The Top 5 Craziest Lawsuits
People will sue for absolutely anything. From a loss of extraordinary powers to a failure to name the right Defendant, there is no lack of ridiculous lawsuits being filed. In these situations it is always questionable as to which is worse, the client who wants to sue for some unthinkable reason or the attorney who accepts the case and files the claim. The following are some of the craziest lawsuits filed in the U.S.
1. The Guy Who Sued Because Drinking Beer Doesn’t Turn Fantasy Into Reality
In 1991, Richard Overton sued Anheuser-Busch for false and misleading advertising under Michigan State law. The complaint specifically referenced ads involving, among other things, fantasies of beautiful women in tropical settings that came to life for men driving a Bud Light delivery truck. In addition to the two claims of false advertising, Mr. Overton included a third claim in his complaint in which he claimed to have suffered emotional distress, mental injury, and financial loss in excess of $10,0000 due to the misleading Bud Light ads.
The court dismissed all claims.
Reference: the complaint can be found here.
2. The Psychic Who Can No Longer Exercise Her Special Powers
A historical malpractice case that achieved international notoriety and was cited during political campaigns as the “poster child” for tort reform concerned a psychic who claimed she suffered severe headaches that rendered her unable to practice her profession as a psychic or to read auras after having a dye injected into her as a prelude to having CT scan. A psychic that has been rendered unable to read auras is like a piano player that has unfairly lost the use of their hands. While many people are still skeptical of the psychic industry, institutions such as the Psychic Reading Lounge are still providing a spiritual service for their happy customers regularly, and the mediums working in the psychic industry should not be prevented from doing their job.
However, self-proclaimed psychic Judith Haimes had assisted several law enforcement agencies in the Northeast in finding bodies and solving crimes. She later sued Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, saying that her severe reaction to the dye used in CT scans led to chronic and disabling headaches, which prevented her from going into the state of deep concentration necessary to read auras.
A jury took just 45 minutes to deliberate and awarded her $600,000 plus $386,000 in interest. A post-trial motion for a new trial was granted by the court due to the excessiveness of the verdict.
3. The Doctor Who Never Met the Patient
OB/GYN Dr. Vaughan, MD, was sued over an obstetric procedure performed at a Virginia hospital where he never had privileges. He also never met the patient.
Plaintiff’s attorney Michael P. Weatherbee had reviewed an operative report that, according to court records, noted the lead surgeon was assisted by “Bob Vaughan.” Several Vaughans were listed on the Virginia Board of Medicine’s Website and Weatherbee wrongly assumed he had the correct one.
Dr. Vaughan was ultimately dismissed from the case and then filed a complaint with the Virginia State Bar Association, which determined that the lawyer had committed professional misconduct, including filing a frivolous lawsuit and failing to act with competence and diligence.
4. The Video Game Company Sued for the Columbine Tragedy
In 2001, Linda Sanders and other family members of Columbine High School shooting victims sued 25 movie and video game companies for $5 billion in a class action lawsuit.They claimed that had it not been for several movies, including The Basketball Diaries, and a dozen videos games including Doom, Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil, the massacre would not have occurred. The complaint went on to state that the makers and distributors of the movies and games were partially to blame for their loved ones’ deaths. The case was thrown out and the plaintiffs were ordered to compensate the video game and movie companies for their legal fees.
5. The Movie That Allegedly Incited A Crime Spree
In 1995, Patsy Byers was shot and paralyzed in a robbery attempt by a man and woman who claimed their crime spree was brought on after repeatedly watching the movie “Natural Born Killers.” Byers’ family filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. blaming the movie maker for their daughter’s paralysis. A lower court dismissed the charges in March, 2001 and the family appealed. The Louisiana Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s decision ruling the film was “entitled to First Amendment freedom of speech protection because nothing within the movie advocated or incited viewers to commit violent activity.”