Examples Of Weird Or Controversial Personal Injury Cases

The victims of personal injury aren’t always who you might expect. They include children bitten by the neighbor’s cat, grandma’s fall at the doctor’s office, automobile drivers who were hurt when the seatbelt failed, construction workers who sustained injuries from a falling hammer, consumers burned by hot coffee — even criminals who step on a nail while breaking and entering. Do you have a case? You never know, and here’s why.

The country was in awe when Stella Liebeck sued the local McDonald’s franchise after scalding herself with coffee she had purchased there. She won $6 after the franchise chose to settle the case outside of court, a victory that surprised more than a few people. A decade later, someone tried — and failed — to sue McDonald’s for making Americans obese. But even though McDonald’s won the case, the establishment still axed supersize meals from the menu.

Jessie Ingram tried to save money by installing a custom and homemade security system to protect his bar from intruders. But when one man decided to commit a “breaking and entering” criminal act, he was shocked by the weird security system. Intruder Larry Harris suffered injury because of the device, and sued to the tune of $75,000 — and emerged from court victorious. Even criminals have the right to sue for personal injury when breaking the law, so make sure to keep your home or business up to code. 

One common example of a controversial lawsuit works under the same premise: when an intruder decides to take an illegal dip in a homeowner’s pool without obtaining permission, who’s liable when the intruder drowns? Families have sued for lack of fencing, lack of warning signs, and everything in between. Sometimes they win.

When two community-oriented Colorado adolescents decided to gift everyone in the neighborhood cookies, one woman sued. The reason? She insisted she suffered an anxiety attack at the sight of the mysterious cookies, and even called the police. The teens lost $900 for their volunteer effort. No good deed goes unpunished, or so it would seem.