$1.6 million “due to phobia of frogs”? No, probably not

Readers have been sending clips like this about a recent award to a Buffalo-area landowner whose property was inadvertently flooded by a neighboring developer. But this longer Associated Press report gives some context:

Lawyers on both sides said Monday that Marinaccio’s frog testimony amounted to just moments of a more than three-week trial — and may not have affected the jury’s award. The Court of Appeals, however, referred to it in a five-page decision in which it determined that while Marinaccio had been wronged, the developer hadn’t acted maliciously.

Sometimes a colorful detail is just a colorful detail.