December 2006. While shopping, Marcy Meckler stepped outside
and was 'attacked' by a squirrel living in the trees and bushes outside.
And "while attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her
leg, Meckler fell and suffered severe injuries," her resulting lawsuit
says. That's the mall's fault, the lawsuit claims, demanding in excess
of $50,00 based on the store's "failure to warn her that squirrels live
March, 2004: Jennifer Besler of West Windsor,
New Jersey, was awarded $1.5 million by a jury, for an eating
disorder caused, she said, after her high school basketball
coach yelled at her at the start of her third season that
she needed to lose 10 pounds. The coach apparently
yelled at her to eat nutritiously and stay away from junk
food. The jury was somehow persuaded that the coach caused
her eating disorder.
October 14, 2004 -
Barbara Connors, 75, of Medfield, Mass., was riding in a car
driven by her son-in-law, when their car left the road and
flew 15 feet through the air to splash into the Connecticut
River. Connors went under with the car, sinking 10 feet
below the surface. There were plenty of witnesses to the
crash, and several quickly called 911 to report it. "It was
the [fastest] response I've ever seen," said one. "They were
here in a heartbeat." Because she was underwater, and the
river's current increased the danger, rescuers had to don
special gear. Even with the time it took them to drive there
and do that, Connors was pulled to the surface within 15 to
20 minutes of the accident. Connors has sued not just her
son-in-law, who was driving the car, but also the rescuers,
alleging they "took too long" to rescue her. The suit says
that Connors was previously able to live on her own, but
after the accident she has to be cared for in a nursing
home. Presumably those responsible for saving her life
should pay for that.
August 2003: The City of Madera, Calif. Madera
police officer Marcy Noriega had the suspect from a minor
disturbance handcuffed in the back of her patrol car. When
the suspect started to kick at the car's windows, Officer
Noriega decided to subdue him with her Taser. Incredibly,
instead of pulling her stun gun from her belt, she pulled
her service sidearm and shot the man in the chest, killing
him instantly. The city, however, says the killing is not
the officer's fault; it argues that "any reasonable
police officer" could "mistakenly draw and fire
a handgun instead of the Taser device" and has filed
suit against Taser, arguing the company should pay for any
award from the wrongful death lawsuit the man's family has
filed. What a slur against every professionally trained
police officer who knows the difference between a real gun
and a stun gun! And what a cowardly attempt to escape responsibility
for the actions of its own under trained officer.
Mary Ubaudi of Madison County, Ill., says William Humphrey
was driving too fast and, perhaps, she should know: she
was a passenger is his car. When they got to a construction
zone, Humphrey lost control and flipped the car. Ubaudi
was thrown from the vehicle and, her attorney J. Michael
Weilmuenster says, sustained severe and life-threatening
injuries. Ubaudi has sued Humphrey, asking for "at
least $50,000" in damages. But Ubaudi's attorney didn't
want to stop there: not if there were some potentially deep
pockets to pick. The lawsuit, filed in Madison County
Circuit Court, thus also names Mazda Motors, the manufacturer
of Humphrey's car, a Miata. She claims the company "failed
to provide instructions regarding the safe and proper use
of a seatbelt." One hopes Mazda's
attorneys make her swear in court that she has never before
worn a seatbelt, has never flown on an airliner, and that
she's too stupid to figure out how to fasten a seatbelt.
Meanwhile, her suit demands "in excess of $150,000"
from the automaker, setting their liability at more than
three times what the thinks the driver should be on the
January, 2004: Kathleen Robertson of Austin,
Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after
breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running
amok and unsupervised inside a furniture store. The owners
of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict,
considering that the misbehaving little boy was Ms. Robertson's
June 2003: Doug Baker, 45, of Portland, Ore.
Baker says God "steered" him to a stray dog. He
admits "People thought I was crazy" to spend $4,000
in vet bills to bring the injured mutt back to health, but
hey, it was God's dog! But $4,000 was nothing: he couldn't
even take his girlfriend out to dinner without getting a
dog-sitter to watch him. When the skittish dog escaped the
sitter, Baker didn't just put an ad in the paper, he bought
display ads so he could include a photo. His business collapsed
since he devoted full time to the search for the dog. He
didn't propose to his girlfriend because he wanted the dog
to deliver the ring to her. He hired four "animal psychics"
to give him clues to the animal's whereabouts, and hired
a witch to cast spells. He even spread his own urine around
to "mark his territory" to try to lure the dog
home! And, he said, he cried every day. Two months in to
the search, he went looking for the dog where it got lost
-- and quickly found it. His first task: he put a collar
on the mutt. (He hadn't done that before for a dog that
was so "valuable"?!) After finding the dog, he
sued the dog sitter, demanding $20,000 for the cost of his
search, $30,000 for the income he lost by letting his business
collapse, $10,000 for "the temporary loss of the special
value" of the dog, and $100,000 in "emotional
damages" -- $160,000 total. God has not been named
as a defendant.
November 2003: After Wanda Hudson, 41, of Mobile
AL lost her home to foreclosure, she moved her belongings
to a storage unit. She says she was inside her unit one
night "looking for some papers" when the storage
yard manager found the door to her unit ajar -- and locked
it. She denies that she was sleeping inside, but incredibly
did not call for help or bang on the door to be let out!
She was not found for 63 days and barely survived; the formerly
"plump" 150-pound woman lived on food she just
happened to have in the unit, and was a mere 83 pounds when
she was found. She sued the storage yard for $10 million
claiming negligence. Even though the jury was not allowed
to learn that Hudson had previously diagnosed mental problems,
it found Hudson was nearly 100 percent responsible for her
own predicament -- but still awarded her $100,000.
19-year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical
expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda
Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone
at the wheel of the car while he was trying to steal his
October 1998: Terrance Dickson of Bristol, PA
was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way
of the garage. Because the automatic door opener was not
functioning, he was unable to get the garage door to go
up. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting
the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The
family that the house belonged to was on vacation. Mr. Dickson
found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted
on a case of Pepsi he found in the garage and a large bag
of dry dog food. Mr. Dickson sued the homeowners, claiming
the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury
agreed to the tune of $500,000.
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded $14,500
and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks
by his next door neighbor's beagle. The dog was on a chain
in its owner's fenced-in yard at the time. Mr. Williams
was also in the fenced-in yard. The award ended up being
less than Mr. Williams sought because the jury felt Mr.
Williams who at the time was repeatedly shooting the dog
with a pellet gun, might have provoked the dog.
December 1997: A Philadelphia restaurant was
ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, PA, $113,500 after
she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage
was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend
30 seconds earlier during an argument.
December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, DE, successfully
sued the owner of a nightclub when she fell from the bathroom
window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth.
This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through
the window in the women's room to avoid paying the $3.50
cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.
February 2002: Police in Vermont stopped a man.
After running his name, it came back that there were warrants
for his arrest from Florida. Before the police could arrest
him, he fled into a nearby forest (in the middle of winter).
The police searched for him, but were unable to find him.
Three days later, the suspect turned himself into police
and was taken to the hospital with frostbite. He ended up
having several fingers and toes amputated. He is now suing
the police. Why? The police didn't look for him hard enough.
He stated in an interview, 'If they had searched harder,
they would have found me'. He's accusing the police of dereliction
of duty leading to his loss of limbs. Who knows how much
this verdict will cost the offending police department?
And just so you know that
cooler heads occasionally prevail, Kenmore Inc., the makers
of Dorothy Johnson's microwave, were found not liable for
the death of Mrs. Johnson' poodle after she gave it a bath
and attempted to dry it putting the poor dog in her microwave
for "just a few minutes, on low." The case was