You've probably watched the news and heard stories of people who’ve sued a company or person over something ridiculous. While it's not too often that these types of cases win, there are times when even the most outrageous lawsuits have ended in success. Some of them are a bit on the wild side when it comes to common sense and the end results.
Ohio Carpet Installers
Gordon Falkner and Gregory Roach were two carpet installers working in Akron, OH. They placed a large container of carpet adhesive next to water heater, despite warnings on the container about not placing it near heat because of flammable material inside. When the heat from the water heater transferred to the container, it caught fire, severely burning both Falkner and Roach.
Their response was to sue Para-Chem, the manufacturing company of the carpet adhesive. They stated that the warnings about flammable material were insufficient and that the container needed more warnings on it. They were awarded $8 million.
Liposuction Gone Wrong
While looking for a board certified plastic surgeon to perform liposuction, Michelle Knepper turned to the phone book. She saw an ad for a doctor that indicated he did plastic surgery and scheduled the procedure. The doctor was a dermatologist and botched the job. Knepper stated that she never would’ve used him if the ad had been clearer, so she sued the doctor for medical malpractice and Dex Media for fraud. Not only did she win $1.2 million, but her husband was awarded $375,000 as well, for the loss of companionship.
Too Drunk to Drive
When Karen Norman was 23, she went out one night with a friend and drank. Despite her blood alcohol level being above the legal limit, she tried to drive them home. Instead, she backed her car into Galveston Bay. Her friend escaped from the car, but Norman drowned because she was unable to unbuckle her seatbelt. Her parents sued Honda, saying that the seatbelt was defective and Norman should’ve been able to unbuckle it underwater. They won $60 million, with another $5 million awarded to Norman’s estate.
Storage Unit Mishap
When Wanda Hudson’s Mobile, AL, home was foreclosed, she had to move her belongings into a storage unit. One night, she ‘visited’ the storage unit (probably because she had nowhere else to sleep) and left the door ajar. The storage manager noticed the unlocked door while making his rounds and locked it. She didn’t hear him or the door closing, and never called out for help.
For the next 63 days, she survived on canned foods and juice she’d kept in the unit. When they finally found her, she was almost 70 pounds lighter than she was when she entered and had to be treated for advanced starvation. She sued the storage yard for $10 million, claiming negligence. She was awarded $100,000.
In 1997, Larry Harris attempted to break into an Illinois bar. At the time, Harris was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and therefore failed to notice the many signs warning against breaking into the bar. The owner, Jessie Ingram, had recently installed a 220-volt system on the windows to electrocute anyone trying to break in, after dealing with three burglaries in the past two months. Harris ignored all the signs, including one right next to the window he tried to go through. He was electrocuted and died.
Harris’ family decided Ingram was responsible for Harris’ death, despite Harris having a long criminal record of drug use and burglaries, and the state declaring that it was an accidental death. While the jury decided Harris was partially to blame, they still awarded the family $75,000 anyway.
These are only some of the hilarious lawsuits that have been filed showing how the justice system can operate. While some of the people involved weren’t always thinking clearly, there are others where the victim was accidentally injured. What we can all take away from these frivolous lawsuits is that almost anyone can sue anyone for anything.