Green Room

Ten most ridiculous lawsuits of 2011

posted at 1:30 pm on December 31, 2011 by

Another year is ending, and with the transition comes the inexhaustible procession of lists. For your delectation, I offer a list of the ten most ridiculous lawsuits of 2011.

The list was compiled by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), which conducted a survey at the website Faces of Lawsuit Abuse.org (h/t Special Report with Bret Baier).

The organization’s president, Lisa Rickard, is quoted as saying:

While these lawsuits vary from the outrageous to the humorous, abusive litigation is hardly a laughing matter. ILR’s annual poll of ridiculous lawsuits helps to remind us that abusive lawsuits affect real people and real businesses, and can have harmful results to lives, jobs, and even our economic growth.

Maybe so, but some of these are pretty funny, if in a “sheesh” sort of way. Number 5 on the list—an obese man who sued White Castle because the booths were “too small” to accommodate his outsize frame—was the focus of a column by yours truly. Others as well as assorted acts of “jurisimprudence” that appeared in these pages but failed to make the cut appear below.

Here, without further ado, is the list along with poll rankings:

10. Man suing for age discrimination says judge in his case is too old (read story). (1.62%)

9. Woman sues over movie trailer; says not enough driving in ‘Drive’ (read story). (1.7%)

8. Mother sues Chuck E. Cheese – says games encourage gambling in children (read story). (2.32%)

7. Mom files suit against exclusive preschool over child’s college prospects (read story). (3.8%)

6. Passenger’s lawsuit says cruise ship went too fast and swayed from side to side (read story). (4.23%)

5. Obese man sues burger joint over tight squeeze in booths (read story). (5.71%)

4. Man illegally brings gun into bar, gets injured in a fight, then sues bar for not searching him for a weapon (read story). (8.15%)

3. Young adults sue mother for sending cards without gifts and playing favorites (read story). (8.96%)

2. Woman disagrees with store over 80¢ refund, sues for $5 million (read story). (9.05%)

1. Convict sues couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police  (read story). (54.46%)

A Happy, Healthy, Lawsuit-free New Year to all.

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How about all the litigation by insurance companies to avoid their contractual obligations to fulfill their agreements.

Conservatives a like sheep when it comes to be led around by the nose by insurance companies as they basically commit theft

georgealbert on December 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I don’t think women went to see Drive, which stars Ryan Gosling, to see driving… lol!

Blake on December 31, 2011 at 2:05 PM

How about all the litigation by insurance companies to avoid their contractual obligations to fulfill their agreements.

georgealbert on December 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Insurance companies don’t litigate, insofar as they don’t initiate litigation. I always thought they end up as defendants. Am I wrong?

gryphon202 on December 31, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Shakespeare was right.

SagebrushPuppet on December 31, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Looser pays, as we have here in TX, works for me.
L

letget on December 31, 2011 at 4:46 PM

“Lawsuiting” — the new, lucrative form of self-employment across the fruited plain!

Happy New Year, to HP and all at the Green Room.

J.E. Dyer on December 31, 2011 at 7:16 PM

J.E. Dyer: Happy New Year to you as well, my friend, as well as all other friends here at GR and HA.

Howard Portnoy on December 31, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Conservatives a like sheep when it comes to be led around by the nose by insurance companies as they basically commit theft

Can someone translate this into English?

MunDane68 on December 31, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Here is one that really speaks to the need for Loser Pays:

Man sues Pinball Hall of Fame

The guy that filed the lawsuit – on his stationary that says “I love cats”- makes his money this way filing lawsuits & settling. The Pinball HOF is a pretty fun place & a not for profit that gives the proceeds to charity.

batterup on January 1, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Happy New Year, Howard!

Blake on January 1, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Blake on January 1, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Same to you, Blake.

Howard Portnoy on January 1, 2012 at 12:46 AM

1. Convict sues couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police (read story). (54.46%)

In a related news story, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise was admitted to First General Hospital with a severe concussion following an unusually hard /facepalm.

Cthulhu2012 on January 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM


How about all the litigation by insurance companies to avoid their contractual obligations to fulfill their agreements.

Conservatives a like sheep when it comes to be led around by the nose by insurance companies as they basically commit theft

georgealbert on December 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Sounds like a conspiracy theorist to me.

I might add that I live in Saudi Arabia where they discourage litigation. Result? I pay 1,300 SAR (less than $350.00 U.S.D) per year for car insurance. In a place that has the world’s worst drivers (S.A. has typically topped or been near the top of the list for fatality rates amongst car drivers). I know that some say that Cairo is worse, but Cairo is not an entire country.

I figure that if litigation was discouraged in the U.S. like it was here, I’d be paying less than $100.00/year for comprehensive car insurance.

Think about it.

Natrium on January 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Insurance companies don’t litigate, insofar as they don’t initiate litigation. I always thought they end up as defendants. Am I wrong?

gryphon202 on December 31, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Having worked for an insurance company in IT… usually they are defendants, but there have been quite a few instances where they have instigated lawsuits for blatant cases of insurance fraud.

dominigan on January 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Conservatives a like sheep when it comes to be led around by the nose by insurance companies as they basically commit theft

georgealbert on December 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Insurance companies use premiums as investment seed money. Usually they break even, or even LOSE money on premiums alone. The premiums are invested and that’s where they make the money. At the medium-sized P&C insurance company I worked at we had a surplus (profit) of around $800 million. HOWEVER, that money was for paying claims… not “stealing” like you accuse.

Btw… how are YOUR investments doing? (Hint: a lot of insurance companies have been LOSING surplus since it is invested just like everyone else in the market.)

dominigan on January 3, 2012 at 12:31 PM