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The Litigious Society



Kevin Hansen filed a lawsuit in West Bend, Wis., in August, claiming that spotting a clump of hair in a steak he sliced into from a Texas Roadhouse restaurant caused "severe and permanent injuries," pain, suffering and "disability," requiring "extensive medical treatment." In fact, said his lawyer Ryan Hetzel to Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel, "It's bothered the heck out of him." (The employee who prepared the steak was fired and later pleaded guilty to a felony, explaining that he was trying to retaliate because Hansen complained about a previous order.)

After failing the West Virginia Bar Exam for the second time (during which he was given an extra day to complete it), Shannon Kelly filed a lawsuit in July demanding even more concessions based on his unspecified cognitive disability. The second failure was also on a special version of the exam in large type, and Kelly had been permitted to work in a room by himself. He now believes he can earn his license if he is allowed four days instead of the normal two, to make up for (according to his lawyer) "severe deficits in processing speed, cognitive fluency and rapid naming" (though it is not clear how many attorney jobs are available for someone with such a skills set).

The Poor Dear: Harry Shasho filed a lawsuit against New York City in August for $190,000, charging that his Bentley was poorly cared-for at the city's automobile impound lot in 2005. It had been confiscated after Shasho fatally struck a pedestrian (for which he was later leniently sentenced, perhaps because the pedestrian was drunk). The city claims the only damage done was from the fatal collision, but Shasho believes city employees should have treated it better.

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