Timothy Hoffman, 26, was awarded $76.6 million by a jury in Viera, Fla., in January for becoming paralyzed in a 2003 incident when, on a dare, he dove headfirst into the Indian River, which, unknown to him, was about a foot deep at that point. One reason for the large judgment may have been that the defendant, C&D Dock Works, one of whose employees may have been the one that issued the dare, is bankrupt and did not defend itself at the trial. (There was also evidence that Hoffman may have solicited the dare himself.)
Paul Sanchez, 67, an "occasional" golfer, filed a lawsuit in Brentwood, N.H., in February against the Candia Woods Golf Links for a 2006 incident in which his approach shot hit a yard marker in the fairway, bounced back, and struck him in the eye. Sanchez claimed the course owners were negligent in placing the sign in the fairway and also should have warned him that balls would bounce off of it.