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Three Most Common and Two Bizarre Holiday Lawsuits from the Past Ten Years

Seth Harris

Last modified on December 10, 2023

Three Most Common and Two Bizarre Holiday Lawsuits from the Past Ten Years

The holiday season ought to be a happy time of year. That’s the type of non-controversial statement most can agree with.

However, stories about bizarre holiday lawsuits remind us not everyone is equally joyful during the season. Holiday lawsuits can arise due to certain types of accidents occurring with greater-than-average frequency during the holidays.

The following overview covers some of the common types of holiday lawsuits that some may file for valid reasons this time of year. It also touches on a couple of examples that may not be quite as common (unless you’re the Grinch).

The Most Common Types of Holiday Lawsuits

The holiday season is a busy travel season, shopping season, and partying season. As such, accidents during the holidays may be particularly likely to give rise to certain types of lawsuits.

The most common holiday lawsuits include:

Motor Vehicle Accident Lawsuits

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), car crashes and similar motor vehicle collisions are common around holidays. With many people traveling this time of year, roads are crowded. This results in more opportunities for crashes to occur.

Holiday celebrations also frequently involve alcohol consumption. Thus, there may be higher rates of drunk driving during the holidays.

Premises Liability Lawsuits

Premises liability lawsuits can take many forms when they arise during or after the holidays. For example, store owners have a duty to ensure guests and employees don’t get hurt due to hazardous conditions on their properties. Unfortunately, conditions in some stores during the holidays can only be described as “chaotic.”

Keeping guests safe in these environments may be more challenging than expected if a store owner doesn’t prepare thoroughly. Guests may thus be more likely to sustain harm in slip-and-falls and other such accidents.

Homeowners also tend to invite large groups over for holiday celebrations. There are many ways guests could potentially sustain harm during these events.

Perhaps a homeowner doesn’t keep an eye on an open flame or light display. A fire may start as a result. Or, maybe a homeowner doesn’t adequately remove snow or ice from walkways and other such sections of their property. Guests may be at risk of hurting themselves in slip-and-falls if so.

Product Liability Lawsuits

Not all the products we give and receive as gifts during the holidays are safe. Some may cause harm if designers or manufacturers overlook defects. Or, they might harm consumers if marketers fail to adequately describe how to use certain products. Product liability lawsuits are common during and after the holidays.

And a Couple of the Most Bizarre Holiday Lawsuits of the Last Decade

The above types of holiday lawsuits can be expected because of the usual round of holiday shopping, visiting, and gifting. However, some holiday lawsuits are more bizarre than others.

Man Sues Heavy Metal Band Over Hanukkah Sweater

The above combination of words isn’t one you come across often. That said, it accurately describes a lawsuit that began in 2016.

According to the Detroit Free Press, designer Aaron Cummins sued heavy metal band Anthrax and several related parties over the design of a Hanukkah sweater the band wore in some promotional materials. Fans could also purchase the sweater through band apparel websites.

The plaintiff claimed the sweater ripped off his original design. While the complaint might be valid, it’s uncommon for holiday lawsuits to involve thrash metal bands and kitschy holiday apparel.

City Turns Grinch, Tries to Scale Back Holiday Light Display

Three Most Common and Two Bizarre Holiday Lawsuits from the Past Ten Years

Some homeowners see the holiday season as an opportunity to transform their properties with gorgeous light displays and related decor. The Hyatt family in Plantation, FL, embodies this holiday attitude.

Their home’s seasonal displays have featured upwards of 200,000 lights, fake snow, and even a movie screen, among other details. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the display attracts many guests from out of town every year.

It also attracted the ire of the City of Plantation. The City filed a lawsuit against the Hyatts in an attempt to get the family to scale back their holiday display. According to the City, the display was a nuisance that could cause safety issues. However, a court found otherwise, ruling in favor of the Hyatts.

Contact an NYC Personal Injury Lawyer

We hope you’ll enjoy the holiday season without having to worry about getting hurt in an avoidable accident. However, if you’re injured over the holidays because of someone else’s wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation.

Our NYC personal injury lawyers at Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb are on hand to review your case and explain your legal options. If you have a valid holiday lawsuit or claim, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 800-PAIN-LAW for a free case review.

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A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.

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Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).

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A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.

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The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.

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$4,000,000

The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.

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$3,823,000

Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.

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The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.

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The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.

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$2,995,000

The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.

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$2,610,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.

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$2,253,714

A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.

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$1,900,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.

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$1,350,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

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