Merv Grazinski set his Winnebago on cruise control, slid away from the wheel and went back to fix a cup of coffee.
You can guess what happened next: The rudderless, driverless Winnebago crashed.
Grazinski blamed the manufacturer for not warning against such a maneuver in the owner’s manual. He sued and won $1.75 million.
His jackpot would seem to erase any doubt that the legal system has lost its mind. Indeed, the Grazinski case has been cited often as evidence of the need to limit lawsuits and jury awards.
There’s just one problem: The story is a complete fabrication.
It is one of the more comical tales in an anthology of legal urban legends that have circulated widely on the Internet, regaling millions with examples of cluelessness and greed being richly rewarded by the courts. These fables have also been widely disseminated by columnists and pundits who, in their haste to expose the gullibility of juries, did not verify the stories and were taken in themselves.
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