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5 outrageous lawsuits: Obese prisioner sues for lack of size choices

February 19, 2012

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Enterprise magazine

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that wanted to use the 13th Amendment’s prohibition on slavery to force an aquatic park to set a group of whales free. The lawsuit, filed last October, was a contestant in a previous Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month poll.

Kudos to the judge for recognizing a frivolous lawsuit when he sees one – unfortunately, his good sense is a mere pittance in the onrush of absurd litigation. To wit, FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org has yet another slate of nominees for the Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month:

– Two plaintiffs firms are competing against each other for the privilege of suing a coffee company over its stock price. Each firm thinks that they have the stronger case and refuses to work something out, so they are going to court to figure out who can go to court. Once that gets sorted out, the eventual winner will face another challenge – the drop in stock price that they are so upset about has since recovered, and the stock has in fact tripled in value.

– A New York City man with a lengthy rap sheet who has been none too successful in criminal cases is trying his hand in civil court. He was sent to prison for threatening a woman at gunpoint to collect on a debt, but found out that the prison didn’t have any prison clothes that would fit his 400-lb frame, which forced him to wear his own street clothes for the duration of his incarceration. He says was “humiliated” among the inmate population because he couldn’t blend into the crowd. The now-paroled felon has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Corrections Department, in part to cover the cost of therapy for dealing with the experience.

– A pair of lawsuits against the maker of Nutella could result in payments of $20 each to a class of consumers who claim they were deceived into thinking the product was more nutritious than it is. The lawyers, meanwhile, could stand to make $4.6 million if a judge signs off on the settlements. The consumers, and their lawyers, argue that the phrase “an example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast” on the rear label is deceptive, and part of the agreement requires it to be changed to “turn a balanced breakfast into a tasty one.”

– Finally, a driver that pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter in 2007 is now suing the family of one of his victims. The driver, being represented by his sister, claims that the responsibility for the accident rests with the other car (although that car was stopped at a red light and the guilty driver had drugs in his system). Not only does the plaintiff want to be released from prison, he wants the victim’s family to pay HIM for the pain of the crash and the anguish of serving time.

  
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