A couple of recent cases are reminders of the extent of compensation awards in America.

First we have a New York Yankees fan who is suing ESPN for $10m for injury to his character and reputation as well as mental anguish following comments by ESPN commentators when he was caught having a nap during a live game on national TV.The comments included ‘fatty’ and ‘stupid’. Sounds crazy and whether he is successful remains to be seen, but a New Mexico women has reached a $1.1m settlement after being stopped at the El Paso border and selected for ‘additional screening’ after being picked out by a drug sniffing dog.

She was then subjected to a number of intrusive medical examinations at a Texan Hospital including an observed bowel movement, but no drugs were found. Whilst the settlement amount (with the hospital – her action against the US customs is ongoing) may be questionable over here, it is hard to blame her for taking action when you hear that the hospital sent her a $5,000 bill for the privilege of the examinations!