The United States is a notoriously litigious place. When free market business practices trickle down into every sector of society, you end up with $3.50 per Lipitor pill and ambulance-chasing lawyers eager to snatch up clients.
Often times the lawsuits, if not totally ethically warranted, are at least logical: “Please contact our law offices if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with X disease as you may be entitled to compensation.” It’s basically greed masquerading as philanthropy: Please contact us! We are DYING to get your you your money!!!
The following lawsuits are so wacko, so obviously morally bankrupt cash grabs, that even Sokolove would refuse to represent them. It’s almost as though the accusers’ full time job is filing lawsuits. If you’re curious, keep reading to find out about fifteen of the most ridiculous lawsuits ever filed.
15. Audi Driver Strikes And Kills Boy, Sues Family For Damages
In January of 2008, Tomas Delgado was rocketing along the highway in his Audi A8 when he struck young cyclist Enaitz Iriondo. The crash killed the boy on his bike, but also, and apparently more importantly, caused 14,000 Euros of damage to the all-aluminium luxury car.
Understandably miffed that Iriondo’s body had busted up his car when he struck the poor, fragile human with 2 tons in motion, Delgado sued the Iriondo family for reparations, making the case that the cyclist was responsible since he had been wearing black at night. The moral of the story is don’t invite him to the funeral or he will crush everyone in his car and say they were basically asking for it.
14. Woman Stricken On Non-Pedestrian Highway, Sues Google Maps
In 2011, Lauren Rosenberg accessed Google Maps on her BlackBerry to find her way home. The list of directions she was given clearly indicated that some steps might be missing sidewalks or footpaths. Undeterred, Rosenberg mounted the highway on foot.
It being night and there being no sidewalk, she was almost immediately hit by a car. She sued both Google and the driver Patrick Hardwood. The court sided with Google, citing, among other things, that Google Maps is very convenient for the public, and granting this would open the company to “near unlimited liability” for litigation.
13. Cleanthi Peters Sues Universal Studios for “Fear, Distress, And Anguish” Over Haunted House
In 1998, Cleanthi Peters accompanied her ten year old granddaughter in the haunted house at the Universal Studios theme park. Near the end of the experience, a Universal employee jumped out at them with a chainsaw. This spooked them, so they fled and then slipped on a wet spot on the floor.
This left them with unspecified physical injuries and “extreme fear, emotional distress and mental anguish.” Peters demanded $15k in reparations, over which Universal Studios could more legitimately sue her for fear, distress, and anguish.
12. Man Sues Wife for Return of Life-Saving Kidney
Richard Batista hoped his organ donation would serve two purposes: one, to save his wife from kidney failure, and two, to save his failing marriage. It unfortunately only accomplished the former. Batista’s marriage lasted but four more years, until 2005, when his wife filed for divorce.
Having essentially bribed her to stay with him by putting a kidney in her, when she filed for divorce, Batista sued her for his kidney back, offering an alternative $1.5M settlement option. If she was going to cheat on him and then leave him, he thought, she could make do with her own sub-par organs.
11. Insurance Corporation Sues Helpless Old Lady Over Tumble on Her Property
Dolores Tanel, an employee of a meal-delivery service in Brookfield, slipped and fell on some ice in 2004 when bringing food to the octogenarian Anne Keipper’s home. Keipper remembers seeing Tanel fall and then allowing another employee to use her phone to call an ambulance. No details on whether the food was still warm when the famished senior finally got to eat.
Three years later, Keipper received a notice from Tanel’s insurance company, Sentry Insurance, that we she was being sued for damages. An involuntary plaintiff in the case, Tanel could not be reached for a comment.
10. Woman Sues McDonald’s Over Boiling Point of Water
79-year-old Stella Liebeck sued McDonald’s in 1992 after she spilled a 50 cent cup of coffee onto herself in a parked car and gave herself severe burns. Given that the car was parked, we are surprised that Liebeck did not also press charges against her central nervous system for having Parkinson’s.
However frivolous the suit, the jury awarded Liebeck $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages. Today, we have the “Stella Awards,” which go out annually to the year’s most inane legal claims.
9. Jack Ass Sues Jackass Over Defamation of Character
In 1997, Montana man Bob Craft legally changed his name to Jack Ass to supposedly raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving; who doesn’t think about drunk driving when you hear Jack Ass?
In 2003, the man, who represented himself, sued Viacom for $10 million in damages for injury to reputation and defamation of character because of the release of their feature film Jackass. Apparently, the movie made him look bad by association. As reckless and dumb as the Jackass boys are, even they wouldn’t change their name to Jack Ass.
