Despite years of legal reform, the bizarre lawsuits continue to be filed. Reports ABC News:
Coffee too hot? Or perhaps the dry cleaners lost a favorite pair of pants? Maybe, like one Colorado inmate who hurt himself rappelling down a jail wall claimed, sheriff’s officials made escaping a little too easy.
Those are a few of the allegations in controversial lawsuits that have been filed recently.
Hundreds of lawsuits are filed every day in the United States, for claims ranging from legitimate to ridiculous. A survey of 34 state court systems found 433,000 new tort cases in 2006, down from 547,000 in 1997, according to the National Center for State Courts.
A woman famously sued McDonald’s in the early 1990s after she spilled scalding coffee on her legs. A jury awarded her more than $2 million, which was reduced by a judge. A Michael Jordan look-alike sued Nike and Jordan for $862 million because he found it distressing to be mistaken for the basketball star. He dropped his suit after a wave of negative news articles.
“When people bring suits they often sue for the moon,” says Phillip Howard, chairman of Common Good, a legal reform coalition. “Some people will bring suits over any accident or perceived slight and the broad effect of that is that people in society go through the day looking over their shoulders.”
The good news? At least the total number of lawsuits is down.
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