Ridiculous and unconventional lawsuits cost their plaintiffs thousands of dollars or more each year. Most of these lawsuits happen in the US where it’s fairly common to sue someone for something that might seem weird to average folks. Many have heard of the woman that sued McDonalds for her coffee being too hot or for different injuries that occurred in peculiar circumstances. Below you will find a selection of most outrageous lawsuits that actually ended up being successful:
1. Teunis Tenbrook was a philosophy major in the Netherlands who sued the college where he was enrolled. The reason he received media attention was that he sued the college that kicked him out – because of smelly feet. His college professors claimed that the smell of his feet was so strong that they couldn’t keep teaching, which finally resulted in being expelled. After ten years in several courtrooms Teunis actually won the lawsuit with the official verdict being that the college staff and students will just have to deal with the situation and endure the smell.
2. Gloria Sykes of San Francisco was in an unfortunate accident while driving in the tram in 1964. You’d think that the tram accident and the lawsuit would be for some kind of serious physical injury and you’d be wrong. The tram, which broke down and went downhill crashing, actually left Gloria with a couple of minor bruises and a black eye. However, Gloria claimed that this accident caused her to become a nymphomaniac, citing “demonic need of sex” as the main issue. The case ended up in court where she sued the city of San Francisco for $500.000. She apparently had some experienced lawyers because they managed to prove that Gloria really had the cited health issue and she ended up winning the lawsuit. Her compensation was $50.000.
3. When someone in Duluth, Minnesota decided to have a little fun and create a prank by pouring detergent in the city’s fountain, an accidental passerby name Kathy Kelly slipped and fell. This minor injury caused her to have a scratch, which later became infected. She decided to sue the city, claiming that this injury alone caused her diabetes to substantially worsen. The jury came to a verdict that said that 70% of the accident was the city’s fault, while 30% was Kathy’s negligence. Kathy Kelly ended up receiving $125.000 in compensation.
4. Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico visited the local McDonalds drive-through in hopes of getting some coffee. Unfortunately, she removed the lid on the cup which resulted in the spillage of coffee all over her lap. She sustained minor burns and decided to sue the establishment for not putting a warning on the cups. Subsequently, she won the lawsuit against McDonalds and ended up receiving nearly $3 million in compensation.
5. Terrence Dickson of Pennsylvania decided to rob a house in October of 1998. While robbing, he accidently got stuck in the owner’s garage and was unable to get out. He was forced to stay in the garage for 8 days eating dog food and drinking Pepsi. After being rescued, he sued the house owners. Terrence ended up getting over half a million dollars for this lawsuit.
6. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma was driving his motor home at a speed of 70mph when he decided he’d like to make a sandwich. He mistakenly thought that the term “cruise control” meant that the car will drive itself which naturally resulted in a crash. He then sued the company Winnebago for $1.75 million for not explaining what cruise control meant in their motor home manual. The motor home company ended up changing their manuals from that point.
7. Jerry Williams, was bitten by his next door neighbour’s dog and received $14,500 in compensation. That may seem like a legitimate reason for a lawsuit, except that Mr. Williams reportedly taunted the dog and shot him with a pellet gun several times, while the dog was on a leash and inside its owner’s yard. Mr. Williams actually requested a bigger compensation, but the court decided the bite attack was partially his fault.
8. While shopping in a store in Austin, Texas, Kathleen Robertson tripped and fell. The case wouldn’t be that peculiar if it wasn’t for the fact that Kathleen tripped on her young son that was running around the store. The injury she sustained consisted of a broken ankle and some bruises, but the court decided to award her a compensation of a whopping $80,000 with added medical costs.
9. Jeffrey Kline and Brett Birdwell, underaged skateboarders illegally entered a property that was owned by Amtrak and decided to climb on top of a boxcar, in hopes of getting a better city view. Klein was hit with 12,500 volts of electricity, causing burns over 75 percent of his body coming from an uninsulated wire that surrounded the boxcar. His friend, Birdwell, received burns over 12 percent of his body when he tried to help Kline. A jury decided that even though they were trespassing, the 17-year-old boys were not responsible for the accident. Amtrak was fined for not posting warning signs around the wires of the locomotives while two friends were awarded $24.2 million with added medical costs for their injuries.
10. Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, went out clubbing one night and decided she did not want to pay the toilet usage fee of $3.50. She tried to sneak out of the bathroom window which resulted in a fall to the ground. While doing this, she sustained an injury – two broken teeth. After suing the nightclub owner, she was awarded $12,000 and added dental expenses.