I was sued for $2 million dollars.

This post is brought to you by Firths the Compensation lawyers.

Being sued for $2 million dollars isn’t exactly something I’m proud of, but it sure makes for an interesting blog post.

In March 2001 when I was a nanny in New York I was involved in a car accident, thankfully no one was hurt, or so I thought.

Nearly 18 months after the incident, when I was back in New Zealand, I was sent a court summons via registered mail stating that:

the defendant (aka me) did come into contact with the plaintiff, Mr Bung It On*, and his vehicle. The aforementioned contact was violent and severe.”

Supposedly as a result of the accident Mr Bung It had sustained a serious injury and suffered economic loss and “became sore, sick, lame and disabled and still suffers great mental and physical pain.”

It goes on to say that: “The plaintiff verily believes that future suffering will exist and will be permanent with permanent pain, discomfort, inconvenience and other symptoms signs and effects.”

Of course he does.

Basically I have destroyed his life**.

Anyway the letter went on to say that I needed to cough up $2,000,000.00 as well as paying his and the courts legal costs.

$2 million dollars

It was my unsuspecting and prone-to-worrying parents who opened the impressive and weighty letter. I was too busy frolicking around the South Island of NZ looking for work and throwing myself at random men jobs.

My parent’s tickers took a battering that day and it took me ages to reassure them that a U.S Marshal wasn’t sneaking his way to the farm to drag me back to New York.

I recall my fabulous former employer stepping in to reassure my folks via email that I wasn’t about to be made bankrupt or extradited to the US.

Thankfully my bosses’ lawyers dealt with the incident and as far as I’m aware the sue insurance I took out before visiting the US covered the claim.

It’s highly unlikely that I had destroyed Mr Bung It On’s life, especially considering I was stopped at the lights seconds before the accident and afterward he leaped out of the car with ease to inspect the damage to his car.

However, I do believe people have rights to compensation especially if they’ve suffered a loss and this is what company’s such as Firths the Compensation lawyers specialise in.

They help with motor vehicle claims, workplace rights, income protection, professional negligence claims and superannuation.

They also deal in civil liability acts that includes claims such as sporting accidents, dog attacks, accidents at school or injuries caused by defective products.

It’s my dream that I’ll never need such services but it’s reassuring to know help is out there.

PicMonkey Collage

 So tell me have you ever been sued? For how much and why?

Or maybe you’ve had to use a compensation lawyer because some gumby such as me crashed in to you?

* This is not his actual name but it’s very similar to it.

** I might sound callous but there is NO WAY he was damaged this badly.


  1. More New York Stories – The Nanny Diaries!!!!!

  2. I’ve been rear ended twice {once when I was pregnant} and I didn’t get sweet f all cos I was the nice one who didn’t bother suing, although Trent reckons if I did I could’ve made quite a bit because both of them weren’t watching (one possibly texting) and I was already stopped in peak hr traffic both times. On the same f*ing road.

  3. Thankfully I have never been sued, that would suck. The worst that has happened is I was liable to pay the insurance excess when I nudged the back of a car at the traffic lights after she slammed o the brakes because a truck decided to turn in front of her without indicating! Thankfully it happened at about 10kms an hour so nobody was hurt but her bumper needed a bit of work. My car was ok, thankfully. The best bit though? It happened in my company car and so I didn’t actually have to pay the excess myself, work did, and it didn’t technically go on my record! I thought my boss was going to be shitty but he was totally cool about it because the exact same thing happened to him at the same spot not too long earlier, as it happened at the lights just before our office driveway. Worst intersection, and I avoid it now at all costs!

  4. Touch wood – never been sued! And all of my accidents have taken place when I haven’t been in the car (two car park accidents!). One drove away – though others left his number plate for me on little notes on the windscreen; and the other was at Southbank… a car left its park brake off and it rolled back into my car. The police had removed the offending car that time, so I’ve been quite lucky. To date!


