Funny Lawsuits

As a First Affirmative Defense to Plaintiff’s Third Cause of Action, Defendant alleges as follows:

§ I. The word “asshole” is not a word of specific generic exactitude. The word “asshole,” when used to describe a physical portion of the human body, is a void surrounded by the anal sphincter muscle. On the other hand, when used as a characterization of an individual, the word “asshole” denotes that the individual possesses some or all of the following:

a. His acts or omissions do not conform generally to an accepted pattern among members of a particular social group of which the individual using the characterization is a member.

b. A person who by his conduct causes derision to be heaped upon him by one or more other persons.

c. A person whose conduct has attained the degree of contemptibility such that it defies characterization by any conventional language.

d. A person generally considered by his peers to conduct himself in such a manner as displays a callous disregard for the feelings of other human beings and thus deserving of being shunned and ostracized.

II. Defendant did not intend, nor were his remarks understood by Plaintiff or any other person, to mean that the Plaintiff is in truth and in fact a void surrounded by the anal sphincter muscle. On the other hand, Defendant intended, and Plaintiff and others understood Defendant to mean, that Plaintiff is indeed an “asshole” within the meaning of the colloquialized characterization of an individual as described above.

III. In truth and in fact, Plaintiff is an “asshole.”

§ In re: Robert Lee Brock v Robert Lee Brock

An inmate who claimed he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested filed a $5 million lawsuit against himself, then asked the state to pay because he has no income in jail.

Robert Lee Brock, a prisoner at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, filed a handwritten, seven-page lawsuit last month in federal court. “I partook of alcoholic beverages in 1993, July 1st, as a result I caused myself to violate my religious beliefs. This was done by my going out and getting arrested,” wrote Brock, who is serving 23 years for breaking and entering and grand larceny.

“I want to pay myself 5 million dollars,” he continued, “but ask the state to pay it in my behalf since I can’t work and am a ward of the state.”

Judge Rebecca Beach Smith was unimpressed by Brock’s ingenuity.

She dismissed the lawsuit Thursday as frivolous.

“Plaintiff has presented an innovative approach to civil rights litigation,” Smith wrote. “However, his claim and especially the relief sought are totally ludicrous.”

§ Man who previously changed his name to ‘Jack Ass’ sues media giant Viacom, saying the MTV show “Jackass” plagiarized his name   This is real folks.  A man in Montana who changed his name back in 1997 to “Jack Ass” (previously Bob Craft), says he did it to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.  The show “Jackass,” which premiered on MTV back in 2000, featured a group of guys performing crazy and dangerous stunts, that was also made into a movie in 2002. Jack Ass himself is claiming the company plagiarized his name, infringed on his trademark and copyright to his name and defamed his good character. He’s only asking for 10 Million. Source: CNN

§ “Woman who drove drunk gets $300,000″.  An Ontario woman who got drunk at an office party and crashed her car has successfully sued her employer for allowing her to drive — even though her company offered a cab ride or accommodation if she gave up her keys. Linda Hunt, 52, won more than $300,000 in damages and interest from Sutton Group Realty Ltd., of Barrie, Ont., after arguing her boss should have stopped her from driving home in a snowstorm following a 1994 Christmas party.” The judge assessed Hunt’s damages from the resulting accident at C$1.2 million, but reduced that by three quarters to reflect her own fault in the matter. He “went on to declare it the duty of employers to monitor the alcohol consumption of employees at company functions. The decision is expected to send a chill through offices across the country”. (Charlie Gillis, National Post (Canada), Feb. 6). Source – Overlawyered.com

§ Organizers of an Olympics event were ordered to pay damages to a man who missed the event due to heavy traffic. In Japan, a court has ordered the organizers of the Nagano Winter Olympics to pay damages for mental anguish to a spectator who missed an event because of heavy traffic.

§ A German bank robber was arrested recently after a teller realized the robber was hard of hearing and tripped an alarm. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the robber is now suing the bank for exploiting his disability.

§ A woman was treated by a psychiatrist from March to November 1986, became romantically involved with him, and subsequently married him in October of 1989. After more than five years of marriage they divorced in 1995, at which time the woman sued her ex-husband for psychiatric malpractice and negligence claiming that the romantic or sexual relationship between them started before the formal psychiatric treatment ended. She contended that her ex-husband had breached the standard of care as a psychiatrist by becoming romantically involved with her, and sought general, special and punitive damages.

