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7 Weirdest Lawsuits in the World

Updated on December 5, 2012

I was going through a recent news article that made headlines about a court case in Norway against an Indian couple. The lawsuit somewhat sounded weird to me. That just inspired me to look up some of the weirdest laws in the world. Though I am unable to write about laws at this time, I thought of writing about the weirdest lawsuits that were filed around the world. Here is an article about seven weirdest lawsuits that made news.

Filing a lawsuit is possibly one of the easiest things to do in many countries today. You may choose to file a lawsuit against anyone at any time for any reason. That is how some of these strange lawsuits were filed. Do read on to see some of the craziest lawsuits filed and the reasons behind them.

1) The coffee is too hot

Though this may sound as a whacky lawsuit, a Mexican woman by the name Stella Liebeck (79 years) successfully sued McDonald’s for its coffee. What happened? She spilled the restaurant’s hot coffee on herself. Her lawyers contended that the restaurant’s coffee was far too hot to be served (14 C hotter than the normal brew) and her medical bills came up to $10,000. Two years later, McDonald’s was forced to pay two days’ worth of restaurant coffee sales (approximately $3 million at that time) in damages.

2) Impregnate my wife, else!!

If you thought that being sterile is a small thing, think again. One German couple found out that the husband was sterile. The man used his craftiness and paid his neighbor $2,500 to impregnate his wife. According to reports, the neighbor and the man’s former beauty queen wife tried 72 times without results. The man then sued the neighbor for the $2,500. The neighbor had a lucky escape as he got off without paying the penalty. After all, the poor guy had just promised an honest effort and not the inception.

3) Burp and you will be handcuffed

This is definitely one of the weirdest lawsuits you can come across. A 13-year old boy was handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention from a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What was his crime? He “burped audibly” in the class and disrupted her class, according to his teacher. A civil rights lawsuit was filed against the school teacher, principal and the city police officer. The lawsuit stated that “criminalizing” burping of the boy didn’t serve any governmental purpose and burping was not a serious disruption. The boy never got charged for his burping.

4) Beer doesn’t bring fantasies to life

How many of you think that the hot girls you see dancing around a macho man holding a beer bottle in a TV commercial can be actually brought to life? Probably none of you. However, there was one Richard Overton from Michigan who was smart enough (or not so smart enough) to think otherwise. He thought that the Budweiser ad on TV was misleading, as he was rewarded by neither beautiful women nor the paradise that were shown in the TV commercial. He naturally sued the manufacturer Anheuser-Busch for deception and the emotional distress it caused him. The ruling took nearly three years and finally his lawsuit was thrown away by the court in 1994.

5) Michael Vick, the quarterback and… terrorist??!!

Around 2007, Michael Vick the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, was going through a series of lows in his life as he was roaming a Virginia jail instead of an NFL field. He was put behind bars for his role in an illegal dog fighting ring. As if his present problems were not sufficient, he had one more nuisance that year. A fellow prison inmate, Jonathan Lee Riches, filed a lawsuit claiming that Michael stole his pit bulls and sold them on eBay to buy missiles from Iran. The inmate also accused Michael of pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda and shattering his feelings. The lawsuit claiming $63 billion backed by gold and silver was soon thrown out by U.S judge.

6) Rocket exploded in my backside

At a fraternity party in West Virginia’s Marshall University, one Travis Hughes decided that it would be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets out of his backside (naturally, he was drunk). Unfortunately for him, the rocket exploded in his rectum instead of launching. The interesting thing about this lawsuit was that Mr. Hughes was the defendant and not a plaintiff. The suit was filed on behalf of Louis Helmburg III, a frat brother against Hughes and the fraternity. His claim was that the explosion was startling enough that he (Helmburg) jumped back from the frat house’s four-foot high deck.

He demanded compensation for the medical expenses, and the pain and suffering caused by Hughes (for performing a stupid and dangerous act) and the fraternity (for not supervising the party properly which led to stupid and dangerous activities).

7) The most expensive lawsuit

This is probably the most ludicrous and the most expensive of all the lawsuits. John Theodore Anderson from Utah owned a controlling interest in a Utah mining property. He sued other mining property owners when they defaulted on their payments. Through some weird math, absurd valuations and apparent witchcraft, he calculated the compensation to be $38 quadrillion. I really wonder how he will collect this money as there is just about $24 trillion in circulation around the world at any given time. And the case is still being argued.

Do feel free to add here what you think are the weirdest lawsuits you have heard of.

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    • karthikkash profile image
      Author

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      WiccanSage: Yeah, some are plain crazy.. And yup, there was no lawsuit against the 13 year old boy :)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Oh, wow. I hadn't heard of most of these. I think the coffee lady had a good argument and I'm glad she won, but wow, the rest are crazy! I hope the parents with the 13 yr old belcher win, that's a horrible thing to do to a kid. Nice hub, made me laugh.

    • karthikkash profile image
      Author

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      cat on a soapbox and CASE1WOEKER: thanks for reading and commenting :)

      Charles: Thanks for sharing :) Any idea which is this case in India?

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Briliant summary of the absdurdity of the law- a great read

    • Charles James profile image

      Charles James 4 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      There was a law suit in India about which family took precedence at Hindu festivals and processions which apparently ran for 700 years.

      Yes 700!

      In the USA a woman on an aeroplane was desperate to use the toilet. There were lengthy toilet queues in coach class. So the woman went through to First Class or Business Class and used a toilet there. One of the First Class passengers sued her for trespass to his inchoate property rights. Ay one point a judge asked him to withdraw the case as it was making the law look ridiculous. I do not know how it ended.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Ah! the absurd cases that bog down our judicial systems! It really blows my mind that some of these plaintiffs actually win. Thanks for the entertaining read! :)