While personal injury claims are certainly serious business, there have been a few cases over the years which have raised eyebrows in the U.S. and abroad. Consider that Dr. Phil was once sued for a dog bite injury in the amount of $7 million by a close family friend. While that might have been a relatively straightforward (albeit high) claim, there have been some truly notorious personal injury cases which have ranged from legitimate but misunderstood to downright absurd.
Today, our personal injury attorneys will briefly discuss three high profile personal injury cases and how the outcomes may have been different today.
Passaic County, NJ Personal Injury Attorneys Recall Famous “Hot Coffee” Case of 1994
The famous hot coffee lawsuit of 1994 began with Stella Lieback suing the Mcdonald’s Corporation to the tune of $20,000. Rather than settling, the case eventually went to court where Lieback was eventually awarded a sum of ~$2.7 million. The case garnered national headlines as the press ate up such a seemingly outrageous amount of money for the daily activity of spilling a drink on one’s self.
What the media failed to adequately report were the underlying facts of the case. Due to the following, our Passaic County personal injury attorneys believe this outcome may have been a touch high, but was not entirely unjustified
- Lieback suffered third degree burns over 16 percent of her body and required skin grafts
- Lieback required hospitalization for eight (8) days and continued treatment for two (2) years
- Over 700 people had already suffered serious burns and the McDonald’s Corporation failed to lower their standard temperature
- McDonald’s was aware that their coffee was burning customers
Bloomfield Victims’ Advocates Lawyers Discuss 1977 Failed Suicide, Successful Personal Injury Claim
On March 7th, 1977, 26 year old Milo Stephens attempted to commit suicide by jumping in front of an NYC subway. Instead of being killed, Stephens was severely injured, losing a leg, and arm and partially losing his other arm. Before the train was able to stop, a single car ran over Stephens, causing his injuries.
Later that year, Stephens successfully sued the New York City Transit Authority, earning a $650,000 out of court settlement through a personal injury claim. The plaintiff’s case was predicated on the belief that the subway operator had acted negligently by failing to stop the train in time. Our Bloomfield PI attorneys believe that this case comes down to comparative negligence and whether or not the plaintiff could definitively prove that the conductor was more negligent than Stephens himself.
Is it Possible to Sue the Weatherman in New Jersey?
An Israeli woman once successfully sued a television studio and their meteorologist for an inaccurate weather forecast. While the station predicted clear and sunny skies, a storm blew in later in the day. The plaintiff claims that this led her to contract the flu, resulting in four days of missed work, an incurred expense of $38 for medication, and mental anguish. The case settled out of court for $1,000.
In the U.S, this case would likely never see the light of day. The facts of this case simply do not point to any negligence or recklessness on the part of the meteorologist or the television station. This is one of the truly bizarre legal goings on which can crop up in the international news. It is also important to understand that this case would have almost certainly been struck down in Israeli court, but was instead settled for a relatively low amount.
Contact our Clifton Personal Injury Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation
The personal injury attorneys of Fredson & Statmore have over 50 years of combined legal experience serving local Passaic County communities including Clifton, Bloomfield, West Milford, Wayne, Little Falls, Woodland Park, Paterson, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our team of experienced and qualified advocates have recovered multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients for motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, slip and falls, wrongful death, and much more. We take pride in offering the comprehensive service of a larger firm with the attention to detail and customer service of a smaller firm.