§ A woman in Israel is suing a TV station and its weatherman for $1,000 after he predicted a sunny day and it rained. The woman claims the forecast caused her to leave home lightly dressed. As a result, she caught the flu, missed 4 days of work, spent $38 on medication and suffered stress.

§ A Los Angeles attorney sued another attorney who had hung a cardboard tombstone in his office that read, “R.I.P./Jerry Garcia (a few too many parties perhaps?).” The plaintiff lawyer, a Garcia groupie, alleged this joke caused him “humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress” after seeing the sign. He further added that he had suffered injury to his mind and body (specifics were not listed in the suit).

§ A woman was playing golf and hit a shot which ricocheted off railroad tracks that run through the course. The ball hit her in the nose and she won $40,000 because the golf course had a “free lift” rule. (This allows golfers to toss balls which land near the rails to the other side.) The woman alleged that because the course allowed a free lift, they were, in effect, acknowledging the rails to be a hazard.

§ A surfer recently sued another surfer for “taking his wave.” The case was ultimately dismissed because they were unable to put a price on “pain and suffering” endured by watching someone ride the wave that was “intended for you.”

§ A woman went into a Northridge discount department store to buy a blender. She decided to take the bottom box from a stack of four blenders from an upper shelf used to store extra stock. When she pulled out the bottom box, the rest of the boxes fell. She sued the store for not warning customers from taking stock from the upper shelf and for stacking the boxes so high. She claimed to sustain carpal tunnel syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain.

§ A minister and his wife sued a guide-dog school for $160,000 after a blind man learning to use a seeing-eye dog stepped on the woman’s toe. She sought $80,000 for medical bills, pain & suffering, humiliation and disability. Her husband sought the same amount for loss of his wife’s care, comfort and consortium.

§ A man who had purchased a BMW took his new car to a detailing shop for a fancier look and discovered that the car had been partly repainted before it was sold, due to damage done by acid rain. The man was awarded $4,000 in compensatory damages, and $4 Million in punitive damages. The court upheld the verdict, but cut the punitive damages to $2 million.

§ A college student in Idaho decided to “moon” someone from his 4th story dorm room window. He lost his balance, fell out of his window, and injured himself in the fall. Now the student expects the University to take the fall — he is suing them for “not warning him of the dangers of living on the 4th floor”.

§ A jury awarded $178,000 in damages to a woman who sued her former fiance’ for breaking their seven-week engagement. The breakdown: $93,000 for pain & suffering; $60,000 for loss of income from her legal practice, and $25,000 for psychiatric counseling expenses.

§ A woman driving a car collided with a man who was riding a snowmobile. The man died at the scene. Since his snowmobile had suddenly cut in front of her, police said she was free of blame. She sued the man’s widow for the grave and crippling psychological injuries she suffered from watching the man die.

§ A writer was sued for $60 million dollars after writing a book about a convicted Orange County serial killer. Although the inmate is on death row, he claimed that he was innocent in all 16 murders, so the characterization of him as a serial killer was false, misleading and “defamed his good name”. In addition, he claimed those falsehoods would cause him to be “shunned by society and unable to find decent employment” once he returned to private life. The case was thrown out in a record 46 seconds, but only after $30,000 in legal fees were incurred by the writer’s publisher.

§ A man who’d eaten a lot of sugary snack food fell out of a tree … and sued the snack food company for $100 million in damages!

§ A woman went to her friend’s house and asked for a haircut. Unhappy with her new look, she claimed her friend had willfully, intentionally and maliciously cut her hair without her consent … and sued him for $75,000.

§ A man bought a house. He later claimed it was haunted, and sued the former owner seeking to undo the sale and collect damages.

§ A convicted bank robber on parole entered a bank, went up to the teller, and said, “Give me the money. I’ve got a bomb.” The bank teller did as instructed, except that hidden in the rolls of money turned over to the robber was an anti-robbery device that released tear gas. The device functioned as intended .. and the robber sued the bank.

§ Allen Heckard sued Michael Jordan and Phil Knight on July 2006. Heckard claims he has suffered emotional trauma because he looks like Michael Jordan. Heckard has filed his look-alike case at the Washington County Court in Oregon and with a $832 million dollar head. Allen Heckard believes his life has been rough since people continually think he is Michael Jordan. Heckard says when he plays basketball, people are constantly telling him he plays like Michael Jordan and this has been difficult for him. Heckard is only six feet tall, so obviously those who assume he is Michael Jordan have little regard for height. Heckard even wears Air Jordan shoes, he says that they’re the most comfortable.

