Drunks Fall on Football Fans; Fans Sue the World


So this looks like garbage.

Here's the thing though (speaking as someone quite near the legal profession), and remember this whenever you hear about a case that sounds weird or petty to you:

It's always about insurance. More specifically, it's almost always because the defense insurer is being unbelievably unreasonable. Insurance companies make unholy gobs of money by holding their invested money as long as humanly possible - try googling "deny delay defend" to learn how the industry works.

Thus, and under the logic that "it makes no sense to sue poor people," nearly every civil case for significant damages is about insurance, though no one is allowed to whisper That Word to the jury during the trial. The insurance company negotiates the case before and through trial, and pays for (and controls) the defense attorney.

What's likely going on here is that the couple has no medical insurance, and they have no idea who knocked them over (whoever it is, they're unlikely to have 20+ grand lying around to pay a judgment), so they've found a lawyer willing to run this theory up the flagpole.

(Most) Lawyers aren't stupid, and won't invest in a case like this (and against such well-resourced foes) unless they think there's a good chance they'll eventually get paid.

If their attorney is an idiot, and the case looks as you've described it, it will rightly be laughed out of court.

Congratulations on a successful OregonLive-style "what is the legal world coming to" comment-bait, btw.
Lets make a deal: We'll pony up the $20,000 you don't deserve, but you have to be sterilized and barred from being the beneficiary of a lawsuit ever again. OK?
rrr now I feel like a dick.

To explain my defensiveness: though insurance companies basically control every aspect of injury-related cases (and beyond), they aren't named as parties to the cases. So, when an insurance company offers someone $5K to settle a claim that involved a surgery, and a person is forced to go through the humiliation and stress of a claims process and then a year or two of litigation, here's what happens:

If they get a result that looks fair, the story has nothing to do with insurance (since the companies are never named or publicly mentioned), and it just looks like "A breaks B's bone, A pays a fair amount," aka "no story at all. These Sisyphean battles are being waged, won, and often lost thousands of times daily, but the abuse of people and the legal system by insurers is rarely the story.

Instead, the story is "two assholes in Ohio sue the Bengals because a drunk guy fell on them." THAT story is spread around everywhere in a day, and it just reinforces the attitude that all people who bring lawsuits are greedy assholes.

The upshot is that when some broke asshole carelessly hurts you or a loved one and then has to deal with a prickish insurance company, the company will be that much more confident about necessitating even MORE litigation, because they know all the potential jurors read about is two greedy fucking Ohio assholes, and the jury will be begging to help them save even more money.
This is why we need to pass the Nixon health care plan. In countries where everyone has insurance these suits do not happen.