Top Five Lawsuits of a Holiday Season Gone Wrong

The holiday season is a time for family, friends, gifts, and fireplaces. Many offices are closed around Christmas and New Years. However, people still get into accidents and disputes even if the courthouse is closed. From Christmas parties to Christmas gifts, there is no shortage of ways to ruin your holidays. Here are five lawsuits from people or businesses that ended up on Santa’s naughty list: 

CHRISTMAS GIFT BURNS DOWN FAMILY HOUSE 

In November 2015, Megan Fox bought a new hoverboard on Amazon as a Christmas gift for her then 14-year-old son. After two weeks of use, the hoverboard caught fire and destroyed the family’s house and their personal property. Total property damages amounted to about $2 million, though the Foxes’ children sustained some injuries when escaping the fire. The trial court initially dismissed their lawsuit in 2016, but the dismissal was overturn by an appellate court. A trial was scheduled in November 2020, but Amazon settled with the Foxes beforehand.  

TACO BELL CHRISTMAS PARTY GONE WRONG  

Alana Bechiom, a former Taco Bell employee, filed a lawsuit in November 2023 alleging that a Christmas party in 2022 at a Taco Bell in San Pedro, California, lead to retaliation against her. The Christmas party ended with at least three employees having sex in front of everyone. Bechiom reported the incident to human resources and Taco Bell subsequently fired all the employees who had sex at the party.  

Thereafter though, Bechiom began receiving threatening text messages from co-workers and had her car’s window broken at her apartment. One such text read: “baby girl I wanna break your face. I don’t give a f— about your car.” Bechiom alleges in the lawsuit that Taco Bell took no action to protect her and instead transferred her to another store instead of disciplining the employees who sent the messages. Bechiom resigned instead. The lawsuit is still pending.  

CHRISTMAS PARADE COLLISION  

On Nov. 19, 2022, Hailey Brooks was dancing at the Raleigh Christmas Parade through downtown Raleigh, NC when she was struck and killed by a float truck driven by Landen Glass. Brooks was killed in the collision and Glass was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Brooks was 11 years old.  

At the time of Hailey’s death, Glass was charged with several criminal charges, including misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and carrying a firearm in a parade. Nevertheless, Glass was still permitted to drive in the parade. Both the criminal case and the wrongful death suit are pending.  

CHRISTMAS TREE CLEARAGE 

Ervin Tower, a resident of Patten, ME, alleges that Versant Power cut down 973 Christmas trees on his property in September 2023. The trees were allegedly between 3 and 12 feet tall and valued at $22 each. The property included an easement for power companies to cross his land. Tower alleges that the power company is required to pay him damages under the terms of the written agreement for the easement if power company employees damaged his land.  

HOLIDAY FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS 

Southwest was forced to cancel tens of thousands of flights at the end of 2022 due to massive winter storms that hit the US at the time. Southwest promised reimbursement for those whose flights had been canceled. However, Eric Capdeville filed a lawsuit against Southwest, accusing the airline of breach of contract.  

Capdeville claims that a Southwest customer service representative confirmed that his flights had been cancelled but told him a refund would not be offered. Instead, Capdeville was offered a credit for a future flight. However, the lawsuit claims that Southwest’s own policy requires a refund for such a cancellation.  

Do I Need the Help of a Personal Injury Attorney? 

If you have sustained a personal injury, you should contact a personal injury attorney. A skilled personal injury lawyer near you can review the facts of your case, go over your rights and options, and represent you at hearings and in court. 

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