The Most Bizarre Reasons People Have Sued... And Won

People all around the world have filed lawsuits for the weirdest things -- and in some instances, they've received a fortune in damages.

We take a look at some of the strangest successful lawsuits to make headlines around the world, and some you may not have even heard of.

Hot Stuff

Perhaps one of the most famous compensation cases, a woman in her 70s suffered severe burns and spent more than a week in hospital after spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on her lap.

Image: Getty Images

Though the 1992 case was ridiculed and slammed as 'frivolous', the lawsuit found McDonald's kept their coffee at dangerously high temperatures of more than 85 degrees celsius.

The woman was awarded more than $2 million dollars in damages, which was later reduced to $500,000. Since then, several other coffee sellers have been sued for similar incidents.

Coffee or Cleaning Fluid

Although it's unclear how the lawsuits were settled in court, Starbucks has been sued on multiple occasions for allegedly serving coffee that contained cleaning solutions.

Fox News reported a Utah woman sued the coffee chain giant in 2015 for $2 million, claiming the drink damaged her mouth and esophagus, causing severe nerve damage.

Image: Getty Images
Cancer Warning

Starbucks also found itself on the receiving end of another court ruling earlier this year, when a judge ruled a number of Californian coffee companies had to post a warning because their brew may have contained the ingredient acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer.

Watch Where You're GOing

In 2016 a woman was awarded more than US$160,000 after she walked into a ladder, while distracted on her phone.

The woman suffered head injuries and mild concussion after walking into the bright-orange ladder which had been surrounded by cones.

Image: Getty Images

Despite finding she was partially at fault, when security footage revealed she had been on her phone at the time of the incident -- damages were only reduced by eight percent, according to the Daily Report.

Sky's The lImit

Although different countries have different laws, one woman took the airline Alitalia to court, after the Italian carrier refused to compensate her for a last-minute flight cancellation. The plane's technical issue meant the family reached their destination four hours late.

The airline claimed the technical difficulty was an "exceptional circumstance" meaning they were exempt from compensating under law.

However, because of the case, a court ruled European airlines are not exempt from liability for mechanical failures just because they comply with the "minimum rules on maintenance."

Image: Getty Images
Expensive Ant Bites

After causing a heap of controversy, an appeals court recently overturned a decision that awarded more than US$5 million to a tow truck driver, according to Sunshine State News. 

The truckie claimed he was injured by ant bites while helping clear a fatal accident wreckage, but later claimed the damage was actually caused by sulfuric acid.

The large majority of lawsuits deemed frivolous are thrown out by courts or reserved on appeal, but many can rack up huge court costs and cause a headache for courts.

Just this month a Dutchman had his bid to legally change his age so he could be 20 years younger thrown out.

Ratelbrand cannot legally change his age. Image: Getty Images.

"Mr Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly," the judges said.

READ MORE:  Man's Case To Become 20 Years Younger Rejected By Court

READ MORE: Can You Be Sued If An Intruder Injures Themselves In Your House?

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