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Vote for the Worst Lawsuits

March 15, 2013

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

We are always on the lookout for examples of the most ridiculous lawsuits from across the country — and we’re pleased that thousands of Americans vote in our “Most Ridiculous Lawsuit” polls each month.

Last month’s poll had a clear winner — with Americans selecting “Ohio teacher claims fear of children in suit against district” as the most ridiculous lawsuit of the month.

This month?  Not to worry — once again, we’ve scoured news headlines to provide you with some ridiculous nominees from across the country.  Please view them below and then click here to cast your vote.

•         First, there’s the grown man who thinks his parents “indifference” to his problems is a good reason to take them to court.  The plaintiff, an aspiring record mogul, wants his parents to mortgage their home so he can invest the money in franchise restaurants.  He thinks his parents owe him that much at least, considering their relationship isn’t the nurturing one he wants – they even missed his high school graduation.

•         And how about the guy who sued the IRS because he’s been waiting for a job offer for 24 years.  He took the agency’s entrance exam in 1989 but was never given an interview, and has been subject to “starvation, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, pneumonia, seizures, cancer [and] mental illness” as a result of his unemployment.  A judge disagreed, finding just because the “plaintiff had to endure unfortunate personal hardships does not excuse his more than two-decade delay in filing suit.”

•         Then, there’s the Lehigh University grad student was upset that she received a C+ in class, and, instead of retaking the class (for free, since her father was a professor at the time) demanded a written apology and a “plan for compensating [her] financially.”  When that didn’t work, she sued to force the school to change the grade and for $1.3 million, the amount she claims she would have earned if she was able to complete the program.  The C+ will stand, however, since a judge recently dismissed the suit.

Not every ridiculous lawsuit, however, is a case of trying to blame someone else.  Sometimes, a court allows a ridiculous settlement, and, but for the vigilance and hard work of objectors, the lawyers cash in.

•         Case in point, a proposed class action settlement against Babies R Us and it suppliers would have paid 20% refunds or $5 vouchers to customers.  The lawyers calculated this would amount to a value of $35.5 million, and applied for $14 million in legal fees and expenses.  However, the actual amount that would go to class members was far lower, closer to $3 million, meaning the lawyers would get more than 4 times what their clients got.  “Class action scourge” Ted Frank and the Center for Class Action Fairness cried foul, and a court of appeals rejected the settlement, writing that “courts need to consider the level of direct benefit provided to the class in calculating attorneys’ fees.”

So which of these is the most ridiculous of the month?

Please visit FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org to cast your vote today!

  
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