These Ten Lawsuits Are Absolutely Ludicrous
Any fan of courtroom dramas has a pretty good idea of how it goes down when court is in session. The serious arguments. The somber jury members absorbing every detail so they can make the best decision. The judge overlooking their courtroom in the hopes that justice will be served.
The cases on TV are written to be provocative and hold our attention. But even as far-fetched as some TV shows can be, real life can bring us situations much more dramatic and ridiculous than any television show!
Even if a lawsuit seems laughable or ridiculous to everyone involved, the same amount of work and preparation goes into them. Many are so frivolous that I imagine the judges and lawyers loathe even to take it seriously. They do, though, because that’s their job.
Get ready to laugh and shake your head at some of the craziest, most ridiculous lawsuits we have ever heard of!
1. Grand theft
Kellie Smith, from Albuquerque, New Mexico was sued for stealing seminal fluid and impregnating herself on purpose without consent.
In 1998, Kellie was in a relationship with a man named Peter Wallis. According to his testimony, Smith said she was on birth control pills and promised to stay on them to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. He claimed that she stopped taking the pill without informing him, so she could get pregnant without his assent. She did become pregnant and he sued her for fraud and breach of contract for “intentionally acquiring and misusing his seminal fluid.”
His argument insisted that he was owed money because he would now be responsible for a child he never wanted and that was conceived through dishonesty.
Smith’s lawyers maintained that the seminal fluid in question was legally a gift because a voluntary act is what allowed her possession of it. Therefore, it could not have been stolen.
Wallis asked Smith to marry him and subsequently asked her to terminate the pregnancy. She declined to do either, and moved out instead.
Mr. Wallis claimed that women have all the power in these situations and it was a travesty for him to be expected to pay. The court ruled in her favor, and he lost the case.
2. Caution: Contents Are Hot
Another case out of Albuquerque is one that most people have heard before. It is the case of the hot McDonald’s coffee.
Stella Liebeck was with her grandson when they stopped at a local McDonald’s to order coffee through the drive-through. In order to add the cream and sugar to her coffee, she took the lid off of her Styrofoam cup and placed held the cup with her knees. Somehow, the coffee tipped and the hot contents spilled into her lap. She was wearing sweatpants, which absorbed the coffee, thus worsening the burns.
Her thighs sustained the injuries, and she was in the hospital for more than a week, being treated with skin grafts for third degree burns.
The initial lawsuit was for just enough to cover medical expenses and the lost income for Liebeck’s daughter who had cared for her mother while she healed. This offer was refused by McDonald’s. It was then discovered that 700 claims had already been filed about burns from McDonald’s coffee in the past ten years. Many of these claims included severe burns as well.
This information was then used to show that the company was cognizant of the danger that their coffee posed, and decided to sue for negligence. Liebeck was awarded compensatory punitive damages, to the tune of $160,000 and $2.7 million, respectively. Punitive damages were later adjusted to a little less than half a million.
3. Godly Ideations
This next example is very odd to say the least. A Minnesota man named Christopher Roller brought a suit against David Copperfield. In 2005, Roller thought that he was God, and became very distressed because he honestly believed that several magicians were stealing his godly gifts and using them for magic.
While the lawsuit was still ongoing, he said he would withdraw if Mr. Copperfield could show that he did not use the powers of God to perform his magical acts. And we all know that the first rule of magic is that the tricks are never revealed.
Roller was a former nuclear engineer for the United States Navy. He claims that he realized his heavenly gifts when he welcomed millions of spirits into his soul back in 1999, and applied for a patent for the exclusive rights pertaining to the use of his godly powers here on earth.
Of course, his application was never approved, and the lawsuit was dismissed.
4. Wardrobe Dysfunction
An employee of the Los Angeles DOT filed a lawsuit in 2008 against lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret. Machida Patterson suffered a scratch to her cornea from a piece of metal hardware came off of a thong.
Patterson said that even though she used the garment as intended, this injury happened and they were responsible. There was speculation in the counter argument that sizing might have been incorrect and the garment was in used condition at the time of the incident. She had worn and washed the thong many times before.
It was argued by her attorney that the injury resulted in lifelong ramifications.
The payout sought was $25,000 for lost wages and medical bills. They also stated that the case was more about retailers taking accountability for their products, rather than just looking for a payday.
5. Workplace Snooze Fest
It would be wonderful if everyone found their work to be intellectually stimulating and exciting, but that is not the case. Most of us find our work tedious and can’t wait to get home. The ones who find their work fun and enjoyable are lucky.
Very recently, in 2016, a French man by the name of Frederic Desnard, sued his former company for €360,000. He painted a picture of the boredom he experienced at his former job, by using comparing it to a nightmare and even hell. He was employed by Interparfums for eight years. He was forced out of his job due to the boredom, according to his complaint.
