2006_05_umbrella.jpgA relaxing day on the beach became a 15-pound umbrella to the head for a Lower East Side woman six years ago. And yesterday, NY State agreed to pay $200,000 in damages to Phyllis Caliano-Bahaj over the incident at Robert Moses State Park. The "profession style" umbrella turned into a "flying torpedo in the air, like a missile" during strong winds - one lifeguard said it was about 20 feet in the air before hitting Caliano-Bahaj. She needed 13 stitches for a cut on her forehead - and now has permanent nerve damage to her neck.

Caliano-Bahaj sued the state, but the state claimed the umbrella belonged to another beach visitor, not a lifeguard. However, a judge still found the state liable, because, as the Post explains, "the lifeguards should have ordered all umbrellas to be put away because of the windy conditions" - apparently the offending umbrella had been blown over once before that day - hence the settlement. Caliano-Bahaj and her lawyer Devon Reiff showed reporters a replica of the umbrella that hit her, and, boy, is that sucker big.

Photography from Tina Fineberg/AP