If you like to keep up-to-date on all the current high-profile lawsuits, you know how ridiculous some can be. A criminal burgles a house, gets bit by a dog, sues the homeowners and wins. An underage girl drinks, drives, crashes her car, and sues the bar that sold her alcohol. There are many that you can think of. Even if you don’t pay close attention to high profile cases, the judicial system is so overloaded, you’ve no doubt heard of some. Here are 5 that really take the cake.
Killer Whale Swim
David Dukes had a dream: to swim with a whale. In an attempt to fulfill his dream, he sneaked past security at Sea World in Orlando and stayed in the park after closing. He dove into the tank containing Tilikum—the world’s largest killer whale in captivity—and finally succeeded. In fact, it was the last thing he did. Security found him the next morning draped across the whale’s back, dead.
His parents sued Sea World, saying there were no signs to indicate killer whales are dangerous or perhaps even deadly. Never mind that the word “killer” is part of the name. Or that the water was 50 degrees. Or that hypothermia was a cause of death. They dropped the case a couple months later.
College Career Office
Trina Thompson was 27 years old when she graduated in 2009 from Monroe College in New York City. She had a Bachelor’s degree in business administration information technology, a perfect attendance record, and a 2.7 GPA.
Three months later, she sued the school for $72,000, claiming the career office wasn’t doing their job to help her secure a position in her field. In her mind, her perfect attendance record and GPA, made her a candidate employers would fall over themselves to hire. In the career office’s mind, she had a 2.7 GPA, and it had only been 3 months. They were busy finding jobs for the 4.0’s. She demanded her full tuition returned, along with an extra $2,000 to cover the stress of the job hunt.
Proper Use of a Seatbelt
Mary Ubaudi was the passenger in William Humphrey’s car when he lost control of the car and flipped on a freeway in Illinois. Ejected from the car, she sustained some life-threatening injuries. When she recovered, she decided to sue. She might’ve had a decent case if she’d left Humphrey as the sole defendant, but Mary needed deeper pockets to blame.
She added Mazda Motors and Rowe Construction (the construction crew in charge of that section of road) to the suit, putting the most blame on Mazda. Her reasoning? Mazda failed to provide adequate instructions for the safe and proper use of a seatbelt.
Godly Powers Stolen
Minnesota resident Christopher Roller is God. Or so he says. He even applied for a patent over all uses of godly powers on Earth. Convinced magicians David Blaine and David Copperfield were stealing his godly powers, he sued them, insisting they tell him their secrets. When he lost his case (big surprise), he insisted he would continue with his lawsuits. Apparently he’s quite protective of those godly powers.
One Expensive Pair of Pants
Roy Pearson, an administrative judge in D.C., brought a pair of pants to a dry cleaners in 2007. Temporarily misplaced, the pants were returned to him a few days after the pickup date, but Pearson claimed the pants weren’t his. He sued the owners, the Chung’s—immigrants from Korea—for $67 million. His biggest beef with them wasn’t even the pants; it was a “satisfaction guaranteed” sign in the window of the business.
Not only did the judge rule in favor of the Chung’s, he also fined Pearson $12,000 for the frivolous litigation. Fast-forward a few months, and Pearson lost his position as an administrative judge too. But that didn’t stop Pearson from appealing. And appealing again. He finally stopped at the level just before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ridiculously frivolous lawsuits come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, as shown by above—a pair of pants to a killer whale, and less than hundred thousand dollars to over 60 million. If you forget the fact that these lawsuits mock the judicial system, they can even be entertaining, in a “The plaintiff actually thought this was a good idea?” kind of way. Whether you’re an injury lawyer in Vancouver at a firm like Bronson & Jones or one at a firm in New York, don’t let your next case vie for a spot on the top 5 for ridiculousness.