His reasoning is that he was forced out of a bigger role in the company on purpose after a big contract was lost. He also took seven months off for sick leave due to suffering from mental health issues. The issues included ulcers, and epilepsy, and he got fired after this.
Also included in the complaint was claims of harassment by his superiors. He claimed he was called names and relegated to performing mundane errands such as picking the higher up’s children up from school. The attorney on the case insisted that being “bored-out” was a type of harassment and the company owed Frederic for the mental torment that it caused.
A Paris labor tribunal considered the case but instead of issuing a decision, they set it for a new date.
What the outcome will be? Will he be compensated for the mental anguish caused by losing his big position in this company? To be determined.
6. Negligent Weatherman
Normally, when you hear somebody has been sued for negligence, you think of a physician of some sort. This case is about a weatherman.
I hate it when I check the forecast and it ends up being wrong as much as the next person, but I can’t imagine that I would ever sue the weatherman for getting it wrong.
That’s exactly what a woman from Israel did when she planned a day around a sunny forecast, and got rained on instead.
She filed a lawsuit because the forecast predicted a nice, dry day, full of sunshine, and she got rained on. She claims that because of the forecast, she dressed lightly, then ended up caught in a storm, and got the flu. She also had to take four days away from her job and had to fork out money for medicine.
She asked for $1000 and an apology. The TV station paid, and she got her apology from Danny Rup, the weatherman.
7. The Case of the Rotten Clodhoppers
A student in the Netherlands was kicked out of his university because his feet were smelly. Yes, you read that right. He was kicked out of an institution of higher learning because his feet smelled so bad that it was distracting to the other students and teachers.
In 1999, Teunis Tenbrook was attending Erasmus University in the Netherlands. He was a busy student, studying philosophy when complaints for me that the stench from his feet made it hard for teachers and students around him to concentrate on their studies and lectures.
He sued the college to be reinstated, and it took the court 10 years to rule that he was unjustly booted from the school. The university was informed that they would just have to deal with the odoriferous problem. Even smelly people have a right to get their education. We don’t know if he graduated from the University or not. We also don’t know if he ever found a way to make his tootsies less smelly.
8. Don’t Toy With Her
Most of us have called into a radio station at least once in our lives trying to win a prize. Whether it be the latest CD, a pair of concert tickets, or even cold hard cash, it’s fun to try your luck and see if you can nab the goodies.
In 2000, a single mother who was the manager at a local store, did just that. Catherine McGowan was a single mother, and she entered a contest for chance to win a new vehicle. Much to her delight, she won!
Things turned sour when she went to claim her prize and found out that it was just a toy version of it. She was embarrassed and mad! So much so that she decided to sue the radio station.
The DJ who masterminded the prank was fired from his job because of the lawsuit. Apparently, the stations governing rules stated that conscious or to be conducted by certain ethical standards. The manager of the station in question admitted that Mrs. McGowan was misled into thinking the contest was for a real car.
She won the case. Her award money was significant enough that she can now buy her own car!
9. Too Much Fright Night
Halloween is the one day a year when everyone expects to be scared. We even seek it out. We love the thrills and excitement and goose bumps we get walking through a haunted house, or watching a scary movie!
Being scared is such a big pastime that hordes of people come to experience Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios. Anticipations of the jump scares and things popping out in the dark are appealing to young and old alike.
In 1998, however, one woman was unprepared. Her name was Cleanthi Peters. She filed a lawsuit claiming she was attacked by a spook with a chainsaw at the annual event. She cited emotional damage and physical injuries caused by the antics at one of the haunted houses. She was there with her young granddaughter.
She says after being frightened by a chainsaw waving around, they fled towards the exit. In their excited state, they slid on the floor, that was slightly wet from the cooling mist the park uses to make visitors more comfortable after a walk-through of the haunted house.
She asked for $15,000 for injuries that were unspecified and mental anguish caused by the incident. Universal settled out of court.
They got a little more fright than they bargained for!
10. Lethal Weapon Shoe
This might just be the most ridiculous case on the list. A man sued Nike, the famous shoe company, for $100 million because he says he should have been warned about the dangerous weapons that are Air Jordans.
I’ll give you a moment to process that.
Sirgiorgio Sanford Clardy stomped on a man’s face in Portland Oregon, causing him to need stitches as well as reconstructive surgery for his nose.
He made in into international news circuits when he decided to sue Nike to take responsibility for the crime that he, himself committed. He believed that they should take responsibility for the attack because they did not warn of the shoes dangers. The attorneys for Nike explained the fact that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the shoes and there wasn’t any danger inherent when using the shoes as intended. They held that the shoes cannot cause injury just by wearing them.
I’m sure you can guess who won the case, but it is a sad day when a company has to spend even a measly $1,400 to pay court fees while defending the fact that their shoes are not murder weapons.
These are just a few examples of some of the crazy lawsuits to a pass through courts throughout the world. The way it’s going, I bet we can make а series of lists like this in the near future with all new ridiculous lawsuits!