Personal injury solicitors see a fair share of claims that are trivial at best and fraudulent at worst. But nothing has been as ridiculous as the claim made by Richard Overton in the American courts. Let us explain.
Bud Light doesn’t live up to its promises.
In Overton v. Anheuser-Busch Co Richard Overton tried to sue the makers of BudLight beer Anheuser-Busch for $10,000. Now Bud Light isn’t the best beer in the world, granted, but it wasn’t the poor tasting beer he wanted compensation for.
He claimed that he wasn’t “transported to a balmy beach teeming with throngs of bikini-clad women,” which is what the TV commercials for Bud Light promised would happen.
Overton argued that the “misleading advertisements” caused him physical and emotional distress, as well as other losses. He also tried to claim that he wasn’t warned that beer could be bad for health. Unsurprisingly, the case was dismissed. It proved too much for a court to entertain. Even an American one.
Coffee that is too hot is coffee that is too dangerous.
Whilst fraudulent “crash for cash” and other claims do persist, some claims which appear trivial can actually lead to six-figure payouts. These awards may be ridiculed in the newspapers but genuine no-fault injury requires compensation, where there is negligence.
A case in point is the McDonalds Hot Coffee Case. It may seem bizarre to sue because coffee is served too hot. But when a spillage caused Stella Liebeck to require skin grafts after receiving third-degree burns, it doesn’t sound so crazy.
A coffee is normally served at a temperature of between 54-60°C. McDonalds’ were serving their coffee in a range of 82-88°C. Obviously, this is significantly more dangerous. In addition, McDonalds’ had refused to pay out for other similar coffee cases and had been warned about the hot coffee.
Whilst it’s true that the judge ruled Liebeck was partly responsible for the accident, he also stated that McDonald’s served their coffee unusually hot. The result was that Liebeck was awarded $640,000 in damages.
And it’s not just coffee that was too hot at McDonald’s.
Darren Miles from Andover was awarded £750 compensation from McDonald’s after the hot filling from an apple pie fell out and scalded his arm.
Personal injury claims – they are all unique.
Whilst personal injury claims for whiplash, broken arms, or cuts and bruises generally have a range of compensation that can be awarded, all claims are individual.
Some of the biggest awards in England and Wales are for tens of millions of pounds. These tend to get awarded to people who will require lifetime care.
For example, spinal injuries suffered by Agnes Collier in a car crash were so serious she was awarded £23 Million. Another multimillion award was received by Chrissie Johnson who was awarded £17.5M when she was paralysed in a car accident. And it’s not just those in cars who can receive record compensation. Manny Helmot received £14M for the resulting injuries when he was knocked off his bike.
Recovery is the key reason to make a personal injury claim
Cash for crash and frivolous claims may have given personal injury solicitors a bad name in some quarters. However, most genuine solicitors won’t waste their time on such cases. Experienced personal injury solicitors devote their time to those who are genuinely affected through no fault of their own. The compensation pays for rehabilitation and long-term care.
Compensation is commensurate with the damage and pain caused. It takes a great personal injury lawyer to maximise the pay-out because the defence will always try and minimise it. Accident at Work, read more.
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