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Superhero Personal Injury Law: Part 4

In case you missed Part 1 of this blog post series (you can also check out Part 2 and Part 3), I’ve been enjoying Marvel Studios’ new show She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The show is similar to Law and Order, but with superheroes.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like, in personal injury law, if the events of superhero movies took place in real life, so I’m writing a series of blog posts attempting to answer these questions.

In this installment, I’ll explore some of the more unique claims our client Joe Schmoe may have stemming from his injuries from the Abomination’s fight with the Hulk. As discussed in the last blog in this series, the most obvious claims – those against Mr. Blonsky himself – are likely dead ends for our client. However, Mr. Schmoe likely won’t be completely without recourse. Here are a few ideas.

Oftentimes with major catastrophes caused by someone’s negligence, the state or federal legislature may enact special laws for compensation for victims. The most recent example of such a law would be the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021. According to the official summary, “This bill allows certain individuals to sue and recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.”

Another example would be the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill from 2010. Although not a law, the lawsuits against the owners of the Deepwater Horizon were consolidated into a class-action type case called a multi-district litigation (“MDL”). Both methods gave claimants a more streamlined path to compensation than normal personal injury cases.

Though (to my knowledge), the Sokovia Accords or their comic book counterpart the Superhuman Registration Act don’t seem to mention civil liabilities, I would imagine that in the real world these laws would have a process for bystanders injured by super-powered individuals to seek compensation for injuries during super-powered battles. If not within these laws, such personal injury cases would probably be spelled out in separate laws or MDL’s after these massive battles. This would probably be our Joe Schmoe’s best bet for money compensation for his injuries from the Abomination.

Another possible claim for compensation for our Joe Schmoe would be the United States government. It was the government that gave Mr. Blonsky his first dose of superpowers when they put their version of the super soldier serum in him in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. In the next installment, I’ll explore this case and some of the roadblocks I could foresee.