Winning damages for fun in a bar

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The Independent Online
Litigation may be getting worse in Britain - but we still have a long way to catch up the land of the lawyer - the United States.

Just days ago it was announced that film maker Oliver Stone was being sued for pounds 20m by a victim of "copycat" violence from his film Natural Born Killers.

A New Mexico woman won $1.8m (reduced on appeal) when she was scalded taking off the lid of a cup of McDonald's coffee; A man won $8m after throwing himself in front of a subway train which sliced off his legs - apparently suicides should be warned of the risk. Then there was the woman who successfully sued the owners of a bar which she fell out of, drunk, and hurt herself.

In a recent case a woman sued a New York newspaper after she tripped over the paper bundle on the doorstep. Her case? - the newspaper was "too fat".

Another litigant successfully sued after their bare feet were mangled. The machine had a sign saying "do not use with bare feet"; but had not apparently made it clear that using it with bare feet could hurt you ...

And, maybe apocryphally, a woman took the manufacturers of her microwave oven to court after she had tried to dry her pet dog in it. She complained that the machine had not displayed a sign warning of the consequences - roast dog.