If you are considering filing a lawsuit, it is essential to recognize whether a claim will be taken seriously. Frivolous lawsuits are common and can result in large consequences for the plaintiff. If you are concerned about whether your allegations may be considered frivolous, reach out to an attorney here at Lebaron and Jensen. To learn more about frivolous lawsuits or for some real-life examples of frivolous lawsuits, continue reading.
What Is A Frivolous Lawsuit?
If you have ever been involved in a frivolous lawsuit, you know how much of a waste of time, energy, and resources they can be. It is so important to understand what a frivolous lawsuit is in order to avoid filing one and to be able to properly defend against one. A frivolous lawsuit is a lawsuit that has no legal basis, merit, or factual evidence.
Frivolous cases include cases that are: outlandish, obviously fabricated, or far-fetched. Typically, the plaintiff is aware that the case would be unlikely to be successful in court and files the suit with the intent to harass or annoy the other party. A frivolous lawsuit may also be filed in an attempt to hinder other legal proceedings.
Consequences Of A Case Being Determined Frivolous
It is a bad idea to mess with the court. Abusing the legal system is an action that is not discounted easily. Frivolous lawsuits are punished very seriously for both the plaintiff and their lawyer. There are several penalties that may be deemed appropriate to give to an individual who has brought a frivolous lawsuit to court. There are monetary penalties and other charges that might be levied on the plaintiff including fines, criminal charges, and charges for contempt of court. If a lawyer is caught up in a frivolous lawsuit, they could face a suspension of their state bar license, citations, or fees.
Examples Of Frivolous Lawsuits
#1: Personal Injury Lawsuits
The most common type of frivolous lawsuit is a personal injury case. While there are many personal injury cases that are indeed honest and needed, there are certainly a lot of personal injury cases that are filed with the intent to waste the time and money of the defendant and the court. Oftentimes these claims will ask for exorbitant amounts of money that greatly outweigh the damages that occurred.
#2: Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability is another kind of lawsuit that may be frivolous. Sometimes individuals will sue a company under the false or petty guise that one of their products is dangerous, broken, or ineffective. The plaintiff’s goal in these false lawsuits is typically to obtain money from a large organization or to harass an individual who is part of the organization.
#3: Is It Actually Frivolous?
A real-life example of what appeared to be a frivolous lawsuit but actually had legal merit was the Liebeck vs. McDonald’s lawsuit. In this suit, the plaintiff claimed that McDonald’s coffee was too hot and she had burned herself. To the average court, this claim seems ridiculous because clearly, the coffee would be hot, but after further investigation, it turns out that the plaintiff had sustained third-degree burns on her legs after the coffee dropped on her lap and burned her through her clothes. In this case, Liebeck was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages.
Do You Need An Attorney?
If you are in need of an attorney, consider reaching out to us at Lebaron & Jensen. Not only do we have extensive experience with personal injury cases but we also provide high-quality legal services for individuals needing legal assistance in other practice areas including real estate law, bankruptcy law, and estate planning. If you are facing a frivolous lawsuit or are concerned about whether your claim will be considered frivolous or not, let us provide clarity and assistance. Feel free to contact us at Lebaron and Jensen today for more information.