Strange but true reasons people have tried for compensation


SUING your bosses for £1 million because your office chair makes farting noises might seem like a lawsuit too far to some people.

And yet compared with some compensation claims pursued over the years, teacher Sue Storer’s legal bid seems positively mundane.

The 48-year-old deputy head is claiming the massive sum after leaving her job because the chair, which made rude noises when sat on, wasn’t replaced.

But it’s only the latest in a long line of unlikely lawsuits, and not quite all of them come from America…

Texan Stella Liebeck, 81, sued when she suffered third-degree burns after spilling a cup of McDonald’s coffee on her lap. She won £1.7million in damages.

Virginia prisoner Robert Lee Brock sued himself claiming he violated his own human rights by getting drunk enough to commit crimes and be arrested. He wanted nearly £3million and said the money should be paid by the state as he was behind bars and couldn’t work. Not surprisingly, he lost.

A man who threw a boomerang that came back and hit him on the head sued himself for causing bodily harm through negligence. His case was dismissed.

Carl Truman from Los Angeles won £42,000 when his neighbour ran over his hand with his car. Truman, 19, was trying to steal his neighbour’s hubcaps at the time.

A British teenager who suffered a 40ft fall from a warehouse while trespassing was awarded £567,000 in compensation – 50 times the limit that the family of a murdered person can receive.

When Texan Kathleen Robertson broke her ankle tripping over a toddler in a furniture store, she won £450,000 in damages. The fact the toddler was her own son didn’t matter.

In 1995, Robert Glaser was at a San Diego concert and was alarmed at the venue’s unisex bathroom policy. Unable to spend a penny with women in nearby cubicles, he tried to sue for £3million, but lost in the end.

Terence Dickson found himself locked inside a Pennsylvania house for eight days after breaking in to burgle it. He sued the owners for mental anguish and insurers paid out £280,000.

Swede Igor Lehnberg donated sperm to two lesbian friends of his who wanted a baby. They later sued him for child support and won £150 a month.

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, won £8000 after his neighbour’s dog bit him – despite the fact Williams was shooting the dog with an airgun at the time.

Florida man Paul Shimkonis sued a strip club for more than £8000 in 1998 claiming he got whiplash from a stripper’s breasts during a lapdance. His claim proved unsuccessful.

A Philadelphia restaurant had to pay Amber Carson £65,000 after she was injured slipping on a spilled soft drink. Amber had thrown that same drink at her boyfriend 30 seconds previously.

Delaware woman Kara Walton knocked out two front teeth as she tried to climb through the bathroom window of a nightclub to avoid paying the entrance fee. She sued the club and won £7000.

Police in Vermont lost a suspect they were chasing in winter 2002 when he ran into a forest. He came out 72 hours later, lost several fingers and toes to frostbite and successfully sued the police for not searching hard enough.

Oklahoma man Merv Grazinski bought a motor home in 2000 and during his drive home, left his seat to go into the back and make a cup of coffee. After he crashed, he sued the makers for not telling him he couldn’t do this, winning £ 1 million plus a new motor home.

Kevin Mackle died in 1998 when a vending machine he was trying to steal a can from by rocking it fell on top of him. His family tried to sue the machine makers for £375,000 alleging the machine was not secure and had no warning signs.

Idaho student Frank Reinfeld fell three floors and suffered multiple injuries when the window he was mooning out of gave way. He unsuccessfully sued his university for not providing a safe environment.

A New Jersey man, who freely admitted he was eating a McDonald’s takeaway when he crashed his car in 1993, tried to sue the fast food firm after the accident. His case was thrown out.

A 27-year-old from Michigan whose car was slammed by a truck sued the truck’s owners four years later claiming the minor injuries he suffered made him unable to have sex and turned him into a homosexual. He won more than £100,000 and his former wife got £14,000.