Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Are We Too Litigious?

Was in fact Mr Bumble, the beadle in Charles Dicken's 'Oliver Twist', right when he said 'the law is a ass ... a idiot'?

The following are either examples of 'great urban myths' (possibly!) or the current excess in litigiousness.

Example 1
Ms Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home from a football game, she drove on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. The motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Example 2
Kara Walton of Claremont, Delaware, sued the owner of a night club because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000 plus dental expenses.

Example 3
A jury ordered Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to be paid $113,500 by a Philadelphia restaurant after she slipped on spilled soft drink and broke her tail bone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor - Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

Example 4
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbour's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Example 6
Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania was leaving a house he had just burgled by way of the garage when the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the door to open. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the home owner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. The jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish.

Example 6
Carl Truman of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbour ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbour's hubcaps.

Example 7
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Do any (or all) of these strike you as just a tad excessive?

And which one/s really took your fancy?

No comments:

Post a Comment