  5. I have been in one accident. I actually blogged it a while back if you’re interested in details, but the end of the story is that it was completely this woman’s fault (she opened the driver’s door into my lane of traffic when I was travelling about 50 with nowhere to merge to) but she tried to blame me. First she said she hadn’t opened the door and I’d simply veered into her car. Then when the damage to her car proved the door had been open, she said it had stayed within the parking spot. Then when the police revealed she’d been in a no standing zone, she said I’d been on my phone at the time of the accident. When the police called to tell me this latest story, I was driving so didn’t answer the phone. I called back and apologised for not being able to answer because I was driving, and the cop just burst out laughing! When a friend of ours who also happens to be a QC offered to write a letter to her it all of a sudden got sorted out VERY quickly!

  6. When I was 7 years old, my dad had picked me up from school and we pulled into the driveway of our house just as my nanna came running out screaming. My grandfather had been mowing the back lawn and something had gone wrong. We ran out the back and found him in a mess…. the lawn mower had dropped into gear, hamstrung him, run over his right leg and when he knocked it away with his right arm, it chewed the hell out of that too. I can still remember my nanna, she’d totally lost it, poor woman, and my dad barking orders. We tourniquet the leg, but there was nothing left of the arm, we couldn’t get a belt around it, but dad remembered he’d seen some kind of documentary that said you could jam a tennis ball in someone’s armpit to cut off the blood, so the dog’s chewtoy got shoved up there… By the time the ambulance arrived we were covered in blood, the back yard looked like the Texas chainsaw massacre and poor nan was hyperventilating in the corner.

    It turned out that the lawnmower had been repaired… but the wrong sized blades had been put on, so the safety guard didn’t fit. That being the case, the repairman just hadn’t bothered, so there wasn’t one. One little piece of plastic and my grandfather might have had a bruise on the back of his leg… maybe, but without it, 36 surgeries and a life time of pain. He sued the bejezus out of them, but it took the better part of 10 years, and this is Australia and we don’t do punitive damages. He got enough to live off and be comfortable, but to be honest you wouldn’t say it was enough to compensate for the ongoing pain, the lack of mobility, and the fact that his family spent an afternoon up to their elbows in his blood.

  7. Oooooooh! The secret life of a New York Nanny …
    Will be a great TV show. I’d watch it!

  8. I can’t say I’ve ever been sued or threatened to be, although my husband has… today even. We’ve just been through a tribunal hearing today because of an awkward business deal. We won – so yay! And phew! So much unnecessary stress!!!! As I’m sure you’ll understand!

  9. There is no way I would go to the US without this kind of insurance. It seems like you can get sued for looking sideways at someone over there… although that could be because I am watching trashy sitcoms haha xx

  10. That could definitely be turned into a tv episode!

  11. I cannot believe that there is such a thing as suing insurance! You’ve really taught me something here!

  12. What a nightmare and how lucky your employers insurance was able to sort it out.

  13. Crikey! What a horrible experience! I had no idea about suing insurance either. Crazy!

  14. How scary is the American way of life? When I was in San Francisco, I saw a guy with cancer begging on the street so that he could afford his chemo. So tragic.
    Glad you were covered for this scammer!

  15. Thank goodness I have never been sued but I was involved in an incident when I was working at the local service station as a very young lass. Being the clumsy person that I am I ended up spilling boiling water on myself and a customer. He apparently sought damages from my employer although i was the one who was more injured (nothing permanent, thankfully). I had to answer some questions from the lawyers and the insurance people but then they took care of all of it. Pretty scary as a naive 18 yo but I suspect he wasn’t all that injured and was really looking for a quick buck. I was glad to get out of that job not long afterwards…!

  16. No I haven’t – but perhaps we should all be looking at suing people if that’s how easy it is. I jest. What a lowlife. I’m glad you were able to send him packing.

  17. I would just about have a heart attack too if I got a letter like that. Mr bung it on sounds like the gumby to me 🙂 Fancy needing sue insurance, only in America the saying goes doesn’t it?

  18. I’ve never been sued thankfully! It must have been a relief when it was all settled for you.

  19. I dislocated my knee while shopping in the supermarket about ten years ago, they were really worried I was going to sue them … I didn’t, because it wasn’t their fault, I just have dodgy knees!

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