4 Bizarre Personal Injury Cases That Won

boots splashing in puddle representing the rainy day that led to a personal injury lawsuit

Personal injury lawsuits are some of the most common lawsuits filed. Many of these involve the kind of everyday injuries you would expect—broken bones, slip-and-fall accidents, vehicle crashes, and more. But there are also occasional cases that involve bizarre circumstances.

These are four of the strangest personal injury cases that have been filed . . . and won.

The Missing Doorknob

Cedrick Makara was working in a building as a city claims examiner. When taking a break to go to the bathroom, he found himself stuck inside a restroom without a doorknob. Placing his thumb inside the hole that is usually occupied by the latch mechanism to pull the door open, he soon found himself in immense pain. Someone else had tried to open the door from the other side, pulling and twisting his thumb and damaging the tendons inside it.

Mr. Makara was awarded $3 million in damages for his injury after he sued the company responsible for the building, Newmark Realty. He was out of work for more than 6 months after having to have surgery on his thumb and will be left with medical costs and a minor disability for the rest of his life. His wife was also awarded $750,000 in damages.

The Wrong Forecast

It’s always frustrating when the weather forecast ends up being wrong, leaving you to deal with bad weather you weren’t prepared for. But most people understand that weather forecasting isn’t an exact prediction.

Back in 1996, a woman in Tel Aviv, Israel, decided to trust the weather report from her local station and go outside lightly dressed. The weather took a turn for the worse, though, leaving the woman stuck in the rain. She quickly became ill after her exposure, which made it necessary to take time off of work and pay for medication.

The woman took the weather station and the forecaster to court over the incident and was awarded $1,000 in compensation for her medication and time off work due to the illness.

The Phonebooth Deathtrap

Upon finishing his shift as a custodian in LA one night in 1972, Charles Bigbee decided to make a call at the nearest phone booth. This phone booth was between a busy road and a liquor store, making it a high-risk area for dangerous driving.

After finishing his call, Mr. Bigbee turned to see a car swerving toward him at high speed. Due to a faulty latch, he was unable to get the booth door open before the car came crashing into the booth with him inside. This left Bigbee with life-changing injuries that prevented him from working.

He collected $25,000 in damages from the driver’s insurance, but this wasn’t enough to cover the medical fees he would have to live with and make up for his inability to work. However, his lawyer found records of a similar incident that had occurred 20 months beforehand. A driver had crashed into the phone booth, completely destroying it; but a new one was constructed in the exact same location, despite the danger of that area already being proved.

Mr. Bigbee was able to settle for an undisclosed amount in 1986 due to the phone booth company’s negligence.

The Unstopping Train

In 2003, Seong Sil Kim lay down on a set of subway tracks in Manhattan, New York, in an apparent attempt to commit suicide. When a train reached her, though, it didn’t kill her. Instead, she was left with a partially amputated hand, a fractured skull, and a long list of other substantial injuries.

The following legal case was more complicated than it seemed at first. Ms. Kim claimed no memory of her journey to the tracks, and someone had called the police to inform them of the danger about six minutes before the accident occurred. The train operator was immediately notified of the issue and should have been able to stop long before hitting Kim.

Seong Sil Kim sued the New York Transit Authority and was awarded $9.9 million after the judge reduced her original compensation of $14.1 million due to her own role in the accident.

Personal Injury Cases

As you can see, the world of personal injury lawsuits isn’t as clean-cut as many people expect. And, bizarre historical cases aside, personal injuries happen every day. Some of them are strange, some of them standard—but all of them are detrimental to your health and happiness.

If you’ve suffered an injury through the fault or negligence of another party, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for your medical expenses and physical and emotional harm. An experienced personal injury attorney from Napoli Shkolnik can help you receive compensation for your personal injury.