Most personal injury lawsuits never see a newspaper or reach the headlines on your local news report. However, there are three that still to this day come back in headlines. Surprisingly, the most famous personal injury lawsuits are not all about the dollar amounts in the settlements; instead, it is about the subject.
Stella Liebeck v. McDonald’s
This is one of the more famous personal injury cases of the century. It was labeled as a frivolous lawsuit by some, but this single lawsuit is what forced companies to start labeling their hot products to avoid burning their customers – or at least to avoid being held responsible for burns.
Ms. Liebeck suffered from third-degree burns on her inner thighs and groin area – so severe that she needed skin grafts to recover – after she spilled a hot coffee in her lap. McDonald’s knew their coffee was too hot, and the company’s own policy states that coffee must be kept at 185 degrees. Liebeck was not the first to be burned by the coffee served up at this fast-food chain. In fact, more than 700 others reported that they had been burned by McDonald’s coffee in the last decade.
After McDonald’s tried to scoff away the lawsuit, they ended up offering a settlement of $20,000 to the plaintiff. However, the case eventually went to trial where a jury awarded Liebeck $2.7 million.
Anderson v. Cryovac, Inc.
This was a lawsuit that was brought against multiple companies for contaminating their groundwater. It became the basis for a book, A Civil Action, which was later turned into a movie where John Travolta played the attorney fighting for his clients.
These companies, all subsidiaries of W.R. Grace, were brought to trial because they greedily dumped so many toxic chemicals into the ground, it caused cancer clusters – giving several children leukemia and costing numerous lives. This lawsuit ended with punitive and compensatory damages, and is by far one of the more famous lawsuits brought against a company for their selfish actions.
Anderson, et al. v. Pacific Gas and Electric
While it has the same name, it is a different Anderson that represented this lawsuit, though it was also made famous by a movie, Erin Brockovich. As another toxic tort case, this case involved the residents of Hinkley, California, where they went up against one of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world. They claimed that the company had polluted their groundwater, causing clusters of cancer in adult and children, ultimately claiming numerous lives. This too resulted in punitive and compensatory damages, and is a personal injury lawsuit that helped prevent future contaminations by showing companies what will occur if they fail to follow proper disposal and environmental practices.
Have You Been Injured? Contact Malman Law
You do not need a precedent-setting case to file your lawsuit. If you have been injured because of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation under the law. The attorneys at Malman Law are here to represent your claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation at 888-247-2160, or fill out an online contact form with your questions.