Fact Check: Kentucky Man Did NOT Sue and Win Lawsuit Against Himself For Hitting Own Head With Boomerang -- Old Hoax Story

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Kentucky Man Did NOT Sue and Win Lawsuit Against Himself For Hitting Own Head With Boomerang -- Old Hoax Story No Lawsuit

Did a Kentucky man who threw a boomerang that hit himself in the head sue himself for $300,000 and win the lawsuit? No, that's not true: The story was first published in 1996 in a tabloid known for publishing made-up stories. There is no evidence the lawsuit ever happened and later iterations of the claim published elsewhere did not mention the origin was the Weekly World News nor its reputation.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on January 29, 2024. The reel on Facebook featured a screenshot of an article last updated in 1996 from a publication called the SCMP Reporter. It read:

Man sues himself and wins

A Kentucky man who threw a boomerang that flew back and hit him on the head has sued himself for US$300,000 (HK $2.32 million) - and won.

And astonishingly, it will not cost him a cent because all the money he won comes from his insurance company. 🕶️ 🎖️

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

man sues himself and wins FB reel.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot posted on Thu Apr 25 19:38:12 2024 UTC)

This claim was first published by the tabloid publication Weekly World News, which published false news stories throughout its more than 40-year existence. Although the print version of the publication stopped production in 2007, the publication still has an online presence.

An article titled "MAN KNOCKS HIMSELF OUT WITH BOOMERANG - then sues himself for $300,000 AND WINS!" was published in the July 30, 1996, edition of the publication (archived here).

The South China Morning Post (abbreviated as "SCMP," as seen in the reel on Facebook making the claim) repeated the claim in an article published on August 5, 1996 (archived here). However, its story does not provide any additional evidence that the claim is truthful, nor does it provide any disclaimer alerting readers that the claim is fake.

Lead Stories did a search on Google for the man named in the Weekly World News and South China Morning Post article as the winner of the lawsuit, Larry Rutman, which did not generate any results that corroborated the claim.

At the time this was written, the claim had previously been reviewed by multiple fact checking organizations, including by Snopes in 2015 and by the Associated Press in 2023.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to Weekly World News can be found here.

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  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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