Many controversial legal cases hit the headlines, a recent one being that of Texan, Brandon Vezmar who was so annoyed that his date spent all the time texting while they were in the cinema, that he is suing her for the cost of the cinema tickets.
The 37-year-old now wants $17.31 refunding, after what he calls his “date from hell.”
Sarah Naylor, senior associate comments:
“The absurdity of a lawsuit like this is reminiscent of the typically, and outlandishly, American Stella Awards (www.stellaawards.com). It seems to be an awful waste of the time and resources of the court to deal with a claim for $17. Cases like this are really frivolous and an abuse of the court system. However, if you have some time to look at the Stella Awards you will see that amongst the ridiculous are some cases that involve very real issues or injuries which do deserve compensation.
The case which founded the Stella Awards was a claim by Stella Liebeck in 1992 against McDonalds when she scalded herself on a cup of coffee from the chain. The facts of that case are fascinating and resulted in the warning you now see on McDonalds hot drinks cups “caution:contents hot” (and indeed hot drinks purchased from anywhere else). Cases such as Stella Liebeck’s, though amusing on the face of it, are often pioneering and build the foundations for the standards we apply today against personal injury claims.
One of the foundation cases we legal practitioners learn about during law school is Donoghue v Stevenson. Mrs Donoghue was drinking a bottle of ginger beer and found there to be a dead snail at the bottom. She fell ill and then sued the ginger beer manufacturer, successfully. At first glance the facts of the case seem perhaps humorous. However, the injury to Mrs Donoghue was very real and the case created the modern concept of negligence that we deal with in litigation today.
So, as for the Texan gentleman suing his date, watch that space- you never know!!”