According to recent estimations, between 95 and 96% of all personal injury lawsuits are settled either out of court or before the trial ever gets to court. But that doesn’t stop people from filing them. As per its definition, a personal injury claim refers to any civil litigation that’s brought against a defendant because of his or her alleged negligence, which caused the claimant to endure physical or mental harm.
And it’s not just us regular Joes (and Janes) who tend to file these claims to begin with. Even celebrities aren’t immune to the trappings of personal injury claims, and when you think about it, it actually makes quite a bit of sense. Who wouldn’t want to ruffle a few celebrity feather just to see what happens? Unfortunately, some of these cases end up being large-scale public disasters for the stars themselves. Here are just three of the most noteworthy examples.
Bret Michaels and the Tony Awards Show on CBS
The Claim: Back in 2009, Poison frontman and perennial reality show casanova Bret Michaels performed at CBS’ Tony Awards Show only to have a portion of the scenery fall on his head and face. Michaels later suffered a life-threatening subarachnoid hemorrhage which he blamed on these injuries and said they could have prevented if the event staff had told him they’d be changing the set pieces near the end of his performance.
The Outcome: After a legal battle spanning three years and several accident injury lawyers, Michaels and CBS settled for an undisclosed amount in May 2012. He had originally filed for unspecified damages.
James Marshall and the Accutane medication makers
The Claim: After a promising career start in the early 1990s on shows like “Twin Peaks” and films like A Few Good Men, actor James Marshall alleged that the anti-acne drug Accutane caused him to develop severe gastrointestinal disorders that even necessitated the surgical removal of his colon. Drug makers Hoffman-LaRoche pulled Accutane from markets in 2009.
The Outcome: Marshall’s personal injury claim went to trial in 2011, where the jury found that Accutane was not a substantial contributing factor in his later distresses by a 6-1 vote.
Dr. Phil and the Case of the Bitey Dog
The Claim: When a longtime friend came over to Dr. Phil’s house for dinner, she found herself attacked and severely bitten by the doctor’s canine. The dog was completely unrestrained, she alleged, and the bite was so bad, it caused her to contract a disease from the bacteria that got into her blood. She hired a personal injury law firm to take up the case despite having a lawsuit waiver agreement with Dr. Phil.
The Outcome: The family friend’s hired personal injury lawyer is helping her ask for $7 million, and despite the initial claim happening in 2009, the matter is still currently twisting its way through the vast gray expanses of the legal system. No settlement has been announced.
So you see, celebrities are just like us! They get hit in the head with falling debris just like we do, they let their dogs unintentional maul their friends like we do and they suffer frustration at the hands of ineffective medications. Who knew?