§ In October 1998, A Terrence Dickson of Bristol Pennsylvania was exiting a house he finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn’t re- enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, so Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. This upset Mr. Dickson, so he sued the homeowner’s insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars and change.

§ A small-town teenager who was bullied for years by classmates because they believed he was gay was awarded $440,000 in a settlement. The settlement ended a longrunning battle between the Tonganoxie School District and 18-year-old Dylan Theno, who sued in May 2004 claiming he was harassed with homophobic slurs from seventh grade until he quit school his junior year. Theno, who testified that he isn’t gay, recently earned his GED and attends a vocational technical school in Kansas City.

§ In January 2000, Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000.00 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving tyke was Ms. Robertson’s son.

§ In October 1999, Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas was awarded $14,500.00 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor’s beagle. The beagle was on a chain in it’s owner’s fenced-in yard, as was Mr. Williams. The jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

§ In May 2000, a Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500.00 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

§ In December 1997, Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000.00 and dental expenses.

§ In November 2000 Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32 foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having joined the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly the Winnie left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the handbook that he couldn’t actually do this. He was awarded $1,750,000 plus a new Winnie. (Winnebago actually changed their § handbooks on the back of this court case, just in case there are any other complete morons buying their vehicles.)

§ Shawn Perkins of Laurel, Ind. Perkins was hit by lightning in the parking lot Paramount’s Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. A classic “act of God”, right? No, says Perkins’ lawyer. “That would be a lot of people’s knee-jerk reaction in these types of situations.” The lawyer has filed suit against the amusement park asking unspecified damages, arguing the park should have “warned” people not to be outside during a thunderstorm.

§ Caesar Barber, 56, of New York City. Barber, who is 5-foot-10 and 270 pounds, says he is obese, diabetic, and suffers from heart disease because fast food restaurants forced him to eat their fatty food four to five times per week. He filed suit against McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC, who “profited enormously” and asked for unspecified damages because the eateries didn’t warn him that junk food isn’t good for him. The judge threw the case out twice, and barred it from being filed a third time. Is that the end of such McCases? No way: lawyers will just find another plaintiff and start over, legal scholars say.

§ Cole Bartiromo, 18, of Mission Viejo, Calif. After making over $1 million in the stock market, the feds made Bartiromo pay it all back: he gained his profits, they said, using fraud. Bartiromo played baseball at school, but after his fraud case broke he was no longer allowed to participate in extracurricular sports. Bartiromo clearly learned a lot while sitting in federal court: he wrote and filed his own lawsuit against his high school, reasoning that he had planned on a pro baseball career but, because he was kicked off the school’s team, pro scouts wouldn’t be able to discover him. His suit demands the school reimburse him for the great salary he would have made in the majors, which he figures is $50 million.

§ Priest David Hanser, 70. Hanser was one of the first Catholic priests to be caught up in the sex abuse scandal. In 1990, he settled a suit filed by one of his victims for $65,000. In the settlement, Hanser agreed not to work with children anymore, but the victim learned that Hanser was ignoring that part of the agreement. The victim appealed to the church, asking it to stop Hanser from working near children, but the church would not intervene. “It’s up to the church to decide where he works,” argued the priest’s lawyer. When the outraged victim went to the press to warn the public that a pedo priest was near children, Hanser sued him for the same $65,000 because he violated his own part of the deal — to keep the settlement secret. The message is clear: shut up about outrageous abuse, or we’ll sue you for catching us.

§ In June 1998, a 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000.00 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran his hand over with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn’t notice someone was at the wheel of the car whose hubcap he was trying to steal.

§ Wanda Hudson, 44, of Mobile, Ala. After Hudson lost her home to foreclosure, she moved her belongings to a storage unit. She says she was inside her unit one night “looking for some papers” when the storage yard manager found the door to her unit ajar — and locked it. She denies that she was sleeping inside, but incredibly did not call for help or bang on the door to be let out! She was not found for 63 days and barely survived; the formerly “plump” 150-pound woman lived on food she just happened to have in the unit, and was a mere 83 pounds when she was found. She sued the storage yard for $10 million claiming negligence. Even though the jury was not allowed to learn that Hudson had previously diagnosed mental problems, it found Hudson was nearly 100 percent responsible for her own predicament — but still awarded her $100,000.

