We’ve all heard stories of completely crazy lawsuits, but half the time, it’s unclear which ones are true and which stories are merely urban legend. Here are five completely crazy – and completely true – accident injury claims.
1. You’ve heard of hitting a deer with your car, but here’s a new one: How about a horse hitting your car? In 2008, Wisconsin resident Melva Lee Yates sued horse owners Connie and George Cummings when their horse ran into her car, damaging the body of the vehicle and causing injury to her back, hip, and knee. Yates claimed the horse owners failed to keep control of their animal; in recompense for her injuries, time spent off work, and pain and suffering, she sued for $200,000. Um, just a hunch… but I’m guessing the horse was hurt worse than Ms. Yates.
2. In 2004, Spanish citizen Thomas Delgado struck and killed a 17-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle to the campground where he was staying on a family vacation. He was dragged along the road for 347 feet, and a traffic report said Delgado was going 25 mph above the speed limit. Four years later, Delgado sued the family of the boy for 20,000 euros, claiming the collision caused damage to his front bumper. Unsurprisingly, a local outcry erupted, and Delgado dropped the case.
3. In 2004, two teenage girls in Colorado decided to stay home from their high school dance and bake cookies, which they delivered anonymously to their neighbors. They knocked on doors of houses with the lights on, and left a plate of cookies with a note. One neighbor, Wanita Young, had been burglarized before. When she heard the knock, she became so terrified she called police who determined nothing happed. That night, however, she suffered an anxiety attack and had to be taken to the hospital. She sued the two girls, and a judge ordered them to pay $900 to cover her medical bills.
4. In 1998, 57-year-old Cleanthi Peters sued Universal Studios for $15,000 after visiting their Halloween Horror Nights Haunted House. She said that toward the end of the attraction, an actor came at her with a chainsaw, causing her to trip and causing severe emotional distress. To her horror, she did not win the suit.
5. In 2000, Andrew Burnett threw a dog out of a car and into oncoming traffic as an expression of road rage after the dog’s owner, Sara McBurnett, tapped his bumper. Burnett was sentenced to three years in jail for the dog’s death. Three years later, however, he sued the dog’s owner for causing him mental anguish. Unsurprisingly, he did not win his case.
You have to wonder about the thought process behind these plaintiffs. Because no matter how ridiculous the lawsuit, one of two things is true – either these people are downright naïve, to put it nicely, or they are incredibly intelligent. Granted, they’re greedy – but it takes quite a bit of imagination and some mental gymnastics to think you could turn any of these situations into a viable lawsuit that would actually make it to court. Fortunately, instances of such ridiculous lawsuits are very rare, and most lawyers would not stoop so low as to take them on.