Posted on Friday, December 1st, 2023 at 9:00 am
The holiday season should be a joyous time. However, accidents can occur at any time of year. Holiday lawsuits may arise when they do.
Some types of holiday lawsuits are fairly commonplace after Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. There are also instances when holiday celebrations trigger lawsuits that one can only describe as bizarre. In celebration of the season, we’re taking a look at both.
The Most Common Holiday Lawsuits
Types of lawsuits that may be particularly common during or after the holiday season include:
Motor Vehicle Crash Lawsuits
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that car accidents and similar motor vehicle crashes occur at high rates during holiday periods. The NSC defines a “holiday period” differently for every holiday, depending on when it starts and ends. For example, the Thanksgiving holiday period always begins on a Wednesday evening and doesn’t end until the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
The NSC reports that Americans travel by car in large numbers during holiday periods. More vehicles on the road means more chances for wrecks to occur. In addition, the consumption of alcohol during holiday celebrations may contribute to a high accident rate.
Exchanging gifts is a key feature of the holiday season for many. Unfortunately, some gifts may be dangerous. A gift that should be safe could cause harm if its designers or manufacturers overlooked a defect. Or, a product may cause injury if those marketing it fail to warn of potential safety hazards.
Spending time outside the home is another common experience during the holiday season. From shopping for gifts to attending holiday parties, there are numerous reasons a person could be out and about at this time of year.
Property owners must limit the chances that guests will sustain harm in avoidable accidents. This involves regularly inspecting their properties for hazards. If a property owner discovers a hazard, they must eliminate or address it promptly. When this is impossible, they must warn guests of the presence of a hazard.
Consider the following example. You’re shopping for gifts when you trip over items that have fallen to the floor in an aisle. You may be eligible for compensation if you tripped because the store owner failed to remove this hazard in a timely manner or post warnings that the hazard existed.
UCLA Health states that fires and burn injuries may be fairly common during the holidays. Light displays and other such holiday decor can increase the chances that a fire will start. Be careful arranging your decor to guard against this.
And Now, the Two Most Bizarre Holiday Lawsuits in Recent History
The above types of holiday lawsuits often arise from the natural elements of holiday celebrations and the season overall. However, some holiday lawsuits are simply bizarre. These are a couple of noteworthy examples:
Suing for Small (Not Quite) Change
Businesses often run holiday promotions in the hope of cashing in on the season. Sometimes, those promotions are misguided.
Consider the story of a jewelry shop owner in North Carolina who ran a seasonal promotion in December of 2010. The owner promised to reimburse customers for holiday purchases if Asheville received at least three inches of snow on Christmas Day.
Surprisingly, that happened. The store owner ended up owing customers about $400,000 in refunds. Luckily, he’d taken out an insurance policy to cover the reimbursements.
Still, one customer who received such a reimbursement tried to take the shop owner to small claims court. They did so because they weren’t happy their refund didn’t include the sales tax they paid. The court predictably dismissed the case.
Suing to Stop the Holiday Music
You don’t have to be the Grinch to get tired of non-stop holiday music. While some people love hearing holiday tunes this time of year, others are less enthusiastic about the genre.
Some would even say having to constantly listen to holiday music qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. Specifically, inmates at a Phoenix, AZ jail attempted to take legal action when notoriously strict Sheriff Joe Arpaio thought they should listen to hours of Christmas hits all day long one year. As you may have guessed, the court did not find suffering through “Jingle Bells” represented a violation of anyone’s rights.
Contact an Oklahoma City Holiday Lawsuit Attorney
At Abel Law Firm, we’d like to wish each and every one of you a happy New Year, Hanukkah, Christmas, and any other holiday you may celebrate. That said, we also know it’s possible to get hurt this time of year when others are negligent.
Has this happened to you? You may be eligible for compensation if so. Learn more about what our holiday lawsuit lawyers in Oklahoma City can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at (405) 239-7046 for a free case review.