The Most Frivolous Lawsuits of 2015
The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal reform released its top 10 most ridiculous lawsuits of 2015. While the suits evoke laughter, the list serves to showcase the unfortunate trend of frivolous lawsuit...
The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal reform released its top 10 most ridiculous lawsuits of 2015. While the suits evoke laughter, the list serves to showcase the unfortunate trend of frivolous lawsuits.
“As a society we’re too quick to sue, and issues that could be settled outside of the courtroom result in expensive and unnecessary litigation and wasted time,” Institute president Lisa Rickard said when asked about their list.
Most of the cases involve injuries, so I met with Daytona Beach personal injury attorneys Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. to break down the validity of the list toppers. Their firm prides itself on their huge personal injury successes, collecting millions for their clients.
1. Florida Woman Sues FedEx for Tripping Over Package Left on Her Doorstep
The woman’s suit asked for monetary compensation for the “severe physical pain, mental anguish and humiliation” from tripping over the package. She blames FedEx for not properly warning her of the packages “close proximity to the door.”
This woman may have forgotten how to laugh at herself...or she’s ordered extra hot coffee every day of her life just to increase her chances of it spilling and burning her. Slip and fall lawyer, Corey Bundza, says these kinds of accidents can happen anywhere, businesses, restaurants, and private homes- interestingly enough though, this was the woman’s own private home. Typically in slip and fall suits, the “key is proving whether or not the owner was negligent in maintaining the property” but in this scenario, the attorneys would have to build a case around the delivery man’s negligence. However, he did exactly what his job entails so the woman undoubtedly faced an uphill battle.
2. Armed Bank Robber Suing For Injuries Incurred While Fleeing the Scene
Todd Kirkpatrick of Washington State sued Snohomish County for $3.6 million after being shot twice while attempting to flee police who caught him robbing a bank.
With police brutality making national headlines throughout 2015, it may not be surprising this shooting transformed into a lawsuit. However, brutality was not brought into question for this lawsuit. Simply put- if you’re going to break the law, don’t get injured in the process.
3. Woman Sues Restaurant For Being Hit by a Roll
Lambert’s Cafe is famous throughout Missouri, adoringly called “Home of the Throwed Roll”. And for a self-explanatory reason, the servers toss rolls to patrons. But one woman allegedly missed all the signs alerting guests of the roll throw and sued the restaurant for $25,000 after being hit in the eye. It’s highly unlikely she’s the first customer lacking in catching skills but she was the first “injured”.
While this woman may not be welcomed back and hated by some loyal regulars, she may have a case. This one most likely came down to her medical records to verify she was indeed injured and how specific the restaurant’s signs were.
4. Two Women Sue For Scratches and Trauma From a Gas Explosion
A deadly gas explosion in New York’s East Village leveled a building, killed two people and injured 22. Two women who lived nearby heard the explosion and walked outside to investigate, where one claimed to get “five or six scratches” and the other suffered such emotional trauma (no injuries) she had to see a psychologist costing $175 an hour. They sought $40 million.
New Yorkers were outraged by this publicized suit, starting a crowdfunding page to “raise money to buy two one-way bus tickets out of the Big Apple for the ‘heartless’’’ women. Regardless of your feelings, they may have a case depending on what caused the explosion. However, neither saw a medical doctor and when compared to two deaths and over twenty people hospitalized, the jury may not be too sympathetic.
5. PETA Sues on Behalf of a Monkey For Ownership of His “Selfies”
British photographer David Slater propped up a camera in the Indonesian jungle for a macaque monkey who went on to take “monkey selfies,” later published in Slater’s popular book “Wildlife Personalities”. PETA filed a federal lawsuit claiming the monkey, not Slater, owned the rights to the photo and all profits should go to benefiting the animal.
While no one at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. has experience defending monkeys, they do handle dog bite cases and note animal rights have made significant advances under the law in the past few years. However, this case is not an example of that. The judge ruled the monkey could own intellectual property rights, calling PETA’s argument a “stretch”.
Enjoy the list in its entirety, here.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Mur met with Daytona Beach accident lawyers of Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. to discuss the U.S. Chamber's list of most ridiculous lawsuits.