§ Doug Baker, 45, of Portland, Ore. Baker says God “steered” him to a stray dog. He admits “People thought I was crazy” to spend $4,000 in vet bills to bring the injured mutt back to health, but hey, it was God’s dog! But $4,000 was nothing: he couldn’t even take his girlfriend out to dinner without getting a dog-sitter to watch him. When the skittish dog escaped the sitter, Baker didn’t just put an ad in the paper, he bought display ads so he could include a photo. His business collapsed since he devoted full time to the search for the dog. He didn’t propose to his girlfriend because he wanted the dog to deliver the ring to her. He hired four “animal psychics” to give him clues to the animal’s whereabouts, and hired a witch to cast spells. He even spread his own urine around to “mark his territory” to try to lure the dog home! And, he said, he cried every day. Two months in to the search, he went looking for the dog where it got lost — and quickly found it. His first task: he put a collar on the mutt. (He hadn’t done that before for a dog that was so “valuable”?!) After finding the dog, he sued the dog sitter, demanding $20,000 for the cost of his search, $30,000 for the income he lost by letting his business collapse, $10,000 for “the temporary loss of the special value” of the dog, and $100,000 in “emotional damages” — $160,000 total. God has not been named as a defendant.

§ The City of Madera, Calif. Madera police officer Marcy Noriega had the suspect from a minor disturbance handcuffed in the back of her patrol car. When the suspect started to kick at the car’s windows, Officer Noriega decided to subdue him with her Taser. Incredibly, instead of pulling her stun gun from her belt, she pulled her service sidearm and shot the man in the chest, killing him instantly. The city, however, says the killing is not the officer’s fault; it argues that “any reasonable police officer” could “mistakenly draw and fire a handgun instead of the Taser device” and has filed suit against Taser, arguing the company should pay for any award from the wrongful death lawsuit the man’s family has filed. What a slur against every professionally trained police officer who knows the difference between a real gun and a stun gun! And, what a cowardly attempt to escape responsibility for the actions of its own under-trained officer.

§ Kids across America are warned to stay away from “nose candy” in anti-drug campaigns. But a Kanawha County student is fighting his suspension for pretending to put actual candy up his nose. According to a lawsuit filed in Kanawha Circuit Court on December 2006, a student-athlete at Sissonville High School was given Smarties candy as a reward for good academic performance. In front of his teacher and fellow classmates, the student pretended to put one of the small candy discs up his nose.

§ The Tribune Co. of Chicago, Ill. The newspaper chain owns several newspapers, as well as the Chicago Cubs baseball team. One of its newspaper carriers was Mark Guthrie, 43, of Connecticut. One of its ball players was Mark Guthrie, 38, of Illinois. The company’s payroll department mixed the two up, putting the ballplayer’s paycheck into the paper carrier’s bank account. The carrier allowed them to take back 90 percent of the improperly paid salary, and said they could have the rest after they gave him a full accounting to ensure he not only got his own pay, but wouldn’t have any tax problems for being paid $300,000(!) extra. The Tribune Co., rather than provide that reasonable assurance, instead sued him for the rest of the money.

§ “High Tech” retailer Sharper Image sells a lot of its “Ionic Breeze” air filters. As part of a comparative review of many air filters, Consumer Reports magazine found the “Ionic” unit was the worst performer. SI complained, saying it didn’t do a “fair” test. CU asked what sort of test should be done, but SI never replied — until it sued CU. A federal judge ruled the suit not only had no merit, but was actually an illegal attempt to squelch public discussion. SI was ordered to pay CU $400,000 to cover its legal defense costs.

§ Edith Morgan, mother of Kansas City Chiefs football star Derrick Thomas, who died after being thrown from his SUV in a crash while speeding in a snowstorm. Morgan said Thomas’s neck was broken because the SUV’s roof collapsed a few inches — not from rolling down the highway because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt — and sued General Motors. Her lawyer begged jurors to award more than $100 million in damages, perhaps more — he “did not want to put an upper limit on it.” GM pointed out that Thomas’s oversize SUV was exempt from federal roof crush standards, yet it met them anyway. The jury sent a message: of that $100 million, it awarded Morgan …nothing.

