After what can only be described as an attempted Jackass stunt gone wrong, a Pennsylvania man has settled a $5 million lawsuit against those responsible. Unfortunately, even though he suffered extensive injuries, the lawsuit appeared to be quite frivolous.

According to the AP via Yahoo! News, Donald Adams III was camping with two cousins-in-law. While inside a portable bathroom, the cousins-in-law backed a truck up against it to lock him inside. Apparently they didn’t brake properly because they ended up knocking it over, leaving Adams III with several cervical fractures.

As a result of the incident, Adams III was left a quadriplegic. Understandably, he filed a lawsuit against his cousins-in-law after undergoing surgery and spending two weeks in a hospital.

However, the manufacturer and installer were also included in the lawsuit. As noted in the report, Adams III and his wife faulted the manufacturer for neglecting to provide ground spikes with the unit. The installer was blamed for resting the unit on a hill and propping it up with wood.

Although the story doesn’t mention how much the manufacturer or installer paid, it’s safe to say they paid the lion’s share of the $5 million settlement unless the cousins-in-law are wealthy.

Doesn’t it seem morally reprehensible that either company had to pay this man a dime or even perceived the need to do so to avoid a larger award?  Has the court system become so unfair that it’s better to shell out millions instead of hoping for a fair outcome? This incident would have never happened if the cousins-in-law didn’t ram the truck into the portable toilet – an action neither business could have reasonably foreseen.

Perhaps the manufacturer should add a “WARNING: TRUCKS MIGHT KNOCK THIS OVER” sign to each new unit. That would rank up there with “Do not hold the wrong end of a chainsaw” which, after this ridiculous incident, might actually be a necessary warning for the people who orchestrated this prank.



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