Legally Awkward: 9 Strange Lawsuits

by J-Snow on September 26, 2013

Lawsuits are not supposed to be joking matters, but sometimes they are ridiculous and funny. After all, it seems like people these days will file a suit for virtually any reason, even if it has no ostensible basis in reality. Here are nine of the strangest lawsuits. In addition to these 9 strange lawsuits, see also 5 other strange lawsuits here and 17 craziest lawsuits here and some of our funniest lawyer jokes here.

1. The Inappropriate Essay

A 56-year-old college student named Josheph Corlett was suspended after writing an essay titled “Hot for Teacher” declaring his attraction to his college professor. District Judge Patrick Duggan ruled that Corlett had no first amendment right to submit such a paper and dismissed Corlett’s lawsuit, siding with the University.

2. Ball Peltings by the Blue Man Group

A northern California resident, Stan Michelman, is suing the Blue Man Group, a musical/theatrical performance group, after attending a concert in June of 2011. Michelman is suing for consolation after getting hit by a plastic ball that was launched into the audience with no warning. He is also suing the venue which held the event, but lawyers don’t foresee the case proceeding because the kind of injuries sustained by a plastic ball aren’t predictable.

3. Is that a Rat in Your Pocket?

Rats in a jar

Image via Flickr by liftarn

An American airline attendant, Louann Giambattista, is suing her employer for discrimination after her pilot noticed a bulge in her pocket and claimed was a rat. During a later flight, another attendant accused her of bringing her pet rat on board. She has been questioned every time she has gone through customs since the complaint was filed (over a year), but officials have never found any rats. Giambattista also claims she has been harassed and question in the employee break room by her co-workers.

4. Letting the Bed Bugs Bite

Faike Shaaban, 65, will receive $650,000 for damages after suing her landlord for bed bugs. This case is spotlighting the sympathy juries are gaining toward infestation suits. Lawyers say it is the biggest verdict they have seen over a civil suit. Bed bugs only get worse and they cause a lot of damage. Shaaban is making landlords everywhere think of their responsibilities and reminding people that they have legal rights.

5. Drunk Driving Pays (Apparently)

Cars in Cuba,  Cuba
Image via Flickr by Nouhailler

Linda Hunt, who left an office party after drinking, crashed her car, and sued her employer successfully. She was awarded $300,000 claiming her employer allowed her to drive knowing she was drunk even though the company offered to supply her with a cab. She was awarded her settlement for damages and interest after arguing her boss should have driven her home in a snowstorm after a company Christmas party back in 1994.

6. Weather Forecasters Beware

A woman living in Israel is suing a television station and its weatherman for $1,000 after they reported that the weather was going to be sunny when it rained instead. The woman claims she got sick because she dressed lightly expecting sunny weather, but instead came down with the flu and missed work for 4 days spending $38 on medication.

7. Golfing Near Railroad Tracks

A golfer sued a golf course after hittining a ball that ricocheted off a railroad track and hit her in the head. She won $40,000 because the golf course had a “free lift” rule. This allows golfers to pick up and toss balls that land near or on a railroad track on the other side. The golfer claimed that because the course had a free lift rule, they acknowledged that the railroad track was a hazard.

8. Suing One’s Self for Getting Arrested

An inmate filed a suit for $5 million against himself claiming he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested. He then stated that because he couldn’t pay himself $5 million. Due to the fact that he had been a ward of the state and had no money he requested that the state pay his settlement on his behalf. The judge was not amused and quickly dismissed the case, ruling that it was frivolous.

9. Misrepresenting a Serial Killer

Books HD
Image via Flickr by Abee5

A writer was sued after publishing a novel about an Orange County serial killer. The inmate who served as the basis for the book asked for $60 million. The prisoner on death row claims that he was innocent of the 16 murders in question and that the book characterized him as a murder, which was false and misleading.

In addition, he said that the falsehoods published in the book would ruin his good name and make it harder for him to find a job when he re-entered society. The case was thrown out in a record 45 seconds, but not before $30,000 in legal fees befell the publishing company.

A lot are interesting and strange even when they are fighting for very good reasons. Enjoy these nine strange lawsuits and be entertained at the creative cases made by employers, students, and residents.

Jessica Snow is a freelance writer, traveler, foodie and dog lover.

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