Wacky Litigation – It’s the American Way

Written by on November 9, 2012 in Money - No comments | Print this page


These days, it seems people would rather blame somebody else for their troubles than take responsibility for their own actions, and will gladly sue anyone if given the chance. From suing fast food restaurants, like McDonalds, to lawsuits against other corporations, here is a small sample of the crazy and absurd court cases this country has seen.


1. Watch out for the door

When claims examiner Cedrick Makara of New York City injured his thumb trying to leave a bathroom, he sued Newmark Realty and 40 Worth Associates for negligence. The door of the bathroom had no handle, only a hole where the door knob should have been. He claimed someone pushed the door to enter at the same time that he stuck his hand in the hole to leave, resulting in a thumb injury so severe it needed surgery and caused him to miss work for 6 months. A jury awarded him almost $3 million.

2. A Client named fool

Cole Bartiromo sought $50 million in damages from his former high school, accusing them of violating his civil rights and ruining his chances at ever playing professional baseball when they kicked him off the varsity team his senior year. Their reason: he had been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for multiple internet fraud schemes.

3. The poor rich man?

A New York homeless man filed suit against a shelter at which he intended to stay, saying they threw out the bag with his possessions that he had left there for three weeks while he sat in jail over charges for public urination. He claimed the bag contained $200 in cash, a star sapphire ring worth $18,000, a $4,000 gold watch, and some old irreplaceable photographs. He asked for $2 million in both compensatory and punitive damages.

4. Theater Lawsuit

Miriam Fisch of Chicago, Illinois asked for up to $75 for each plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against movie theater chain Loews Cineplex for deceptive business practices. She complained that the movies didn’t start at the specified start time due to commercials, and that she could watch commercials at home for free. She wanted movie goers, herself included, to be compensated for that “lost time” and an injunction requiring the theater to advertise separate times for the advertisements and actual movie start times.

5. Another client, another fool

Andrew Burnett sued Sara McBurnett for $1 million, after he killed her dog on a California highway during a fit of road rage. He claimed mental anguish and post-traumatic stress disorder and accused the dog’s owner of minimizing the severity of the accident in an effort to prevent him from claiming injuries. He also said she made defamatory comments about him to the media, specifically the San Jose Mercury News, whom he also sued, citing “knowingly and maliciously” printing McBurnett’s false statements.

6. Sued for fear

After her doctor used a defective bronchoscope distributed by Olympus on two different occasions, Anne Stanley filed a lawsuit for $90 million against the doctor, the hospital, and Olympus America. Her reasoning? The defective instrument could have exposed her to a possibly fatal bacteria, and she wanted to be compensated for having to “cope with the fear” of not knowing whether or not she had been exposed.

7. Nail biting Litigation

When Ann Laerizio went to Octavia Hair Design to have a broken acrylic nail repaired, the beautician “nicked” her right index finger. She claims that because of that injury, her finger became infected, causing her to need multiple surgeries which left her finger deformed. Laerizio sought $500,000 in damages, over a $5 nail repair.

You never know what people will do to try and get money. If this keeps up, who knows what the future in law will hold. Perhaps “fast law offices” that offer “drive-through sue-ums?”

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This is a guest post.  Jon Reiter is a marketing agent for Werking Law, an expert criminal attorney.


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