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5 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

When we think of lawsuits, many of us picture attorneys in expensive power suits trying their cases in solemn courtrooms. It all seems so serious, with dramatic issues of justice on the line.Then there are the less serious cases. We’ve all heard about the ridiculous incident where a man tried to sue Red Bull for false marketing after he discovered that the energy drink did not give him wings. Not surprisingly, he claimed that the drink had not enhanced his physical or intellectual prowess, either, even after a decade of gulping it down.Here are 5 more ridiculous cases that have clogged the justice system over the years.

5.Sperm Theft

5 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

In 1998, a man from Albuquerque filed a lawsuit against his former girlfriend for impregnating herself without his consent. Plaintiff Peter Wallis accused defendant Kellie Smith of fraud and breach of contract for “intentionally acquiring and misusing his sperm.”According to Wallis, Smith had given her word that she would use the Pill. Then she intentionally stopped taking it to have his baby. This resulted in Wallis being the father of a baby without his knowledge or consent to the plan. His plea for money was based on the grounds that he would have to pay the expenses to support a child whom he did not want.On the defendant’s side, lawyers argued that Smith could not have “stolen” the sperm because it was transferred during a voluntary act. Therefore, it should be legally classed as a gift and Wallis no longer had any right of possession.Upon hearing of the pregnancy, Wallis proposed to Smith and requested that she get an abortion.[1] However, Smith declined both offers and moved in with her parents instead. Contrary to Wallis’s argument that women have all the choices and that it wasn’t fair for him to have to pay up, Smith was within her rights with both rejections and therefore won the case.

4.McDonald’s Under Heat

5 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits
In 1992, 79-year-old Albuquerque resident Stella Liebeck was a passenger in her grandson’s car when they ordered coffee at a local McDonald’s drive-through window. The coffee was served in a Styrofoam cup with a plastic lid. Liebeck attempted to remove the lid so that she could add cream and sugar to her beverage.She placed the coffee cup between her knees and peeled at the lid, which resulted in the contents of the cup being spilled on her lap. Unfortunately, the situation was made worse by her attire as her sweatpants absorbed the boiling hot coffee, held it against her skin, and worsened the burns. She suffered third-degree burns on her inner thighs and was hospitalized for eight days while she underwent skin graft procedures.Upon filing the lawsuit against McDonald’s, Liebeck wished to settle for $20,000 to cover her medical expenses and lost income for her daughter (who took time off from work to care for Liebeck). However, McDonald’s refused the offer. The case unveiled a previous 700 claims over burns from the coffee between 1982 and 1992, some of which also included third-degree burns.[2]Liebeck’s lawyers used this to prove that the organization was aware of the risks of the temperature of their coffee and tried to sue further for negligence. At the conclusion of the case, the jury awarded Liebeck $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages. The punitive damages were later reduced to $480,000 after information was given that the temperature of the coffee had been recorded wrong.

3.Victoria’s Secret

5 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits
In 2008, 52-year-old Macrida Patterson, who was employed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, filed a lawsuit against retail giant Victoria’s Secret. The story behind her case is that she suffered damage to her eye after a metal fastener snapped off a thong and scratched her cornea, causing an injury that did not require surgery.The plaintiff argued that she was using the product as intended by the defendants. However, there was debate about a sizing issue and the fact that the product had been worn and laundered several times.[4]Patterson’s attorney said that the injury would affect his client for the rest of her life. Although Patterson sought compensation of at least $25,000 for lost wages, medical expenses, and damages, her lawyer stated that the case was not about money but about making retailers aware that they are accountable for the products they sell.

2.The Work Is Too Boring

5 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits
In a 2016 case, Frenchman Frederic Desnard filed a case against his former employer for 360,000 euros after using the phrases “descent into hell” and “nightmare” to describe his boredom levels at work. The defendant was French perfumer Interparfums where Desnard was an employee for eight years before apparently being forced out of his job by increased levels of boredom.He believes that the company intentionally cast him aside after losing a major contract. Then, after seven months’ sick leave for health issues like epilepsy and ulcers, he was fired.[5]The case went on to include workplace harassment by Desnard’s superiors, including name-calling and insulting duties like picking up their kids from school. Desnard’s lawyer stated that “bore-out” is considered harassment and that the company should be required to pay for any mental torment caused to their employee.The case was finally considered by a labor tribunal in Paris. Although they were supposed to issue a decision on July 27, 2016, they set the case for a new hearing instead.

1.Smelly Feet



5 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits
In 1999, Netherlands student Teunis Tenbrook was expelled from Erasmus University due to the smell of his feet. No joke. He was removed from the institution on the grounds that the smell of his feet prevented students and teachers from focusing and they could no longer be around him.[7]Tenbrook, who had been studying philosophy at the time of the incident, filed a lawsuit against the learning institution so that he could be reinstated. After a 10-year fight in court, the judge ruled that the university had to reinstate the student and learn to deal with the issue of his smelly feet. No word on whether he ever graduated.


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