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Read the four articles below.
In March 2003, Mr. Merv Grazinsky from Oklahoma City bought a new 10-meter Winnibago motor home. On his first trip he set the cruise control at 70 mph and went to the back of the vehicle to make himself a cup of coffee. Within minutes, the motor home had crashed. Mr. Grazinsky was not hurt but wanted his money back. In court, he insisted that he was not responsible. He pointed out that the instruction manual did not tell him to stay in the driver’s seat when he was using cruise control. The manufacturers denied responsibility and asked the judge to throw out the claim.
At an Elton John concert in a San Diego stadium Robert Glaser needed to go to the men’s room. However, when he got to the toilet, he was surprised to find a woman using it. When he asked a stadium official to show him to another men’s room, he was informed that all the toilets in the stadium were unisex. Too embarrassed to share a toilet with a woman, Glazer had to wait until the end of the concert, four hours later. He complained that he had suffered emotional distress and sued the stadium for $5.4 million.
Cheyl Vandervender, a shop worker in West Virginia, seriously injured her back at work after opening a jar of pickles. Her doctor told her to take some time off work. Her manager warned her that she would lose her job if she did not return to work within twelve months. Nearly a year later, she returned to the shop and her manager told her to fill up a fridge. After only twenty minutes, her back was injured again. This time, Ms Vandervender decided to sue the company, Sheetz Inc.
Veronica Martin and her husband were eating hamburgers from a fast food chain when a hot pickle fell out of the burger and burnt Victoria’s chin. Her lawyers have asked a court in Knoxville, Texas, to award $110,000 in damages for medical bills, loss of earnings and emotional distress. Her husband, Darrin, claimed that he lost ‘services and companionship’ of his wife and is also suing $15,000. A company spokesman said that all its products were safe.
What do you think the judge will decide in each case?
Match the articles to the judges’ decisions a-d.
a) In order to avoid legal costs, the company reached a secret settlement with the couple, but refused to discuss details or to accept any responsibility.
b) The judge, however, agreed with the plaintiff and ordered the company to pay $1.75 million in damages and replace the vehicle.
c) But the real emotional distress came later when the judge said the claim was not serious, and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal.
d) The court decided that the company had acted in an illegal and unfair way towards its employee and ordered it to pay over $2 million in damages.
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