In lawsuit-friendly Madison County, Ill. (termed "the promised land" by some trial lawyers), a judge awarded $311,700 to Amanda Verett for a long series of painful injuries that her courtroom-veteran chiropractor has been treating. Verett said she was holding a door open at a Pizza Hut when an employee yanked it open farther, and calamitous shoulder, arm and hand injuries resulted.

In a more traditional settlement upstate in Chicago, Joyce Walker was awarded $4,110 in May for a workplace injury when she hurt her knee in a hospital restroom after slipping on a banana peel.

In January, Joshua Vannoy, 18, filed a lawsuit against the Big Beaver Falls School District near Pittsburgh for the disruption to his high school years when he and his family were forced to moved to another school district because Joshua was being too harshly taunted. His troubles stemmed from an incident a year earlier, just before a Denver-Pittsburgh playoff football game when Joshua chose to wear a Broncos jersey to class and was then forced by one teacher to sit on the floor and endure paper wads being thrown at him because he was, according to the teacher, a "stinking Denver fan."

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