Over the past few months I’ve shared a few reasons why insurance rates continue to go up, up, up. From the property side, weather and fires are the biggest culprits in the upward spiral of rates.
This month I wanted to share a few liability lawsuits. These cases are either making their way through the courts, or may have already been adjudicated. I believe your reaction will be the same as mine in most cases. That is, “Are You Kidding Me”? I wonder how they ever even make it to the courts.
As you read the cases below, ask yourself, would I award damages? Some cases have been settled and some are still making their way through the courts. You will have to go to “The Stella Awards” and purchase their book to get all the outcomes.
- Drunk climbs under parked truck and passes out. When the inevitable happens (yep: squished), who’s responsible? According to a lawsuit filed by his mother, everybody — except, of course, him. You make the call!
- Woman broken down in her car in a public place decides not to wait for the tow truck to take her on a 60-mile jaunt. Instead, she takes a ride with a stranger — who rapes and murders her. Yeah yeah, he’s caught and convicted, but surely someone needs to pay. How about the auto club?
- Teen throws herself off the Golden Gate Bridge. Tragic — but who’s to blame? With no one logical to sue, the girl’s mother sues the bridge’s board of directors, claiming they violated the teen’s “constitutional right not to be deprived of life without due process of law.”
- Woman commits fraud to get a no-limit credit card and runs up a nearly million-dollar debt. When the credit card company sues her demanding she pay her bill, she counter-sues, claiming the company “knew or should have known that [she] was acting impulsively and irrationally at the time.”
- Your Turn: “Try” a Few Cases — A pro football star, while speeding in a snow storm, crashed his oversize SUV, killing his assistant. The footballer died two weeks later from a blood clot. His mother sued, arguing that the SUV’s roof didn’t meet crush standards. The defense noted that the SUV roof not only met but exceeded the federal standards, even though it was not even required to meet them. The mother’s attorney begged the jury to send a message and award “at least $75 million, perhaps more than $100 million,” in damages. How would you rule?
- School Daze (What Our Kids are Really Learning) — High school student works for his mother — at her law office — for “work experience” credit. She assigns her son’s grade, A+, but the school doesn’t recognize A+ grade, so it records an A. He sues.
You may think the above suits are frivolous and don’t affect us. However, whether the cases are won or lost, millions of dollars of legal fees are paid. We as consumers ultimately pay the cost.
Is it possible you could get that dreaded lawsuit? Absolutely! Now would be a great time to give one of our team members a call to make sure you have adequate liability insurance. Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, you are always at risk for a lawsuit. Now would be a good time to get an “umbrella (excess liability) policy” if you don’t have one.
$1,000,000 Oklahoma personal umbrella protection may cost as little as $150 a year. Visit our web-site at www.rci-ins.com for more info or to request a proposal.