Blame Stella Liebeck. It was her ridiculous lawsuit against McDonald's that started the avalanche. Back in 1992, 79-year-old Stella spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee on her lap and burned herself. Everyone laughed when she declared she was suing McDonald's, until a jury awarded her $2.9m.
Now outrageous lawsuits are a fact of life no matter how farcical.
The latest involves ex-con Dawud Yaduallah, who is suing a prison nurse in the US after she sent him to his cell even though medication had given him a painful 55-hour erection that wouldn't go away.
It seems that particular dose of "hard" time was just too much for Yaduallah. But even his legal action isn't so harebrained when compared to the Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits Of All Time.
Click the image to the right to launch the guide
This article originally appeared in the Irish Independent