M-Law has an annual award, The Whiplash Award, it gives out to the most ludicrous cases. I did like the winner, the reverend's wife, who wanted to see if the leader dog would properly guide his blind master around her if she stood unmoving in his way. The dog did try to lead him around her, but he still managed to step on her foot and break her toe. She sued the leader dog association when she found out the blind man had no money, and her husband, the Reverend, also sued for loss of his wife's abilities to give him proper affection, etc. The other four listed are a hoot, too.
Anyone else have any such embarrassments to our legal system? Most of these five were thrown out upon appeal, which should make us all feel a little better.
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You know, these kinds of stories are often floated as reasons to change the tort laws. However, as Wm points out, nearly all of them are tossed out of court eventually.
If anything, that should show that we do NOT need to change the law.
Perhaps the best solution would be to add a simple law- put some kind of mechanism in there that allows the judge, jury, or appeals court to have a verdict that says "not only do you lose, but this was so friggin' stupid to begin with that you pay all legal fees, court fees, and a fine on top of that- just because you're a moron and wasted our time bringing this suit."
Even better would be if you applied that fine to the lawyer who brought the case.
That might cut back quite a bit on these ultra-moronic claims. (The guy decides to moon his pals, leans against a third-story window, and falls out? He should be thanking his lucky stars he didn't die, not suing anyone!)
The sad fact is that because of contingency fees, it's worth it for some lawyers to do nothing but come up with amazingly stupid cases to use for lawsuits. The reason the system works for them is that it's just cheaper for some of the defendents to pay rather than fight even the dumbest lawsuit.
Take away that advantage by making the lawyer and/or client (or both) pay once in a while for the truly out-there claims, and the majority of those suits might stop.
Oh, if the verdict is found you could take away that lawyer's license to practice as well.
Well, in the case of the guy who sued over getting in a car crash when his McDonald's shake spilled in his lap, McDonald asked for their $10,000 attorneys' fee to be covered by the spillee - but the judge disallowed it. Even though he threw out the suit, he allowed that the spillee was creative enough not to be penalized.