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5 of the strangest personal injury claims ever

Most of the time, when someone sues for personal injury, their injuries are real and reasonably serious, even if the claim that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff's harm is not strong. Then there are cases that make you wonder how the plaintiff thought he or she ever had a chance to prevail.

Occasionally, stories of dubious personal injury suits circulate in the media. Here are five notorious lawsuits, as collected by Law Fuel:

1. A woman sued Universal Studios for mental anguish and psychological trauma after visiting a haunted house at the company's theme park. She slipped and fell while running from a character wielding a chainsaw, and said the actor failed to break character and ask if she was okay. Her suit was dismissed, perhaps because she had no physical injury in addition to her emotional claims.

2. An ambulance driver who was fired after stopping for donuts while taking a boy to the hospital sued the city that fired him for intentional infliction of emotional distress. His suit was dismissed due to a state law that protects cities from this sort of suit.

3. A man was killed after he snuck into a killer whale's tank at Sea World to swim with the animal. His parents later sued Sea World, saying the park failed to warn their son that swimming with killer whales is dangerous, and sold cuddly stuffed whale toys in the gift shop. The parents quickly dropped the suit.

4. Remember Fear Factor? The show often featured contestants being challenged to eat disgusting items. One man sued NBC, the network that aired the show, after watching an episode where contestants ate rats. The sight apparently nauseated the man and caused him to bump into a doorway as he fled the room. Still, his suit for $2.5 million was tossed out.

5. Finally, the case of the lost trousers. An administrative law judge sued his dry cleaner for $54 million after the cleaner misplaced his pants, claiming it breached its "satisfaction guaranteed" sign and caused him mental anguish. This suit actually lasted for years before the dry cleaner prevailed.

Even a seemingly unlikely lawsuit can sap a defendant's time and resources. Having an experienced personal injury defense attorney can minimize this hassle.

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