Some of the Most Famous Personal Injuries Claims & How They Settled

 August 17, 2021

By  BC Editorial Team

In a personal injury lawsuit, an injured party goes after another party, who they claim are responsible for their injuries and should compensate them accordingly. Whenever involved in any sort of legal dispute, it is advisable that you enlist an expert personal injury lawyer to secure the most favorable compensation settlement you can.

Tort law governs these kinds of situations. Nearly every day, personal injury lawsuits are filed or taken to court. With that said, here’s a look at some of the most well-known and/or notorious instances of personal injury cases.

Heavy Metal Singer Bret Michaels Sues CBS

Poison lead singer filed a lawsuit against CBS after sustaining an injury during the 2009 Tony Awards, which was broadcast on the network. He says CBS did not adequately inform him on how to exit the stage, which resulted in his being struck in the head by equipment on the set. The show’s presenter, Neil Patrick Harris, made a joke, saying Michaels took “head banger” to another level. Due to the accident, he broke his nose and a few months later, he had a brain hemorrhage, which he blamed on the accident. Michaels ultimately won the case and received a settlement, though we don’t know for how much.

Suing Over An Incorrect Weather Forecast

Although this case did not occur in the U.S., it is one of the most well-known instances of the extent that individuals would go in search of a payday. An Israeli woman sued a weatherman because his forecast was incorrect. According to the forecast, it was supposed to be a very nice day, but there was rain. The woman stated that because of this, she was improperly clothed, and as a result, she was injured after contracting the flu and being unable to go to work and it cost her for medicine. Although the case seems a bit outlandish, she was actually awarded around $1,000.

McDonald’s vs. Liebeck

This one is arguably the most well-known personal injury lawsuit in history. Back in 1994, the Liebeck versus McDonald’s case began, stemming from a burn injury an elderly woman named Stella Lieback suffered after spilling coffee on herself at a McDonald’s drive-thru. The hot coffee spilled onto her lap and Liebeck suffered burns to her upper legs and crotch area. She would go on to file a lawsuit against McDonald’s for $20,000 after it was discovered that McDonald’s coffee was significantly hotter than normal cups of coffee. McDonald’s thought the women didn’t have a case, so it was taken to court. Liebeck was awarded $200,000 in the case by the judge. The case would continue, however, and the lawsuit would ultimately be settled with an award of $2.7 million in punitive damages. Ouch!

Faulty Doorknobs

New York City claims examiner Cedrick Makara filed a negligence lawsuit against Newmark Realty and 40 Worth Associates after suffering serious injury due to a doorknob. He entered a restroom that didn’t have a doorknob, and when he attempted to exit by pushing the door open, another person was trying to enter at the same time and it resulted in him severely injuring his thumb in the process. Makara would undergo surgery and was out of work for 6 months because ot it. In the end, he won a $3 million judgement by a jury, who agreed with him, and his wife received $750,000 in damages.

Captured Burglar

Terrence Dickinson, a burglar from Bristol, Pennsylvania, intended to break into a house. However, while attempting to  burglarize the property, he became stuck since the garage and doors were broken, trapping him inside the home. He was stranded inside the home for more than a week, surviving on dry dog food and soda. The burglar would eventually sue the homeowners for mental anguish and received a settlement of $500,000.

Gloria Estefan Injured In Car Accident

Gloria Estefan was on tour with her band back in 1990 when her tour bus collided with a jackknifed tractor-trailer. In the accident, she suffered a back injury and was sidelined for an entire year. After recovering, Estefan had to relearn how to walk and how to deal with the rigors or touring and traveling.

The company that owned the tractor-trailer business was found to be at fault, so Estefan and her husband filed a lawsuit, seeking medical costs, lost earnings and pain and suffering. She was ultimately awarded $8.95 million. Surprisingly, the truck’s owner sued the truck’s operator in an effort to recoup part of the money they had lost.

Suing NYC Over Ridiculous Subway Injury

In New York City, a woman attempted suicide by lying down on the track. When the train finally came, it didn’t kill the woman, but it did hurt her. The woman subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city of New York for her injuries. Get this, the Supreme Court sided with her and she was given a $14.1 million judgement.

Emotional Distress Caused by a Car Accident

A university student named Julie Miramon claimed she suffered from emotional distress after being struck in a two-car accident in 1988. She did not suffer any serious bodily damage. Following the accident, she claims her emotional distress led to anxiety and the development of an eating disorder. Miramon claims her life was drastically altered as a result of the accident and sued. She would win $790 for medical costs and $6,000 in pain and suffering.


The horrific 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City in 2001 caused many deaths and damages, as well as a slew of lawsuits. Many of the victims were compensated within a few years. Workers at “Ground Zero,” on the other hand, filed claims alleging that they were sick as a result of the environmental conditions they were exposed to during the rescue and cleaning operations. These cases took a long time to settle, in part because they were brought individually rather than as part of a class action lawsuit.

There were over 9,000 separate lawsuits against commercial contractors and government organizations filed by Ground Zero employees in 2009. In all of the lawsuits, it was alleged that not enough was done to protect the employees from developing different diseases as a result of the extremely hazardous atmosphere at Ground Zero. Police officers, firefighters, and construction employees submitted the majority of the complaints. They were mostly interested in getting paid for respiratory illnesses and cancer. The defendants, on the other hand, disputed these allegations, claiming that there was no proof of a connection between the diseases and the Ground Zero circumstances. Furthermore, the city of New York claimed legal immunity, claiming that the assault constituted a national emergency. If the city is required to pay damages, this will be funded by local taxpayer payments, which is not equitable.

It took years to come to a resolution, but in 2011, a $712 million settlement was handed down to over 90% of the claims. Those suffering from life-threatening diseases will be given no more than $1.8 million apiece. The $712 million will be put into a fund to help people with lung diseases get financial help. The Zadroga Act, enacted by President Barack Obama the same year, gives additional billions to guarantee that 9/11 victims may be monitored and treated. Anyone who worked or resided in the region at the time of the assault is eligible to apply, not only those who filed the case. The funds do not currently cover cancer treatments, but if a connection between cancer and the assaults can be shown, that will change.

The Act also reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which had been shut down in 2003. This fund is for individuals who have been left partially or completely disabled as a consequence of a disease related to the attacks. It exists not just to recompense individuals for their financial losses, but also for their long-term pain and suffering.

BC Editorial Team


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