Woodrow Thompson, of Seattle, Washington, had put up with enough. He sued his neighbor, Denise Norton, for half a million dollars... and won! Wow, the lawsuit must have been over something extremely awful! Not really. The lawsuit was over Denise's dog, Cawper. The charge? Cawper barked too loudly. Thompson filed a 36-page complaint about the dog. In the complaint, Thompson says the dog was "wildly bellowing, howling and explosively barking." It further states that Cawper intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and that his barking actually caused "profound emotional distress" to Thompson himself.
So how did Thompson win? Why wasn't this case thrown out of court?! At the very least, why wasn't the amount of damages reduced?! Half a million dollars?! That's crazy! He won because his neighbor, Denise, never showed up in court. She received something in the mail over a year ago, but thought that it wasn't real, just another complaint from her neighbor. But it was real. And because Denise never showed up, Thompson won by default since his claims went unchallenged. Anyone can bring a frivolous lawsuit and win if the other side doesn't show up. If you want a judge to dismiss a case, you have to show up!
The sheriff posted papers on Denise's house and property about a forced sale because a lien was placed against her property. She doesn't have $500,000, so the house is set to be sold. Then Denise and Cawper will both be gone, and her neighbor will get the money from the sale of her house! Denise has spent a lot of money on lawyers, trying to reverse the decision. You've heard the expression, "his bark is worse than his bite." In this case, the neighbor's bite was definitely worse than his bark!