Why We Have Lawyers!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by MRSH, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amok inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering that the misbehaving tyke was Ms. Robertson's son.

    Nineteen-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbour ran over Carl's hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice that someone was at the wheel of the car whose hubcap he was trying to steal.

    Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was exiting a house he had finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up as the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't reenter the house because the door between the garage and the house had locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, so Mr.Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. This upset Mr.Dickson, so he sued the homeowner's insurance company, claiming the situation had caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars and change.

    Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced-in yard. Mr. Williams was also in the yard. The award was less than the amount sought because the jury felt that the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams, who, at the time, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

    A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

    Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out two front teeth. This occurred when Ms. Walton was trying to sneak out through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Just like the Americans to sue anybody!!!

    BTW, how do I get compensation for the Spennymoor Spew?

  3. cornetkate

    cornetkate Member


    Well it looks like I'll be going over to America when I'm qualified if cases like that can win.... and I'll come back to England when I'm rich ££££ and can pay my student loan off :D

    Anyone wanting compen from the Spennymoor Spew I've heard there is a solicitor taking on clients as we speak; but you have to bear in mind there's a long queue!

    (and Ally McBeal in the making)
  4. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Contact an American lawyer :D;):eek:
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Given the current exchange rate...It still may take you twice as long as you thought ;)
  6. cornetkate

    cornetkate Member

    MMM you probably do have a point - but a good thought initally you must admit. Anyway, it means I can escape the dreaded student loan company in the meantime; which has to be a bonus :)
  7. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    :lol: ...only in America....

  8. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    American lawyers run cases on agreements known as 'contingency fees'. Very basically, these provide that if they win, (which can mean a whole raft of different things!), they get a percentage of the damages/ compensation recovered.

    Contingency fee arrangements are not permitted in this country (save with some limited exceptions) although a 'no win, no fee' agreement (as seen on the tv) is allowed. The latter is a type of contingency fee agreement whereby the solicitor agrees that he will only be paid in the event that the case wins, (again which can mean a whole load of different solutions). The carrot for the solicitor is that if successful they can get an 'uplift' or 'success fee' which can be as much as 100% of the actual fees. If successful the majority of the legal costs is usually recoverable from the losing party.

    The problem with the American system is that compensation is often decided by juries who know that the lawyer will get a big fat cut of the compensation and therefore inflate the award to make sure the person who has suffered gets what is deemed to be the true amount of compensation. It has simply spiralled out of control and this justifies why you can get millions of dollars for spilling coffe on yourself! In this country, it doesn't work that way as the solicitor can only take a maximum of 25% of any uplift/ success fee from the client's compensation.

    However, I fear it is only a matter of time before the American style of funding cases makes its way into this country.

    As regards claiming for 'Spenny-belly' from what I have heard (which is probably only rumour) the chances of a succesful claim are low as it may not be possible to identify somebody or something which is accountable for the problem. Even then it would be necessary to show that that person or organisation owed a duty to the people at the Spennymoor leisure centre, that they were in breach of that duty and that their breach of duty caused the illness. Nevertheless, anybody who suffered can contact any firm of solicitors to discuss the prospects of making a personal injury claim. Lots still offer a 30 minute free 'diagnostic' interview to see whether it is worth pursuing or not.

  9. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    No doubt that the U.S. has become a highly litigious society. There are hundreds, if not thousands of similar, and apparently true, stories. The amounts of the settlements are frequently as outrageous as the cases themselves.

    Reminds me of a couple of old lawyer jokes (with apologies to any tMP'ers in the legal profession):

    A dead man is found lying in the middle of the road, having been hit by a car. How do you know he was a lawyer?

    No skid marks :)

    What do you call a dozen lawyers lying dead at the bottom of the ocean?

    A good start :-D
  10. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Q: If you have a dozen lawyers buried up to thei necks in sand, what have you got?

    A: Not enough sand.......