The idea behind a lawsuit is to give a person who was wronged because of another person’s negligence away to get compensated. This can include suing manufacturers for putting dangerous products out on the market when they should’ve known better, suing motorists who are prone to driving dangerously and end up hurting or killing someone and suing employers who don’t take the safety of their employees seriously, among other things.
If you’re wondering whether you have a valid reason to sue, remember that frivolous lawsuits tend to get an awful lot of publicity that sometimes makes it seem like all lawsuits are frivolous. This is not at all the case.
Listverse gives an example of a classic frivolous lawsuit. In the 1990s, Anheuser-Busch was running commercials that involved a pair of women who appeared to people drinking Budweiser beer. According to the article, a Michigan man went out and got some Budweiser, drank it, and after two women didn’t show up, he filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, claiming that they were engaging in false advertising. He asked for more than $10,000 in the lawsuit, which the court dismissed.
Another lawsuit listed on this article mirrors many other articles in describing a particular lawsuit that occurred in Albuquerque. A 79-year-old Albuquerque woman bought a cup of coffee from McDonald’s and, when she tried to add sugar to the drink, it’s spilled on her lap causing severe burns. She ended up getting $2.7 million in punitive damages, which was subsequently reduced to $600,000 in a settlement.
The second lawsuit, while it is often times cast as a prime example of a frivolous lawsuit, actually involved serious injury. The woman who was burned was burned because the coffee was unreasonably hot and she suffered severe damage to her legs and thighs due to the burns.
Finding frivolous lawsuits and holding them up as examples of what’s wrong with the legal system is a popular occupation among the chattering class. The fact is, if you have been injured by someone whose negligence directly contributed to that injury and who should be responsible for paying the bill, you have the civil courts to rely upon as a way to try to get compensated. The only person who can tell you whether or not a lawsuit you are curious about filing is frivolous is an attorney. Talk to an attorney and get their opinion on the matter before you believe the stereotypes.