The Oddest Financial Claims of All Time Comments36 Comments

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When something goes wrong and leads to an injury, you can be forgiven for wondering who’s at fault. Some accidents are caused by simple human error, while others occur for more bizarre reasons. Claims for compensation are often filed due to serious injury, but some are so strange that you might find them hard to believe.

How do you like your coffee?

One example of a strange compensation claim was one made against a fast food chain after spilling coffee in a ‘sensitive area’. This resulted in the claimant suffering third degree burns over 6% of her body. She was awarded $640,000 however she did have to cover her own medical costs.

Spilling hot coffee can be embarrassing more than anything else, but in the wrong place, it can be painful!

When the chips are down…

You might be aware that slipping on food that’s been left on the floor can be hazardous. Banana skins are common, but what about a chip? One man slipped on a French fry while in a canteen waiting to be served. He won his claim for compensation after serious damage done to his knee.

Under the bridge

An artist received thousands after slipping on fresh pigeon poo under a bridge in London. There’s plenty around under the capital’s bridges, but such accidents are incredibly rare, thankfully. Imagine having to tell someone you’ve become hurt after that?

Watch out for that…

Accidents happen all the time. In some cases, it could be down to a lack of attention being paid to what’s going on by the victim, but regardless of the cause, there’s always pain involved. No one likes getting hurt, especially if it’s in an embarrassing incident like slipping on food or spilling hot coffee.

No matter how you’re injured, you might find that it could come at a cost to your finances as well as your health. Not being able to work and therefore earn a wage will make paying for the basics tough. Also, there’s all the medical costs you could incur, meaning you may feel helpless.

Taking no win no fee advice could help if you feel the need to claim compensation. Legal fees are often a barrier for many people who suffer embarrassing yet painful accidents, but a no win no fee claim does as it says. This means that you have nothing to lose when claiming.

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This entry was posted in Financial Commentary, and tagged , Comments36 Comments
By : Adam | 25 Feb 2013
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36 thoughts on “The Oddest Financial Claims of All Time

  1. Jose

    Litigation in our country is ridiculous. Unfortunately we all pay for it. Our insurance premiums for homeowners and liability insurance are where they are at in a large part because of frivolous lawsuits like these. I think our court system should penalize the loser in a case. If you take someone to court and lose, you get to pay all of their expenses in defending themselves. I bet the amount of frivolous lawsuits would drop dramatically!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Sounds like a better setup to me. Better yet, judges should stop to consider what is a reason amount of prevention. Do people really need to be babied to the point that they get a big payout if they fall down on something that couldn’t possibly be addressed around the clock?

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      That one seems most absurd on this list. I don’t know what the court expected to be done about bird poo on the ground. Is there supposed to be some big sign about it? Or are they supposed to employ someone to clean that stuff up all day?

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yeah no shit….people need to look out for themselves. It’s not up to others to hold your hand and protect you from every little thing. If courts give in to stuff like this, where does it stop?

      Reply
      1. Cindy Brick

        Jeremy, you said that on purpose, right?? (grin)

        Don’t forget the woman who sued Wendy’s over a finger she found in her chili. A finger, incidentally, that she put there. Now THAT’S weird.

        Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Interesting link Greg. Yeah it sounds like she did have a legitimate case. It’s easy for people to jump to conclusions just based on hearing the headline. That one is a case where the company had full control over the situation and really should’ve known better.

      Reply
        1. Jeremy

          I kinda feel bad for the lady now since people thought her case was completely frivolous, but really it had merit to it. There is no reason that their coffee needs to be that hot.

          Reply
    2. Justin@TheFrugalPath

      Ah you beat me to it Greg. My co-workers bash on the McDonalds case all of the time, but they don’t know the full story. Headlines catch people’s attention, full articles rarely do. Although I do agree with Jeremy that we’re a sue happy bunch.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy

        Most people just don’t bother looking into it further when they first hear about the claim. I admit I was in the crowd of someone just needing people to tell her something obvious. Yes hot coffee can burn, but why do they need to put their customers at such risk?

        Reply
    3. Caitlin

      Thank you for posting this! I find that there is so much misinformation about that one McDonald’s coffee suit…. The car was not moving, and the jury found that McDonald’s was recklessly negligent in keeping their coffee at much higher temperatures than other coffee shops, even knowing the risk of burns. This woman was in the hospital for days!

      Reply
      1. Jeremy

        I’m sure all of the previous complaints and attempted lawsuits was pretty strong evidence that they should’ve known better. It’s surprising coming from a company like McDonalds. They put on this front that they care about going the extra mile, but whoever is making some of the company guidelines has other priorities on his or her mind.

        Reply
  2. Kevin @ Employee Paid Benefits

    I was walking down a hospital hallway, slipped and fell. A worker had been mopping the floor and left a small puddle, which caused my fall.

    Hospital personnel swarmed me like bees. I was taken to an examination room, and had to sign a release before letting me go. I was just fine, but the hospital wasn’t taking any chances. The reasons seem obvious.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      At least it was a hospital where they could immediately address your health. If it happened in some restaurant or store, they’d be throwing vouchers at you in hopes you’d not sue. I bet the worker forgot to leave a wet floor sign in that case.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      It is pretty crazy how that sense of entitlement has grown over the years. These kinds of lawsuits were an early sign, but it evolved into all other facets of our lives. People expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter.

      Reply
  3. Edward Antrobus

    I slipped yesterday while shoveling the snow in my driveway. Should I sue myself? lol

    Actually, the coffee case is a great court case. Not so much because of the decision, which I disagree with, but because, when the facts are laid out, it makes a great divining rod for someone’s political views. People of a liberal bent tend to agree with the case, while conservatives are more likely to disagree.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      You’re right that it would tell a lot about a person. It’s easy to judge the person who managed to spill her coffee, but from a different perspective it was all about McDonalds actions. I don’t know the full details, but I’m siding with the lady after the comments above.

      Reply
  4. Catherine

    I feel like it’s a lot more common to sue in countries without universal healthcare…how else do they get the medical attention we’re entitled to here? It’s sad but I get why it happens. If you took all the lawsuit money floating around in say, the US, they could probably afford to institute universal healthcare…

    Reply
      1. Jeremy

        Interesting observation Catherine. I hadn’t really thought about that possibility when I think of how much fewer of these lawsuits there are here in Canada. Legal precedent set by the judges plays a huge role though. It just takes one questionable decision by a judge to set the dominoes falling. Once that precedent is set, there isn’t a way to back out of it unless the person/company who lost takes it to a higher court.

        Reply
  5. The College Investor

    Working in retail I’ve seen my fair share of odd and fake claims over the years.

    My favorites are about once a year, someone will come in and fake slipping and falling. They’ll pour water out and just lay next to it.

    What these people don’t realize is that is most big box retailers, you’re always on camera – from the parking lot to every facet of the store. And it’s all digital! It’s so easy to find the fakers, and they just end up going to jail for insurance fraud!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Wow that’s brutal. I hope they get a decent charge against them for trying to pull something like that. I feel sorry for the companies who don’t have that kind of video evidence and fall prey to such scams.

      Reply
    2. Dale

      People tend to abuse the benefit of a claim especially if they know about it. Technology and security features along the premises of the business helps a lot to recover solid evidences to this kind of instances.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yep, some people just don’t think of taking advantage of situations like that. If I hurt myself, I’m blaming myself, not someone else. That thinking might change if the injury was more serious and someone was obviously at fault.

      Reply

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