Jacko's fans have successfully won a case for 'emotional distress' caused by their hero's death. So what other traumas could you seek compensation for?
Of course, we all grieve in different ways. And for some people, the only true way to alleviate the black suffering in their heart when someone whose albums they quite liked dies is to sue. At least, that's what 34 Michael Jackson fans in France did when their hero died in 2009 – suing his doctor, Conrad Murray, for "emotional distress". Amazingly, five of them won their case and now stand to receive a whopping payout of, er, one euro (88p) each.
Clearly, nothing can ever say "I'm sorry for the loss of the world's greatest popstar" quite like enough cash to buy a Toffee Crisp and still see change. But can events in pop really be traumatic? And if so, should I contact my lawyers about the following cases that soured my life?
Oasis releasing Be Here Now - Forget deaths or band breakups: few things have caused me as much "emotional distress" as wasting part of my teenage years listening to The Girl in the Dirty Shirt and pretending that it was an OK song. I plan to sue What Records in Hinckley for making me queue outside until it opened the morning it came out. And NME for giving it a good review. In fact, much like phone hacking or CIA rendition, the more you delve into this story, the more you realise everyone was complicit.
How much could I win? Given that CDs were about £17.99 a pop back then, my money back would be fair recompense.
Eamon Hamilton leaving British Sea Power - Like JFK or Diana's death, we all remember where we were the day Brooklyn Vegan blogged about British Sea Power's keyboardist leaving. The trauma was shortlived – Hamilton formed his own band and British Sea Power continued sounding virtually the same as they did before – but I won't mention that in court.
How much could I win? If Jackson's death is worth 88p, then my lawyers might find it tricky arguing for the fortune I so clearly deserve from this.
Moe Tucker joining the Tea party - Maybe I shouldn't have been shocked, er, "emotionally distressed", to see the Velvet Underground's drummer appearing at a Tea party rally in 2010. It's not as if playing standup beats in an avant-garde 60s band means you should automatically be in favour of more progressive tax schemes, after all. But she once sent me a signed picture of her and ... I don't know, it just made me really sad, all right?
How much could I win? A statement from Moe saying that it was all part of a subversive art project would be enough for me.
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image: © Francesco