If you’ve ever watched an episode of Jerry Springer or People’s Court, you might find yourself shaking your head and thinking, “I can’t believe they are suing over that!” It seems that in many personal injury lawsuits, a “personal injury” is loosely defined and filed by plaintiffs who put themselves in dangerous situations or made a bad choice. Instead of admitting to wrongdoing, plaintiffs file lawsuits for situations that many would call “ridiculous”. Personal lawsuits are meant to help injured individuals seek compensation for financial, physical and emotional losses related to the incident. Some injured individuals feel their personal injury lawsuit is legitimate while others are just trying to make money. It’s amazing what some people will do to try to make a buck!
Nothing Better to Do Behind Bars?
An inmate at the Arizona State Prison in Tucson wants financial compensation, up to $1 trillion, because he claims the prison food has made him sick. 61-year-old Dale Frank Maisano claims the food he is given in prison is responsible for cramps, which keep him awake at night. Additionally, Maisano claims he has developed an eating disorder because he received his meals late, two days in a row. The convict, who is serving a 15 year sentence for assault, has filed numerous lawsuits, 47 in June alone, but many of them have already been dismissed. He also has a history of filing lawsuits since 1991, with approximately 380 suits filed. What did he expect? A five star eatery?
A Guy Walks in to a Sandwich Shop…
Remember as kids when we were told that we shouldn’t use handicapped accessible entries, ramps, or bathroom stalls unless we physically needed them? If you park in handicapped accessible parking stall without the proper permit, you’ll be ticketed. This guy must have missed the lesson. Merrill Townsend filed a personal injury lawsuit against a Subway restaurant for “creating a dangerous ramp, failing to warn, and failing to remedy an unreasonably dangerous condition”. Townsend, who does not have any handicaps or disabilities and has no need to use a handicapped accessible ramp, fell on the ramp as he attempted to navigate it, suffering an injury to his head. Townsend sought damages for physical pain, medical expenses, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, embarrassment, and humiliation. He should have used the sidewalk; that would have been less embarrassing!
Take the Money and Run
Erica Tamburin is an athletic mother. In 2010, she finished a Half Marathon in 2 hours and 43 minutes, ranking her 50th out of 173 runners. Additionally, she’s a first baseman for a coed softball team. Her athleticism is pretty impressive, especially since she suffers from “severe and permanent injuries” from a car accident in a Cabela’s parking lot. In 2011, Tamburin filed a personal injury lawsuit against Cabela’s claiming she received permanent and severe injuries to her head, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, and back in an accident that occurred 6 months prior to her completion of a half marathon. Either Tamburin is looking for some extra money or the symptoms of her “permanent and severe” injuries were delayed for a good six months. Sounds like poor sportsmanship!
Making Money While Popping Popcorn
Wayne Watson loves microwave popcorn. He loves it so much that the Denver area man was diagnosed with the respiratory issue, “popcorn lung”. In 2007, Watson won a $7.2 million verdict against various food companies for their failure to warn consumers that inhaling the delicious, buttery aroma could put them at risk of lung injury. According to KCNC-TV in Denver, the defense attorneys argued that Watson’s respiratory health problems stemmed from his years of working with carpet-cleaning chemicals rather than from the microwave popcorn.
Sitting in the Hot Seat
A fan filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys. A Texas woman, Jennelle Carillo, sued the football team when she suffered mental, emotional, and physical injuries related to burns she received from sitting on a hot bench at a game. On a hot, August day in 2010, Carillo suffered third degree burns when she sat down on a black, marble bench on the sunny, hot day. Carillo was aware that she had received burns, but did not know how badly she had been burned until she sought medical attention. The lawsuit also states that the Cowboys Stadium posted no warning signs alerting fans that the benches could become hot. Was Carillo in the wrong for not using common sense and realizing that sun and heat can make black items hot? Or is her case legitimate enough to sue the football team as well as the owner and manager?
Injuries happen every day; sometimes due to someone else’s negligence and other times due to our own clumsiness. Personal injury lawsuits are important as they help innocent victims recoup financial, mental, emotional, and physical loss related to an accident due to another person’s negligence or bad decision. Are all personal injury lawsuits valid? Or are some just worth a good laugh? You be the judge!
About the Author
Andrew Miller is an avid blogger, environmental law student, future JAG Officer and co-founder of the tech startup Scan & Ban (www.ScanandBan.com); a free mobile app developed to empower the public to find out what toxins are in their food and pass legislature to ban those dangerous ingredients.