The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

2012's Top 10 Errors, Accidents and Lawsuits (Part I of II)

Personal injury lawusits are often contentious and end in out-of-court settlements. But they're also where some of the oddest stories can emerge.

In reviewing the personal injury stories in Chicago that we covered in 2012, our 10 most popular posts included everything from miracle resurrections to gangrenous testicles. Good times.

1. McDonald's Hot Coffee Lawsuit Strikes Again, and Again

Ronald McD's coffee is the stuff of legend, and not due to its taste. No, nearly every person old enough to remember 1992 remembers the lawsuit that came and went after a woman burned her genitals due to a loosely-lidded coffee cup. The case became a cause célèbre for tort reform and parody for sitcoms. The caustic coffee struck again in 2012, leading to two burned victims and more lawsuits.

2. Westwood College Lawsuit: Sued for Giving Out Useless Degrees

You've heard the annoying commercials about college degrees from no-name schools. They promise an affordable education that will set you off on a new and exciting career path in criminal justice! Unfortunately for students of Westwood College, a for-profit chain of colleges in the Chicago area, they aren't accredited by any local associations. This meant the degrees, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, were utterly useless.

3. Alive Boy Pronounced Dead by Hospital, Parents May Sue

"He's alive!" It's not the stuff of Frankenstein, nor was it a laughing matter. A local hospital pronounced a boy dead after cardiac arrest. Hours later, he was "miraculously" resurrected after his parents continued to fight for a cardiac ultrasound. This post suggested a medical malpractice lawsuit, which was exactly what the parents ended up pursuing in October.

What was the hospital's defense to their apparent negligence? They claimed it was an example of the Lazarus phenomenon, which is a spontaneous return of heart function. In the entire history of medicine, only 38 known cases have been reported.

4. Plastic Surgery Patients' Names, Breasts Revealed Online

A botched web-design job led to a number of female patients' breasts, labeled with their names, being revealed to the world. Web developers set up the sites and the doctors' staff were supposed to upload the content. Unfortunately, someone forgot to remove the names from the photos, which the patients agreed to allow as examples of the doctors' work. We dug up a federal law that states that website providers are not liable for the content published by others.

5. Skinny Jeans Can Harm Testes; The Law of Comparative Fault

Did you know that those awful skinny jeans that the Biebs is rockin' can actually cause permanent damage? Medical experts have found that the overly restrictive denim can cause numbness and nerve damage in the thighs, and in extreme cases, testicular torsion and gangrenous testicles. We answered the important question: what effect does a person's fashion choices have on their ability to successfully sue?

That's all folks. We know, we said 10. Tomorrow, we'll have five more. We promise. Until then, go to your closets, find your skinny jeans, and burn them.

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