10 Ridiculous Lawsuits Where The Plaintiffs Actually Won

10 Ridiculous Lawsuits Where The Plaintiffs Actually Won

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The justice system is great…when it works. But occasionally, it is so grossly abused that it makes you want to throw the whole system out the window. As you read through these, try to remember that these jokers are the exception to the rule, and justice usually does prevail – sort of. Also, try not to be that guy who calls a foul on every play in a basketball game – or a lawsuit every time he trips over his own feet.

Ok, I would sue over that too Blakenbree.Blogspot.com
Ok, I would sue over that too

Judge, my baby is too ugly!

Childbirth is supposed to be a happy occasion, and even if the slimy, wrinkly bundle of joy doesn’t look like much, it’s still your kid. But when Jian Feng’s kid was born in China, he couldn’t get over how ugly his baby was. He confronted his very beautiful wife, who admitted to having plastic surgery before they met. What should have stayed in the therapist’s office moved into the courtroom, where Jian sued his now-former wife and was awarded $120,000 for being coerced into marriage under false pretenses.

Wait, the steam means it's hot? ThinkStockPhotos
Wait, the steam means it’s hot?

The infamous hot coffee lawsuit

One of the most infamous, ridiculous lawsuits of all time, and an inspiration for slimy lawyers everywhere, occurred when Stella Liebeck sued McDonald’s and was awarded $2.7 million. Why? Well, she was holding a hot cup of coffee between her legs and sustained third degree burns when it spilled. Apparently the steam rising off the top wasn’t a clear enough sign, and she claimed that she was not properly warned the coffee was hot. Though McDonald’s appealed and settled for a lower amount, it’s still a serious shake-my-head-worthy lawsuit.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger! OnMilwaukee.com
Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Peanuts at a bar can turn into your bread and butter

Usually when you slip and fall down, it’s nobody’s fault but your own and that pesky gravity. But when Angela Bishoff slipped on some peanut shells in a bar and broke her kneecap, she sued the bar for having a policy whereby customers and staff threw the shells on the ground; $185,000 later, you can bet that bar switched to serving popcorn.

Beware - popcorn lung accounts for nearly 0 deaths every year EmpowerNetwork.com
Beware – popcorn lung accounts for nearly 0 deaths every year

The untold dangers of microwave popcorn

Speaking of popcorn, Wayne Watson was a serious fan. But when he was diagnosed with a respiratory problem in 2007, he sued various food companies for giving him “popcorn lung,” a health issue apparently derived from the excessive consumption of popcorn. Though defense tried to prove the infection came from his work with carpet-cleaning chemicals, the jury decided that was too logical and awarded him $7.2 million, which he most likely used to go out and buy some more popcorn.

What does that word even mean? WikiDoc.org
What does that word even mean?

Warning labels aren’t always enough

Gregory Roach and Gordon Faulkner both received extensive burns when the carpet adhesive they were using to lay carpet caught fire. Of course, they had placed it next to a hot water heater, not taking the “flammable” and “keep away from heat” labels seriously. They were awarded $8 million from the manufacturer, Para-Chem, which has likely begun covering its products in so many warning labels that it’s difficult to see the logo.

Hey, we can't all have health insurance, ok? ThinkStockPhotos
But how was he supposed to know he shouldn’t break in?

Burglars have it rough

Since burglars can’t get workers comp, it’s only fair that when Larry Harris broke into a bar in 1997, bar owner Jessie Ingram should be responsible for his troubles. So after ignoring signs that warned of traps rigged around the windows (most likely due to the drugs and alcohol found in his system later), Harris electrocuted himself on the window trap. The police didn’t file murder charges against Ingram, but Harris’s family sued in a civil suit and was awarded a final amount of $75,000 (this was reduced from $150,000 because the jury felt that Harris should share some of the blame).

"I'm just really upset right now, so....give me all your money!" Alaska-in-Pictures.com
“I’m just really upset right now, so….give me all your money!”

Emotionally distressed to the point of crime

Richard Schick was a former Illinois Department of Public Aid employee, but sued his old employer in 2003 for sexual and disability discrimination. The pain he felt was so great over this discrimination that he was forced to hold up a convenience store with a shotgun. Though he went to prison for armed robbery, he also received $303,830 in damages in the discrimination suit, which will be waiting for him when he gets out in 15 to 20 years.

Looks just like a salad to me Nutella.com
Looks just like a salad to me

WAIT. Nutella ISN’T healthy?

Though we all love the chocolatey, hazelnut spread, most are aware that it isn’t exactly the best thing you could put in your belly. But a class action lawsuit filed by a group of angry parents stated that Nutella’s advertising was misleading, telling parents that it made a balanced and nutritious breakfast. The case was settled for $3.05 million, but given the number of people I’ve seen eating Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon, I’m guessing the company is still doing OK.

Maybe if she had gotten one of those flight attendant tutorials... CentralValleyTV.net
Maybe if she had gotten one of those flight attendant tutorials…

Is this seatbelt broken, or am I drunk?

A tragic accident took the life of Karen Norman in 1992 when she accidentally drove her Honda Civic into Galveston Bay, Texas. Though Karen’s passenger was able to unhook her seatbelt and escape, Karen’s blood alcohol concentration of .17 prevented her from doing the same. Karen’s parents, however, decided the seatbelt was defective and sued Honda, receiving $60 million, along with another $5 million to Karen’s estate. The amounts were later reduced by a trial judge and eventually dismissed on appeal, but the story was just too good to not include.

At least have the sense to just pass out at your desk ThinkStockPhotos
At least have the sense to just pass out at your desk

Not bothering to stay classy at the company holiday party

Most people try to keep it together when out with coworkers, as they’ll all bear witness (and probably take photos) of any table-dancing, lampshade-wearing shenanigans you get up to at the company holiday party. But when Linda Hunt refused her employer’s offer of a cab ride or a place to sleep for the night if she gave up the keys after getting trashed at an office party, she sued for the ensuing crash, claiming they should have stopped her. She was awarded $1.2 million, but it was later reduced to $300,000 to reflect her own fault in the matter. Oh right, and the whole thing took place during a snowstorm. In Ontario. Come on.