Marketeers in America are having to cope with increasingly stupid decisions by the courts there, we hear from reader Steve in Sarasota. Examples of stupidity follow.

o Camper van firm Winnebago was forced to pay an Olklahoma woman $1.75 million and give her a new vehicle after she’d set the cruise control to 70 mph on the freeway and left the wheel to go to the back of the van and make herself a sandwich. The van crashed and the court accepted that its makers were at fault for not making it clear in its owner manual that such an action was potentially hazardous, an omission that the company has now corrected

o A restaurant in Pennsylvania was forced to pay $113,000 to a woman who threw a soft drink at her boyfriend during an argument and then slipped on the floor she’d made wet, breaking her tailbone.

o A woman in Texas won $80,000 from a furniture store after she tripped over a toddler running around inside and broke her ankle. The toddler was her son.

o A burglar in Pennsylvania won $500,000 from an insurance company for “undue mental anguish” after a door malfunction trapped him for eight days in the garage of a house he had just robbed, forcing him to survive on a bag of dry dog food and a case of fizzy drink.

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