While most personal injury cases deal with typical slip and falls, car accidents, or defective devices, there are also some cases that are so unusual they’ve become famous. These are a few of the most legendary personal injury cases to make their way through the court system.
Stella Liebeck Versus McDonald’s
Perhaps the most famous personal injury case of all is Liebeck vs. McDonald’s, otherwise known as the hot coffee case. In 1992, Stella Liebeck ordered a cup of coffee from McDonald’s. As the 79-year-old was holding the coffee between her legs in the passenger seat of a parked car, the coffee spilled on her lap and caused third-degree burns. Before Liebeck’s case, McDonald’s had received over 700 reports of injury from its coffee.
Liebeck offered to settle for $20,000 to cover lost income and medical expenses, but McDonald’s thought it would win the case and went to trial. However, the jury sided with Liebeck. She and McDonald’s eventually reached a confidential settlement.
Bret Michaels Versus CBS
In 2009, Bret Michaels, lead singer of the rock band Poison, suffered an injury to his face at the Tony Awards, which was broadcast by CBS. Michaels claimed that a set piece hit him in the face because CBS didn’t tell him how to exit the stage safely. Immediately after the incident, he had X-rays that showed a broken nose. A few months later, he also suffered a brain hemorrhage, which he believes was from the accident. Michaels and CBS eventually settled the lawsuit, and the terms were not made public.
Cedrick Makara Versus Newmark Realty and 40 Worth Associates
A jury awarded Cedrick Makara $3 million after he injured his thumb trying to get out of a bathroom that didn’t have a doorknob. In 1999, Makara said he went to use the bathroom in the building where he worked. The bathroom door was missing the knob, so he put his hand through the hole where the knob should have been to open the door. At the same time, someone else was trying to enter the bathroom and pushed the door in, injuring Makara’s thumb. The injuries were so severe Makara had to have surgery and miss time from work.
Gladys Escola Versus Coca-Cola
The last thing Gladys Escola expected when she was stocking glass Coca-Cola bottles in the refrigerator was to have one explode in her hands, yet that’s exactly what happened to her in 1944. Escola had severed muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in her thumb and palm of her hand. With the help of her personal injury attorney, Escola sued Coca-Cola to recover damages for her injuries, and the jury ruled in her favor. Today, this landmark case is required study for most first-year law students because it holds companies responsible for the safety of their products.
While these personal injury cases are famous for their unusual or precedent-setting matters, cases are also tried in courts every day on more typical accidents. If you’re dealing with a personal injury case, contact David W. Singer & Associates, P.A. for help with your claim.