One of the few phrases that carry even less dignity than "frivolous lawsuit" is "psychic powers," so when you combine the two, you get the kind of story even presidents love to tell at parties.
Judith Haimes, self-described psychic and superpowered crime fighter (yes, really), tragically lost her supposed paranormal abilities when she had a CAT scan in 1986. Her loss was deemed worth $988,000 by the jury. The large compensation and the weirdness factor brought by the whole "crime-solving psychic" thing made the case an immediate entrant to the What the Hell Hall of Fame. We weren't kidding about the president thing, either: Ronald Reagan was known to use the story as a particularly glaring example of how our system has gone lawsuit crazy. That must make it true, since a president would never lie about anything.
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They sure as hell seem to forget a lot, though.
First, Haimes never received the ghost of a red cent for her claim -- the judge threw it out. OK, you might think, but isn't the fact that she was even able to get a trial over this bullshit enough to prove that the system is broken?
Well, the part about Haimes claiming that she lost her police-helping psychic powers is, awesomely, 100 percent correct. However, that's not what got the case before a judge -- it was because she suffered a very real, crippling reaction, not from the CAT scan, but from the dye they injected her with at the hospital. See, just because Haimes was crazy and confused about her symptoms, it doesn't mean that she didn't suffer an actual physical reaction. If a machine malfunctions and cuts off your hand, it doesn't matter if you insist in your lawsuit that it's the hand you performed wizard spells with -- the judge is still going to evaluate the case because you're a human being who lost a hand.
"Sir, just answer the question -- what does it sound like when you clap?"