He is demanding the incredible amount of $1.35 million in “pain and suffering”, that is, monetary compensation for the entire experience of having a disabled life versus having a healthy mind and body, as well as $800 000 in “loss of enjoyment of life”.
“My life is a torture!” the young boy told the press outside the courthouse. “I keep being told that I have no soul or that I am from an endangered species. People keep calling me Carrottop, Strawberry Shortcake or Ginger Freak, and all of that is my parents’ fault! They knew they were offering me a life of misery, and they selfishly decided to have children anyways.”
Liam Murphy’s lawyer, James Franklin O’connor, told reporters that his client’s claim is “incredibly conservative considering the situation”, and says he is confident about the upcoming trial.
“My client was intentionally exposed to a life of rejection and bullying by his parents,” said Mr O’Connor. “Many scientific studies have proven the social difficulties suffered by people with red hair, but this couple who had suffered from it themselves, consciously decided to expose their children to the same thing.”
The boy’s lawyer told reporters that he personally thought his client could have demanded “at least three times” more than is actual demand, but that the teenager had decided to “go easy” on his parents.
A 2014 study from the University College Cork did showed that redheads are “more likely to be bullied” than others and concluded that “bullying of gingers” is “one of the last socially accepted forms of prejudice against people for a trait they were born with”.
The results showed 60.6% of males and 47.3% of females with red hair said that they had suffered “some kind of discrimination in the past due to their hair colour”.
Even the British royal Prince Harry admitted to CBS in 2014, that he has been regularly bullied over his ginger locks in the past, and has sought counselling about it.
Liam’s parents, however, have a very different perspective on the question, saying that “God gave him red hair”, not them, and that he should “be happy to be alive”.
“Both my wife and I have red hair, and it never stopped us from being happy,” the boy’s father told reporters. “God has created me the way I am, and I not ashamed of his creation. Some mean kids at school have started bullying Liam over the last few years, and we tried to help him solve the problem. But now, some lawyer has convinced my son that it was actually our fault if others were picking on him, and he’s suing us for millions. It’s completely ridiculous! We’ve done nothing wrong. And seriously, I’m an electrician and my wife is a hairdresser… where does he expect us to find two million dollars?”
Liam’ parents, Larry and Theresa Murphy, say they don’t understand why the oldest of their three children is suing them. They say that for them, red hair is a “God-given particularity”, not a handicap.
In recent years, a few “Wrongful Life” lawsuits have generated financial compensations of up to $20 millions for some children, but these were for plaintiffs born with heavy disabilities or debilitating diseases.
This is the first time that such a claim is filed concerning a physical trait, and could therefore become a legal precedent for future cases.
Both parties should return to court on April 12 for the beginning of the trial, which is expected to attract a lot of attention from the media.