While law is serious business and has make or break consequences for those affected by an action or situation, it does not hurt to look at the lighter, funnier side of law sometimes. Does it have one? Damn well it does.
Below we go on to discuss some funny, outright weird and bizarre personal injury cases that will leave you in side splittig laughter.Thieves Get Justice Too!
The Terrence Dickson case is stuff of urban legends, and often invokes laughter in legal circles. The story goes like this, Terrence Dickson made his living by robbing people. So while he was on business, burglarizing a house one day, he got trapped.
He tried to escape from the garage door. However, that door refused to give in. Next, he tried to escape through another door. His bad luck, that one wasn’t functioning well either. The family was out on vacation. Dickson got trapped and had to remain in the house for eight days. He was stressed and hungry, and survived only on dry dog food and Pepsi.
So when the owners returned, he filed a 0,000 case against the house owners for severe depression and extreme mental anguish he had suffered in the house. Shell shocked? Wait; the strangest part of the story is yet to come. A jury awarded him 0,000 for his woes and suffering.
If Not Death Then Cash
Frustrated and upset at life, a woman in New York City tried to end her life by lying down on the subway tracks. She was waiting for a train to run over her and kill her. That attempt of hers was however thwarted as the train didn’t cause her death, but merely injuries.
She then went on to sue the city of New York for the injuries she suffered. In an even stranger turn of events, she was awarded .1 million by the State Supreme Court.The Poor Man’s Michael Jordan
In 2006, Allen Heckard of Portland sued Michael Jordan for 6 and Nike founder for the same amount. He claimed that his uncanny similarity with the hoops legend caused him emotional pain, and suffering, defamation and permanent injury.
He felt extremely uncomfortable being told every time that he looked like Michael Jordan. He could not attend religious services, ride public transportation, play sports in public parks or eat at a restaurant without being mistaken as Jordan, and this caused him immense mental damage. Being compared to a superstar was extremely humiliating for him.
Well it seems that Heckard finally came back to his senses, and dropped the lawsuit later. And in case you are wondering why Nike was sued, well here is the answer. Well, according to him they were the reason Jordan was a celebrity and that made them part responsible for his mental trauma as well. Bizarre! That’s what we think too.Rapunzel Won the Reward
In December 1997, Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in another city. Her claim was that she fell from the club’s bathroom window to the floor and broke her front two teeth.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes now. Ms. Walton was in the bathroom and was trying to sneak out through the window of the ladies room to avoid paying the cover charge. The jury however awarded her ,000 and dental expenses.Beverage Blues
A certain Ms. Amber Carson received 3,500 from a restaurant in Philadelphia when, she slipped on a cold drink on their floor and broke her coccyx. The decision was fair enough considering she received injuries in the restaurant’s premises. However, the real twist in the tale, and the reason this verdict was strange, was because the cold drink on the floor was spilled by Amber Carson herself 30 seconds earlier when she tried to throw the drink at her boyfriend.
No Job, No Money
School and college kids are getting smarter every day and here’s proof. In 2009, Trina Thompson of New York sued her Alma mater, Monroe College, when she remained unemployed for months after her Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. She filed a case against the institute and sought to recover ,000 she had spent for tuition while in school. She was awarded ,000.Fear Factor
It seems even Hollywood was not spared from the clutches of personal injury lawsuits. Cleanthi Peters filed a ,000 case against Universal Studios in 2000. Her claim was that she suffered extreme fear, horror and mental anguish after her visit to the Halloween Horror Nights Haunted House of Universal Studios.The Bear Doesn’t Get You the Beach or Babes
You probably already know this one, because it’s epic; and will always maintain its spot on the list of bizarre lawsuits filed in human history. When we look at an advertisement that shows beaches, beautiful girls and good looking boys emerging out of nowhere, we probably take it as a fantasy, an imagination. But this was not the case with Mr. Richard Burton. He sued Anheur-Busch of Bud Light in 1991 for showing that drinking Bud Light would transport you to tropical locations, and surround you with beautiful girls. He claimed that the ads made false claims and were misleading. He claimed to have suffered emotional distress, mental injury and financial loss in excess of ,000 due to these inappropriate advertising. This man definitely did not know the difference between fact and fiction.
That’s what the court thought too and dismissed all claims.
The Coffee Catastrophe
And what better way to sum up this list than to mention the famous coffee catastrophe of McDonald’s. Stella Lieback became synonymous with a strange sense of consumer empowerment. In 1994, Stella Lieback, an elderly woman was burned by a coffee she bought from the food giant. She claimed that the coffee temperature was higher than the average brew temperature and there was no warning given about the same by McDonald’s. She attributed her burns and injuries to McDonald’s. She demanded McDonald’s compensates her for her medical expenses, and the mental turmoil and anguish she had to endure. McDonald’s refused this out of court settlement, and Lieback was eventually awarded a whopping 0,000 as compensatory damages, and 2.7 million as punitive damages.To Conclude,
While these cases might give you a good laugh, it cannot be considered for a moment that personal injury lawsuits are trivial. “Personal injury lawsuits in fact form one of the most empowering legal procedures for the wronged to get justice. When an individual faces physical damages and mental and emotional distress due to another individual or institution’s activities, he deserves to get justice and be compensated appropriately.” Says a personal injury attorney from Atlanta.
Almost all attorneys offer first consultations for free. Consult a few attorneys about your case and pick the one who understands your case, empathizes with you, genuinely feels for your cause and has a successful track record in such cases.
Michael Horst is an experienced trial Attorney at Van Sant Law. He has vast experience in commercial litigation, including construction disputes, automobile dealerships, commercial lending, and financial companies. He joined the law firm to help individuals and families pursue their claims against negligent people and companies, and to fight back against unfair insurance practices.