America is the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a country where PETA can sue for a monkey’s rights to a selfie.
The Institute for Legal Reform releases an annual list of the top 10 most ridiculous lawsuits based on monthly polls conducted by the Faces of Lawsuit Abuse, a campaign run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to highlight just how much we lawyer up.
1. Starbucks put too much ice in my coffee and too much foam in my latte
Well, it wasn’t simple enough just to ask for another drink.
Two separate class action cases have been filed against Starbucks over the way their drinks were prepared.
One over a quarter inch of steamed milk, the other too much ice.
2. Attempted lawsuit over leftover lip balm in bottom of tube fail
Cosmetic and beauty product company Fresh was sued by attorneys alleging the company tricked consumers into thinking there was additional product at the bottom of the tube.
California attorneys tried to build a case around a violation of California’s Fair Packaging and Labeling Act — a law stating products must be labeled with accurate net quantity contents — which it did, and in turn was tossed out by the courts.
3. Jury awarded $161,000 for woman paying more attention to cell phone than ladder in front of her.
DeToya Moody was texting on her cell phone when she stuck her head on the ladder of a bucket-truck lift.
Moody sued the Georgia-based construction company over her post-traumatic headaches and mild concussion injuries.
Her attorney Even Joseph Wilson didn’t even have faith in this case. He advised her to settle for $5,000 that the defense offered and she held out — the jury awarded her $161,000.
4. Monkey’s rights to photograph is being taken to Ninth Circuit Court
Last year’s most ridiculous lawsuit is still on the list this year.
A judged dropped the lawsuit in January, stating that only a human can hold copyrights.
Eleven months later PETA filed an appeal arguing that copyrights and property rights are extended to animals.
5. Man sues Mastercard for fifth year in a row over Stand Up To Cancer charity fundraising promotion
Since 2011, New Jersey native Robert Doyle has sued the credit card company for advertising a donation promotion after its goal had been met.
He and others he represent are suing for more than $5 million in punitive damages, injunctive relief, attorney fees, and costs of the lawsuit, according to Legal NewsLine.
6. Man sells used printer on Craigslist for $40, gets sued for $30,000 in damages
Doug Costello of Massachusetts just wanted to get rid of his old printer, a sale that would turn into a six-year long legal battle.
In 2009 he sold an old black-and-white printer to Gersh Zavodnik. Unknown to Costello, Zavodnik had already earned a reputation for filing hundreds of lawsuits seeking large awards in damages.
The original suit was tossed out, because Zavodnik had thrown away the printer, the only evidence he had. Zavodnik then filed another lawsuit for breach of contract, fraud, conversion, deceptive advertising and emotional stress.
7. Spin class bullying
Carmen Farias signed a waiver for a spin class at SoulCycle but is still suing instructor Angela Davis for “gross negligence.”
Farias alleges she has suffered a “catastrophic injury” that causes her physical and mental suffering.
Farias claims to have been mocked and ridiculed by Davis and other instructors, and after succumbing to fatigue, fell off her cycle with feet still attached to pedals, dislocating her left ankle and leaving her with “catastrophic injuries,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
8. Man sues University of Nebraska for releasing balloons
The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers have had a 50-year long tradition of releasing red balloons after the first touchdown of a game.
Omaha Nebraska native Randall Krause feels the act is dangerous to the health and safety of children and wildlife after the balloons fall back to the Earth, according to ESPN.
The school uses biodegradable latex and cotton strings to be environmentally friendly.
9. A mom and son sue Educational Testing Service and the College Board over five extra minutes on the SAT exam
A typo in the instructions for the June 6 SAT test in New Jersey allowed students 25 minutes rather than the normal 20 minutes to complete one of the math or reading sections.
The College Board decided that the skills covered in the section were also covered in other sections, so the test would still be valid. They also offered for participants to retake the exam in October free of charge.
10. Business owner has legal battle with U.S. Department of Justice — and wins
Government prosecutors got a little carried away with criminal charges against CEO of Vascular Solutions Howard Root over a n FDA-approved device manufactured by the company.
The legal battle cost Root $25 million, with over 100 hundred attorneys from 14 different law firms defending his case.
The company and Root were acquitted of all criminal charges in February, according to StarTribune.