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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What are the most frivolous lawsuits in law?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (19446points) September 16th, 2020

Or just make one up.

For example:
This one is made up:
Sewing the cola industry for the dry cleaning bill from a shook up bottle of pop.

Humor welcome.

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15 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I looked it up, and my favorite was a lady sued Jelly Belly for not saying there is sugar in their product. The ingredient listed was evaporated cane juice.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m still burned about the two deaf women who sued PBS for broadcasting closed-captioned programming that they couldn’t get unless they used a special device. This was many years ago, when closed-captioning was pretty uncommon.

There was also the woman who sued someone—Starbucks?—for making their coffee too hot.

I think the one that struck me as most outrageous was the burglar who sued the homeowner of the house he was breaking into for throwing a can of food at him and hitting him.

hmmmmmm's avatar

The hot coffee lawsuits are not frivolous (warning: graphic)

canidmajor's avatar

@hmmmmmm, I have the story queued up and ready in case someone was going to post about Ms Liebeck.

@Jeruba, Here it is. This is a quick, but pretty accurate summary.

Darth_Algar's avatar

When you’re serving coffee hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns then the lawsuit is not frivolous.

hmmmmmm's avatar

It’s also important to keep in mind that Fox News and the right have made considerable effort to paint “frivolous” lawsuits from individuals as a threat to industry or an excuse for high prices, etc. While fun to look at the fringe cases of actual frivolous lawsuits from individuals, it’s also important to know that these are not the threat that they are made out to be, and that the ability to use the law to make corporations accountable is important. Additionally, the focus on individuals taking legal actions against corporations gives people the impression that it’s not actually corporations that have been far more litigious than individuals.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, obviously I didn’t know much about that case, so I’ll take the correction. My thought was that coffee is supposed to be hot and that the vendor isn’t responsible for the customer’s behavior; but there does seem to be more to it than that, so I withdraw the suggestion.

As for the other two, I remember reading about the first one in TV Guide’s news column at the time, well before we had the internet, so probably around 1980. I don’t remember any particulars of the other one.

I doubt that they actually do represent an extreme, though, since anybody can sue anybody for anything.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Jeruba – I didn’t mean the coffee comments to be a correction for you necessarily. It’s a common misunderstanding.

I would like to hear more about the closed-captioning case. I was unable to find anything online. Closed-captioning and other critical resources for people of all abilities are sometimes fought in the courts when society drags their feet.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ll see if I can find anything. The point is, PBS or a PBS station was providing it (using contributions from viewers like me), and the women sued them because they didn’t have the necessary box, as if PBS were thereby depriving them of something. I wish I could remember if they won. As I said, this goes way back. I can bracket it in relation to personal events but only within about six years, so 1980 plus or minus 3.

It might have been the PBS affiliate in L.A. and not PBS as a whole.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Jeruba “My thought was that coffee is supposed to be hot and that the vendor isn’t responsible for the customer’s behavior; but there does seem to be more to it than that, so I withdraw the suggestion.”

Generally true. However McDonald’s policy at the time (as I recall from reading about the case) was to deliberately serve the coffee at such temperature so that the customer would have to wait before it was comfortable (or evidently even safe) to drink, and thus wouldn’t take advantage of their offer of free refills on coffee.

zenvelo's avatar

Possibly the silliest current dispute is between the White Rabbit Social Club (WRSC) and Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club (Fire 55).

Both are “gangs” of Disneyland super fans

Fire 55 wanted to hold a fundraiser at Disneyland. WRSC wanted protection money from Fire 55.When Fire 55 refused, WRSC began to defame the head of Fire 55, which in turn sued.

The lawsuits have dragged through the courts for years.

LostInParadise's avatar

Here is one that I was told was true but which I am a bit skeptical of.
A student taking a philosophy course sues the school’s philosophy department for not telling the meaning of life.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@LostInParadise that doesn’t make sense, the meaning of life =========> is critical thinking !

Jeruba's avatar

And then there was the guy in Alabama (I think it was Alabama) who tried to sue God for breach of contract.

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