5 craziest lawsuits in America in 2015
What should have been a joyous occasion turned into family quarrel. Sean Tarala, 8, was celebrating his birthday at his aunt’s residence in Manhattan. Doing what any youngster would do, he jumped into the arms of his beloved relative, Jennifer Connell, to give her a hug. However, she fell down and broke her wrist. Rather than just accept this was an accident as a result of youthful exuberance, Connell took the incident to a whole new level by suing her nephew!
She claimed he was negligent in jumping into her arms and a “reasonable eight-year-old” would know better, while she claimed she had trouble holding her hors d’oeuvres plate at a recent party, the New York Daily News reported. Thankfully commonsense prevailed as Connell’s case to claim $127,000 was thrown out, with the jury needing just 25 minutes to find in the nephew’s favor. Christmas should be interesting this year.
Pining for justice
A navy veteran wants $5 million from a host of US governmental organizations after his lawyer said a 7kg (15lb) pine cone fell and crushed his skull at a national park in San Francisco. Attorney Scott Johnson said his client Sean Mace suffered an irreversible brain injury and “is afraid to go outside because something might hit him in the head,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Mace had dozed off while sitting under a bunya pine tree when a giant pine cone fell on him. The park has since fenced off the tree where the navy veteran was sitting. This is not enough for Johnson, who mentioned: "First and foremost, the Park Service needs to do something to make sure this never happens again...This park is full of tourists and schoolchildren. Something needs to change."
A family pet from Seattle has cost its owners $500,000 after a neighbor sued them for the noise made by their barking dog… and won! Neighbor Woodrow Thompson claimed that the pooch, Cawper, had a ‘super’ bark of 128 decibels through double pane windows. This would make it louder than the sound of thunder and almost as loud as a military jet taking off, experts from Purdue University stated.
"How can you give somebody a half a million dollar lien over a dog barking?" Thanks for nothing, Cawper. Way to go. pic.twitter.com/kCrMV7OjRS— Jon Humbert (@jonhumbert) February 9, 2015
Cawper’s owner, Denise Norton dismissed the lawsuit as a joke. "In my head, everything was so bogus that he'd been doing, I don't know why, I just didn't think it was real or something," Norton told KOMO-TV. However, Thompson was deadly serious and due to Norton’s failure to appear in court to challenge the lawsuit. Norton is now trying to fight the verdict and get the case dismissed.
Does crime pay?
A convicted bank robber from near Seattle is trying to sue local police after they shot him while he was carrying out a robbery. The Everett Daily Herald said Todd Kirkpatrick filed a legal claim asking for a staggering $6.3 million in compensation, saying, “I was obviously unarmed and severely shot up.” He said he also suffered long-term loss of mobility to his left arm, left hand and left leg.
Kirkpatrick was robbing a KeyBank in Stanwood in September 2012 when he saw Deputy Dan Scott and tried to flee. The deputy chased Kirkpatrick and shot him twice. He was convicted of four bank robberies and sentenced to 17 years in prison. However, he filed the multimillion-dollar law suit last month, saying his legal bills amounted to more than $300,000.
Suing in Seattle
Being America’s coffee and grunge capital, one would think the city would be amongst the most chilled out in the country, however, it would seem not as the Emerald City makes a third appearance on the list.
In February, eight-year-old Gabi Mann’s friendship with a murder of crows warmed the hearts of millions around the globe. She fed the birds and they would bring her shiny gifts in return. However, not everyone was impressed, with local neighbors launching a lawsuit against her parents.
They say the birds are leaving droppings, damaging their homes, while they are also attracting rats. The plaintiffs are seeking $200,000 in compensation for damage to gutters and drainpipes.