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Imagine the situation: Your child is invited to a birthday party, but then has a chance to spend a getaway with grandma and grandpa.

… and then you’re threatened with a lawsuit because your child didn’t attend the party.

Sound ridiculous? Unfortunately, it’s exactly what happened to Derek and Tanya Walsh, of Cornwall, UK.

That’s right: The Nash’s were recently threatened with a lawsuit when their five-year-old son, Alex, had to cancel plans to attend a birthday party.

“Two days before the party, the mother of the party boy came up to me when I was with my son and asked my son if he wanted to go to the party and Alex said yes so I said yes,” said Derek. 

But Derek and Tanya decided to let their son spend time with his grandparents instead of attending the ski party.

What happened next?

“On Thursday morning, there was a brown envelope in my son’s book bag and inside was an invoice that we owed 15 pounds for a child’s party no-show fee,” said Nash.

Not long ago, most people would think a story like this happened in the United States, with its reputation for excessive litigation.

Today, many people in the UK believe cases like this are becoming all too common.

Expert solicitor Arundel McDougall explains that there is a broad trend toward a more “U.S.-style” lawsuit system in the UK, as Parliament has changed legal rules and relaxed standards.

While the threat of a lawsuit over a birthday party is a rarity and unlikely to turn into an actual legal case, the mere threat of litigation to resolve life’s small disputes is a sign of changing times.

“I was angered trying to use the legal system into bullying me to pay money,” said Nash.

Watch the video above to learn more about this story.

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