When Pranks Go Wrong

April Fool’s Day has come and gone. For some, the day was full of good-natured pranks. For others, the day couldn’t have ended quickly enough. No matter how you feel about the holiday, one thing is certain: Pranks can go horribly wrong.

Pranks are rarely performed with bad intentions. People plan pranks with the intention of making someone else feel silly for a short time. It’s all in good fun. Until it isn’t. Unfortunately for some, when pranks go wrong, people can end up in jail, hurt or worse.

Here are examples of some pranks that clearly did not go as planned.

1. Guns are No Laughing Matter

In 2013, Premila Lal and her cousin decided they were going to play a prank on a family friend. The friend had recently moved but was still keeping an eye on his vacant home. On this night, he was playing video games at the home with Premilia’s brother.

The pair of gamers heard a noise, not realizing that Premilia and her cousin had snuck into the house. As the pair were searching for the source of the noise, Premilia’s brother with a gun in his hand, Premilia jumped out of a closet. Premilia screamed and her brother pulled the trigger. She died at the hospital a short time later.

2. Minion Mic-Drop

The folks at Google have a long-standing reputation for participating in April Fool’s Day. This year, the team at Gmail included a Minion performing a Mic-Drop. Here’s what was supposed to happen: You send an email to someone and instead of hitting the regular send button, you hit the mic-drop icon. The person would then see an animated GIF of the Minion and be unable to reply, giving you the last word.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned. Google announced that people didn’t know about the prank and that the mic-drop button was very close to the regular send button, causing people to send mic-drops inadvertently. Imagine sending a business email or something of a serious nature, only to have the recipient see a cartoon character. Not classy. Google has apologized and is working to restore any replies that people tried to send.

3. Sparkler Danger

In 2014, an 18-year-old man has been charged in the death of a 19-year-old woman after a prank went terribly wrong. Eric Morelli wass friends with the woman’s brother. To get the brother’s attention, Morelli through a lit sparkler through the window of the family’s second-floor apartment.

The lit sparkler, as anyone could imagine, started a fire in the apartment. Morelli died of smoke inhalation and her death ruled a homicide. It is clear to all that Morelli did not intend to hurt anyone, but his poor decision ended up costing someone their life. Morelli was ultimately charged with manslaughter.

4. Home Invasion

Some people seem to think it is funny to make others believe that there are strangers in the home. In 2012, a group of teenage boys was having an overnight party. At the time of the incident, there was no parental supervision in the home. Here’s what went down:

Several of the boys turned off the lights and left the home, leaving the home owner’s son behind playing video games. The group of boys then snuck back in the home, scaring the boy who believed he was alone. The boy dropped his video game, picked up a gun and shot one of the “intruders” in the head.

The teen who was shot was taken to the hospital and police were called. Authorities called the incident an “accident” and no one was charged. It was discovered that there were several guns in the home.

5. Chew Your Food

Your mother always told you to chew before you swallow, and a man in the United Kingdom should have heeded that advice. After drinking with his friends, a father of three went to McDonald’s. He purchased a cheeseburger and in an attempt to be funny, shoved the entire sandwich into his mouth.

Friends report that he turned blue before their eyes. Friends tried to hit him on his back in order to loosen the sandwich. Sadly, the man choked to death. During an examination after his death, medical professionals found an eight by five centimeter ball of cheeseburger in his throat.

Pranks are almost always meant to be funny. Unfortunately for the people in the above stories, they were anything but. If you decide to pull a prank on someone, think the whole situation through. If there is anything that you are planning that could potentially hurt someone if things go wrong, think of another joke.

If you have been injured and are wondering if you are entitled to compensation, call our office. A member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call us today.

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About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.