When Personal Injury Lawsuits Become Frivolous
Frivolous personal injury lawsuits are a widespread problem in New Jersey and throughout the United States. Even people who have never set foot in a courtroom know the “Don’t sue me!” jokes, and the tiniest mistakes by restaurants or other businesses have become fodder for opportunists to claim suffering. Frivolous lawsuits waste time, waste money, and take resources away from people who truly need them.
Frivolous or Legitimate?
Lawsuits arise across a vast spectrum of payout size, media publicity, and background detail. Individuals can sue businesses or each other, and vice versa. There are a thousand ways to be physically, emotionally, or financially injured — and a thousand ways to exaggerate (or even fake) such an injury in the interest of reaping a huge financial reward.
In most cases, we can give the plaintiff the benefit of the doubt. After all, many injuries, certainly those of the emotional ilk, are not visible to the naked eye. However, in some cases, the presence of dishonest motives seems almost painfully obvious.
“Seriously Injured” Man Topples 1-Ton Boulder
Boy Scout leader Glenn Taylor has been appearing in recent news as the latest frivolous filer. Taylor was hiking with a troop of Scouts through Goblin Valley State Park in Utah this month when he decided to topple a massive boulder, one of the “goblins” for which the park is named. He cited the precarious placement of the boulder as his reason, saying, “One gust of wind, and a family’s dead.” The ancient status of the rock formation, which was millions of years old, seems reason enough for the incident to be criminal. But the real crime is a layer deeper.
Because just one month prior to shoving the 2,000 pound boulder from its perch, Taylor filed a lawsuit — a lawsuit claiming “serious, permanent, and debilitating injuries.”
The defendant in the suit is Alan MacDonald, who, along with his daughter, was involved in an auto accident that purportedly “permanently injured” Taylor back in 2009. The accident did not lead to any hospitalizations.
MacDonald is dubious about Taylor’s claims. “Someone with a bad back,” the defendant argued, “who’s disabled, who can’t enjoy life, to me, doesn’t step up and push a rock that big off its base.” He went on to say, “I was just a little surprised, because he looks like a fairly strong, able-bodied guy to me,” adding that he was “highly offended” by the whole incident.
“You didn’t see how hard I pushed,” Taylor said.
Mark Stubbs, Taylor’s attorney, stands by his client’s claims, and insists Taylor is still recovering from the injuries he claims he sustained back in 2009.
Whether or not Taylor is telling the truth, here’s something to think about: the United States spends over $250 billion annually on civil litigation. Italy, the next runner-up, spends a tenth of that amount at $27 billion — and in America, New Jersey ranks #5 for most attorneys by state.
If you or someone you love has been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. The skilled attorneys at Lombardo Law can discuss the details to determine if you have a case. Call us today at (609) 445-4300, or contact us online.