CALA shares an April Fools Day quiz

By The West Virginia Record | Apr 1, 2007

CHARLESTON -- In honor of April Fools Day, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse has released a list of 10 cases highlighting what it sees as problems with the state's legal system.

CALA invites people to figure out which lawsuits actually happened and which ones are shams. The answers follow this list, which comes directly from CALA's press release.

1. A Sissonville High School graduate sued claiming he is "unprepared for life."

2. Medical records show that a Bridgeport radiologist, who was paid nearly $10 million by personal injury lawyers, examined 515 patients one day, more than one per minute.

3. A Southridge Center Sam's Club customer outside of Charleston sued the retailer over a spider bite she sustained while eating grapes she bought at the store.

4. West Attorney General Darrell McGraw settled a lawsuit for $10 million, but gave none of the money to the three plaintiffs in the case. Instead, he kept it for himself, essentially converting it into a political slush fund.

5. A patron in a Huntington McDonald's sued the restaurant for $50,000 claiming her fall on a busted packet of ketchup led to "painful and extensive medical care and treatment."

6. Personal injury lawyers presented "medical evidence" to a West Virginia court from a doctor who does not exist.

7. The mother of a 7-year old filed suit over a school playground splinter.

8. A man who lived and worked in Virginia and was injured on the job there sued in a West Virginia court, even though the machinery he as operating was made in Ohio.

9. A West Virginia personal injury lawyer collected a $143,000 fee in a lemon law lawsuit even though his client was awarded less than $8,000 by the court.

10. West Virginia has a "No Proof? No Problem!" standard in its courts whereby a lawsuit can be filed without any evidence of actual injury.

Steve Cohen, executive director of CALA, said each of these 10 are actual cases.

"While it is fun to challenge people to this contest, the sad commentary on our legal system is that these lawsuits are all true," he said. "We all need to work harder to stop lawsuit abuse."

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