Crazy Stories of Homeowners Getting Sued
A fine example of good sense failing is the case of Terence Dickson. In the process of exiting a house he had just entered and burglarized, he found that his planned escape route through the garage was a dead end as the door opener would not function and he was unable to open the garage door. Turning back to re-enter the house, he found that the connecting door had locked behind him! He was forced to spend the next eight days with only a case of Pepsi and a bag of dry dog food.
Mr. Dickson, upon regaining his freedom from the garage, filed a suit against the homeowner’s insurance company on the basis of his having suffered mental anguish during his unintended confinement. Incredibly, the jury determined that Mr. Dickson was to be paid $500,000 for his suffering.
Homeowner Sued by Lying Trespasser
Then there was the defenseless 90 year old who was unfortunate enough to be at home when a drug addict kicked his door off its hinges and entered to ransack the house for valuables. Taken hostage and told not to move, the surprised senior citizen begged to be allowed to use the bathroom. Successful in obtaining permission, he returned carrying a .357 which he proceeded to point directly at the intruder, who responded by shooting the homeowner in the jaw. The intrepid nonagenarian fired back and scored three hits. It should be noted that our elderly victim was, in fact, a military veteran and a former deputy sheriff.
Now wounded, the uninvited guest grabbed the .357 and held it at his victim’s head. Finding that it was empty, he ran out of the house, called the police and claimed that he had shot himself. He was taken to the hospital where he was immediately arrested. Subsequent to his arrest, he sued the homeowner, claiming that the older man had shot him negligently in a jealous reaction to the intruder’s visiting a lady in the residence. The trespasser was sentenced to 86 years to life.
Teens will be Teens
Further proof that craziness happens is the case of two teens who burned themselves touching an uninsulated wire while trespassing on private property. The boundary-crossing boys sued the owner of the house for the injuries. In an unbelievable trial outcome, they were awarded $24.2 million.
A final story of crazy litigation involves the “meals on wheels” program. In the process of delivering food to an 81-year-old woman, the delivery person, who was not wearing boots, encountered some ice in the home’s driveway. She lost her footing and fell. The homeowner’s insurance company paid the visitor’s claims, but three years after the fall, the homeowner received notice that her insurance company was suing her for the expenses it had incurred in the delivery incident.
As demonstrated by the meals on wheels litigation, the comfort afforded by your diligent payment of insurance premiums may be false. Your own insurance company can, and will, sue you for its own damages, telling us that there is no such thing as complete immunity from lawsuits, regardless how crazy.