§ Tanisha Torres of Wyndanch, N.Y. The woman sued Radio Shack for misspelling her town as “Crimedanch” on her cell phone bill. She didn’t even ask them to change it; she just sued. “I’m not a criminal,” she whined. “My son plays on the high school football team.” Yeah, that makes sense. The name “Crimedanch” is a common joke; police in the area confirm it’s a high-crime area. Still, Torres claimed she suffered “outrage” and “embarrassment” at having to see that spelling on her private phone bill. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

§ Mary Ubaudi of Madison County, Ill. Ubaudi was a passenger in a car that got into a wreck. She put most of the blame on the deepest pocket available: Mazda Motors, who made the car she was riding in. Ubaudi demands “in excess of $150,000” from the automaker, claiming it “failed to provide instructions regarding the safe and proper use of a seatbelt.” One hopes Mazda’s attorneys make her swear in court that she has never before worn a seatbelt, has never flown on an airliner, and that she’s too stupid to figure out how to fasten a seatbelt.

§ Christopher Roller of Burnsville, Minn. Roller is mystified by professional magicians, so he sued David Blaine and David Copperfield to demand they reveal their secrets to him — or else pay him 10 percent of their lifelong earnings, which he figures amounts to $50 million for Copperfield and $2 million for Blaine. The basis for his suit: Roller claims that the magicians defy the laws of physics, and thus must be using “godly powers” — and since Roller is god (according to him), they’re “somehow” stealing that power from him.

§ Wanita “Renea” Young of Durango, Colo. Two neighborhood teens baked cookies for their neighbors as an anonymous gesture of good will, but Young got scared when she heard them on her front porch. They apologized, in writing, but Young sued them anyway for causing her distress, demanding $3,000. When she won(!!) $900, she crowed about it in the newspaper and on national TV. Now, she’s shocked (shocked!) that everyone in town hates her for her spite, and is afraid she may have to move. But hey: she won.

§ Barnard Lorence of Stuart, Fla. Lorence managed to overdraw his own bank account. When the bank charged him a service fee for the overdraft, he filed suit over his “stress and pain” and loss of sleep over the fee. A few hundred thousand bucks, he says, will only amount to a “slap on the wrist”, whereas the $2 million he’s suing for is more like being “paddled”.

§ Rhonda Nichols. She says a wild bird “attacked” her outside a home improvement store in Fairview Heights, Ill., causing head injuries. That’s right: outside the store. Yet Nichols still held the Lowe’s store responsible for “allowing” wild birds to fly around free in the air. She never reported the incident to the store, but still sued for “at least” $100,000 in damages. In January 2006, the case was thrown out of court.

§ Michelle Knepper of Vancouver, Wash. Knepper picked a doctor out of the phone book to do her liposuction, and went ahead with the procedure even though the doctor was only a dermatologist, not a plastic surgeon. After having complications, she complained she never would have chosen that doctor had she known he wasn’t Board Certified in the procedure. (She relied on the phonebook listing over asking the doctor, or looking for a certificate on his wall?!) So she sued …the phone company! She won $1.2 million plus $375,000 for her husband for “loss of spousal services and companionship.”

§ Barbara Connors of Medfield, Mass. Connors was riding in a car driven by her 70-year-old(!) son-in-law when they crashed into the Connecticut River, and Connors sank with the car. Rescue divers arrived within minutes and got her out alive, but Connors suffered brain damage from her near-drowning. Sue the driver? Sure, we guess that’s reasonable. But she also sued the brave rescue workers who risked their lives to save hers.

§ Bob Dougherty. A prankster smeared glue on the toilet seat at the Home Depot store in Louisville, Colo., causing Dougherty to stick to it when he sat down. “This is not Home Depot’s fault,” he proclaimed, yet the store graciously offered him $2,000 anyway. Dougherty complained the offer is “insulting” and filed suit demanding $3 million.

§ Sisters Janice Bird, Dayle Bird Edgmon and Kim Bird Moran sued their mother’s doctors and a hospital after Janice accompanied her mother, Nita Bird, to a minor medical procedure. When something went wrong, Janice and Dayle witnessed doctors rushing their mother to emergency surgery. Rather than malpractice, their legal fight centered on the “negligent infliction of emotional distress” — not for causing distress to their mother, but for causing distress to them for having to see the doctors rushing to help their mother. The case was fought all the way to the California Supreme Court, which finally ruled against the women. Which is a good thing, since if they had prevailed doctors and hospitals would have had no choice but to keep you from being anywhere near your family members during medical procedures just in case something goes wrong. In their greed, the Bird sisters risked everyone’s right to have family members with them in emergencies.

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