Lawsuit documents
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A personal injury lawsuit refers to a case in which a plaintiff has suffered physical, emotional, or psychological trauma due to the carelessness, recklessness, or malpractice of another party. Typically, personal injury cases involve lawsuits against reckless drivers, drunk drivers, companies, or business owners that have been negligent, and manufacturers who have made faulty products.

Most personal injury cases are resolved in settlements made out of court in which the defendant offers adequate compensation to the plaintiff for the losses they have suffered.

Every once in a while, you will hear about unusual personal injury cases that make you laugh or are simply too bizarre.

Are you considering filing a personal injury lawsuit but unsure whether to go ahead because your case might not be strong?

Reading about some of the strangest personal injury lawsuits and their outcomes might help you make a better decision about the merits of your case. You would be surprised to find out how strange personal injury lawsuits can become in the US.

Bizarre Personal Injury Lawsuits & Their Outcomes

1. A killer whale that lived up to its name

The killer whale has a reputation for being a dangerous sea-faring mammal in the animal kingdom due to its ability to hunt in packs to kill even some of the most dangerous sharks in the oceans. Unfortunately, the orca also looks cute and harmless enough to be considered a marine life attraction.

Tilikum is a killer whale at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, for the last three decades. The orca has been involved in several controversies regarding the captivity of marine creatures, including a 2013 documentary that shed light on the treatment of specimens at theme parks.

Tilikum has managed to remind theme-park-goers of the risks that come with holding animals captive for their entertainment by killing three people over the years. The first and third fatalities involved staff members in accidents. The second fatality involved a man who did not understand the dangers of messing with an animal literally called a killer whale.

27-year-old Daniel P. Dukes hid inside the theme park after it closed and proceeded to try and swim with the killer whale. The staff at SeaWorld found his corpse on the back of Tilikum the following day, having sustained substantial wounds all over his body.

Daniel's parents filed a personal injury lawsuit against SeaWorld, citing their security oversights as the reason for their son's death. The couple accused the theme park of giving the false impression that the creature was harmless by selling stuffed animals of orcas.

The couple eventually withdrew their multimillion-dollar lawsuit after a few weeks. Still, the fact that they did seriously decide to pursue a case with little to no chance of winning in court is bizarre enough on its own.

2. A horror presentation that did exactly what it was supposed to

Universal Studios boasts Hollywood Horror Night's event - a premiere horror event that lets attendees enjoy first-hand the thrilling onscreen horror scenes by bringing them to life. Most people enjoy these experiences and go to events like this to experience the spectacle. Unfortunately, these events are a little too much for some of the attendees.

One such case was for a woman who attended an event in 2011 that featured a werewolf that was tasked with terrorizing the attendees. Holly Hindman filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal Studios, claiming that the employee who played the werewolf character struck her with the intent of causing her physical harm.

Holly, who went to the event knowing what was in store for her, claimed that the employee struck her and injured her eye. She also proceeded to hold the company responsible for hiring that employee. Holly claimed that the incident caused her significant distress and left her unable to work for a long time.

As bizarre as it sounds, she did manage to file the case. The most confusing thing about the case is how many parties it references as defendants in the case, from the actor, trainers, employers, and event organizers. The case remains unresolved to this day.

3. A hot cup of coffee . . . That was hot!

It is natural to assume that when something you are drinking or eating is steaming hot, that it is probably best to be extra careful so that you make sure not to put yourself in a situation that could compromise your safety. When it comes to a hot cup of coffee while you are commuting, most people might agree that using your knees to secure the cup is not the best idea.

Stella Liebeck, an Albuquerque resident, happened to be confident in her ability to use her knees to hold her cup of coffee in 1992. She wanted to pour some cream into her scalding hot cup of coffee. Unfortunately, she spilt the hot coffee all over her lap while removing the lid from her cup, severely burning the skin on her inner thighs and giving her third-degree burns.

This incident resulted in the filing of one of the most compelling personal injury lawsuits in the US. Also known as "The McDonald's Hot Coffee" lawsuit, this interesting case became famous. Stella Liebeck's lawyer accused the fast-food chain of serving coffee hotter than its competitors and that this was most likely the cause of her injuries. McDonald’s eventually admitted to serving coffee hotter than other fast-food restaurants for reasons such as being able to drink it when commuters eventually got to work.

McDonald's refused to settle the case. However, the jury that heard her case decided to award Liebeck $160,000 (that of which included a 20% reduction for her contribution of being the one that spilt the coffee) to cover her medical expenses, including skin-grafting treatments for the burns. Additionally, the jury awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages. The judge ended up reducing the amount to $640,000. Both parties appealed this decision.

The case may seem quite ridiculous, but it ended up being settled out of court between Stella Liebeck and McDonalds for an undisclosed amount. Although some legal scholars may refer to this case as a laughable example of excessive litigation, other legal professionals would argue that Stella received a well-merited compensation award for the shocking injuries she had to endure.

Stella's case is so infamous (or famous, depending on how you look at it) that a website was created in her honour. The Stella Awards is a website dedicated to highlighting “frivolous” cases.

Are You Looking For A Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?

Personal injury lawsuits like these are odd, but they can give you a better idea of what can or cannot be considered a valid claim in a court of law. Fortunately, strange cases like these do not manage to tarnish the validity of other genuine cases.

The state of Florida has seen its fair share of unusual personal injury cases. Fortunately, the courts do not waste much time on such cases. If you want to file a personal injury case in Florida that warrants proper compensation and needs help making a strong case, hiring experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida can benefit you.

The level of skill varies greatly from attorney to attorney. Choosing experts with an excellent track record can make a world of difference in helping you seek a desirable outcome for your case. Based in Palm Beach, the lawyers at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers specialize in personal injury law west palm beach in Florida.

The attorneys on our team have a reputation for making sure that their clients never have to settle for less in their personal injury claims. They are also not afraid to take the case to trial if a settlement offer is unfair. Contact the team at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers if you are based in Florida and feel that you have a valid personal injury case.