8. Woman Sues College Over Unmarketable Degree
Arguing, essentially, that a college degree or diploma guarantees employment, Trina Thompson of New York City sued her alma matter, Monroe College, for the seventy grand she spent on a bachelor’s degree in information technology. She is also demanding $2,000 to ease the stress of a three-month job search that yielded nothing.
In Thompson’s opinion, any employer would be lucky to have a student with a 2.7 gpa like hers, but the office advancement favors those with a 4.0 or closer. When asked if she would encourage other students to sue their alma matter, she assented enthusiastically.
7. Woman Frames Wendy’s By Adding A Finger To Her Chili, Sues
In 2005, Anne Ayala bought an order of chili from a Wendy’s in San Jose. With a severed finger her husband, Jaime Plascencia, had purchased from a co-worker, she rendered the soup extremely FDA un-approved. She then filed a claim with the franchise.
However, lab tests revealed no traces of saliva on the digit, which there would have needed to be in order for Ayala to determine it was “crunchy.” The tests also showed that the finger was not consistent with something cooked in chili for three hours. Ayala and her husband were both imprisoned on conspiracy to fraud and grand theft.
6. Cleaners Lose Judge’s Pants, He Takes Them to Cleaners
Custom Cleaners in Washington D.C., like every other dry cleaner in the galaxy, promise “same-day service” or “satisfaction guaranteed.” When the company lost a pair of judge Roy Pearson’s pants in 2007, he sued them for $67 million dollars.
The judge ruled in favor of the storeowners, but they had to shut down two locations to finance their legal bills. Pearson was fired because it was deemed that he lacked “appropriate judgment and judicial temperament.”
5. Man Sues Beer Company For False Advertising
In 1991, Richard Overton sued the beer company for false advertising, claiming that it caused emotional distress, mental injury and financial loss. The case was dismissed due to the obvious fantasy of most alcohol marketing.
Later, in an interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette, Overton said that the image of him as a sexual no-show who drinks Bud Light so he can get girls was false; he’s married with three kids. But he wanted to challenge the industry’s advertising style because he didn’t like seeing his children so captivated by it.
4. Man Sues Himself For $5 Million For Violating His Own Civil Rights
A prisoner at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Robert Lee Brock sued himself for the violation of his civil rights for $5 million dollars in 1995. His argument was that by going out and getting drunk, he got himself arrested, which is contrary to his religious practices. However, since he did not have $5 million dollars to cede to himself, he asked that the state provide it for him.
Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, unimpressed with the ludicrous claim and the handwritten, seven-page lawsuit, still applauded him for his “innovative approach to civil rights litigation.” The case was thrown out.
3. Like Mike? Like Hell! Man Sues Michael Jordan For Slight Resemblance
In 2006, Oregon man Allen Heckard sued basketball legend Michael Jordan for $416 million dollars, saying that their slight resemblance had caused him emotional pain and suffering, defamation, and permanent injury.
He said that he couldn’t go out in public without being mistaken for the basketball player, even though he’s six inches shorter than him (he did not add that last part, nor did he remove his single earring or Air Jordan sneakers.) Heckard finally dropped his suit against Michael Jordan, as well as his suit against Nike, which allegedly made Jordan a star, for the same amount.
2. Psychopathic Pimp Sues Nike Over Lack of “Dangerous Weapon” Disclaimer on Their Shoes
In 2013, Sirgiorgiro Clardy, a violent pimp in Portland, stomped on a man’s face after he refused to pay for his prostitute. The john required stitches and plastic surgery. Clardy, in response, sued Nike from prison for not adding disclaimers that their products can be used as violent weapons.
He said: “Under product liability there is a certain standard of care that is required to be up-held by potential dangerous product,” never acknowledging that he was deemed “an anti-social psychopath who is 100 percent likely to commit crimes again” by his trial psychologist.
1. Drug-Addicted Criminal Sues McDonald’s Over Napkins; “I Am An Immaculately Clean Person”
Webster Lucas went to eat lunch at McDonald’s in January of 2014. With his brown bag of food, he was only given one napkin. When he asked the manager Angel Arciga for more, the manager mumbled something about “you people,” meaning black people, under his breath.
Lucas then filed a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit against the company for the “undue mental anguish” of both not having enough napkins and being treated unfairly when he wanted more. During the trial, Lucas’s history emerged: in 1985, he was sentenced to 27 years and eight months in state prison for sexually assaulting and robbing an 18-year-old man in a jail cell at a Los Angeles police station. He did not remember the incident because he was high on PCP.
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