasi-delict are anywhere similar to our own, then anyone who feels that she has been aggrieved by any negligent or mistaken act that is not otherwise justified may use for redress, compensation and vindication,” she added.
A tort is a wrongful act that causes someone loss or harm, leading to the legal liability of the offender. Quasi-delict is a French legal term that refers to how negligence causes harm or damage to another.