To be able to make personal injury claims means that we all have the opportunity for compensation should something untoward happen to us, which isn’t our fault. Additionally the fact that people have the chance to claim against guilty parties means that people and (especially) companies are forced to take more responsibility for their actions, products and procedures.
Amongst personal injury claims for those in car accidents or after a fall which wasn’t their fault, there are also people making claims which might seem a little crazier.
Perhaps the most famous, and the one that started it all off was the case of 79 year old Stella Lieback who suffered third degree burns from spilling McDonalds coffee on herself. It seems that they were serving coffee at about 180°-190°. Although they received over 700 complaints, they still continued to serve their coffee at the same temperature. Although Stella only asked for her medical bills to be paid, McDonalds refused which prompted Stella to take them to court.
Bud Light Beer Ads
We all know about the concept of beer goggles, but beer lover, Richard Overton was apparently so emotionally distressed that beautiful women didn’t appear in front of his eyes when he drunk the beer, that he (unsuccessfully) sued Bud Light makers – Anheuser-Busch for false advertising. His claim detailed that he had suffered from mental injury and a financial loss of over $10,000 as a result of the misleading advertising.
The effect of films on people´s behaviour has been widely discussed, but maybe the family of Patsy Ann Byers took it a step too far. In 1996, they sues Warner Bros, Oliver Stone and other people involved in the making of the film, Natural Born Killers, after Sarah Edmondson and Benjamin Darrus went on a shooting spree and shot Patsy Ann Byers, leaving her paralysed from the chest down. This was made up as part of the law suit filed against Edmondson and Darrus, and this part was thrown out of court.
Michael Jordan and Nike
Most people would love the idea of looking like a celebrity, but not Allen Heckard. In 2006 he sued Michael Jordan and Phil Knight (founder of Nike) for $832 Million due to the defamation, permanent injury and personal pain and suffering that he experienced thanks to him looking like the basketball player. He later dropped the charges.
David Blane and David Copperfield
The whole point of being a magician is to perform tricks which seem to defy science. David Roller, of Minnesota, USA tried to sue David Blane and David Copperfield for 10% their total income for life and demanding that they reveal how they do their magic tricks as they are apparently using ´godly powers´ and defying the laws of physics. The icing on the cake was that he not only believed that they were using ´godly powers´, but actually that he was god and therefore they were stealing his powers.
The process of making a personal injury claim is there to protect us. However, some people do take things too far as seen in the examples above. It comes down to the judge to decide whether the claimant really does have a legitimate claim or not, and thankfully, common sense does usually prevail!