Legally Weird: Strange Lawsuits Archives

Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Lawsuits Category

In the weird legal news department, last week an Australian lawyer made headlines as he won his lawsuit against Domino's Pizza over a few pizzas, and a refund, that never showed up. In addition to the nearly $40 worth of food for which he was seeking a refund, he received an additional $1,100 for his legal costs in bringing the action.

While $1,200 is a far cry from the $9,000 he was seeking for embarrassment, it was certainly enough to grab headlines and make Domino's take note.

When most people think of the Better Business Bureau, they think of consumer protection. After all, the BBB has a handy Scam Tracker to root out shady businesses and sales tactics. But the BBB might be most famous for its business rating system, where it provides grades for local shops and national chains based, ostensibly, on the level of customer service and amount of customer complaints.

Or perhaps infamous is the proper term there, after the BBB was nabbed in a pay-for-play scheme, handing out A's to stores that paid annual membership fees and F's to those that didn't. One of those high grades, an A-, went to a dummy company calling itself Hamas after the Palestinian nationalist group designated by many governments as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, Leif's Auto Collision Centers -- "far and away the largest auto collision repair provider in Oregon and potentially the largest in the country" -- got an F. And now Leif's is suing the BBB to get its revenge and reputation back.

Starbucks Latte Drinkers Who Want More Java May Sue

When a cup of coffee costs a few bucks, you want every penny’s worth. Now Starbucks latte drinkers who say the company has been shorting them on their java and milk drinks got the green light and their lawsuit against the Seattle coffee corporation is going forward, reports Reuters.

The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco and claims that Starbucks changed its latte recipe in 2009 in order to save money on milk. The plaintiffs say that the company shorts latte drinkers by instructing baristas to use “fill lines.” Customers are deprived of the amount of coffee claimed on the cups by about 25 percent and the plaintiffs want damages for fraud and false advertising.

Jelly Belly Family Sued for Wrongful Death in Sweet Day Gone Sour

The family of a worker run over by a World War II tank on the property of Jelly Belly Chairman of the Board, Herman Rowland Sr., sued him and his son-in law, Dwayne Brasher, for wrongful death. The tank is part of an extensive antique machinery collection belonging to Roland.

The victim of this accident was Kevin Wright, 54, a father of two who assisted with maintenance of this collection. He was in attendance at the family reunion to help, reports the New York Daily News, and was riding in the tank when he was ejected and run over. Let's look at wrongful death and this unfortunate incident.

Fake Lawyer Sued for Fraud: Will He Hire Counsel?

In a perfect world, the teen in West Palm Beach who played doctor professionally and was recently criminally charged would be represented by the man accused of moonlighting as a lawyer in the local courts. But ours is not a perfect world, as evidenced by the fact that Paul Donahue posed as a lawyer in Florida after being arrested for impersonating an investigator in North Dakota.

The claims about Donahue are made in a civil complaint filed against him in Palm Beach County Court last month. The accusations are alarming and amusing. One of the plaintiffs says Donahue ran a tacit law firm while the other, reports Courthouse News Service, says he pretended to be an attorney in front of a veteran county court judge.


Starbucks Iced Beverage Drinkers Unite: Class Action Lawsuit Filed

If you’re drinking Starbucks beverages and miffed that all the ice is depriving you of your due liquid, fear not. Someone has taken up your cause. A class action lawsuit was filed in Northern Illinois Federal Court last week on behalf of Starbucks iced beverage drinkers whose cups are being underfilled compared to hot java drinkers, reports Courthouse News Service.

The suit’s lead plaintiff, Stacy Pincus, says Starbucks iced beverage drinkers are being deprived of the amount of liquid advertised in any particular size cup when they buy iced drinks, and that Starbucks is disproportionally profiting from iced drinks. A representative of the java giant called the claims in the lawsuit meritless and reminded reporters, “If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it.”

Lawsuit Aims to Free 'We Shall Overcome' Song From Copyright

The song 'We Shall Overcome' is accustomed to struggle -- it is the anthem of the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. But now a new lawsuit aims to free the work from copyright. Appropriately, this protest anthem is the subject of a class action claiming that it cannot be owned and belongs to all.

The defendants are The Richmond Organization and its label Ludlow Music, which copyrighted the song in 1960. Notably, the plaintiffs are represented by the same firm that won us all access to the 'Happy Birthday' song, Reuters reports.

Judge Dismisses Pastafarian Inmate's Religious Claims

A Nebraska judge dismissed an inmate suit claiming religious discrimination in prison for failure to accommodate his Pastafarian faith. But the judge did not dismiss the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, noting that the Pastafarian faith plays an important role as "a parody, intended to advance an argument about science, the evolution of life, and the place of religion in public education."

Still "that does not mean that the trappings of the satire used to make that argument are entitled to protection as a religion," wrote US District Court Judge John Gerrard. It's important, just not a religion within the meaning of federal statutes and constitutional jurisprudence.

This week, a handwritten, $10 million lawsuit against Uber surfaced, bearing the name of Jason Brian Dalton, the Michigan man charged with murdering six people and injuring two others in a shooting spree last month. Dalton allegedly picked up fares via the ridesharing app in between killings.

The purported complaint for punitive damages says, among other claims, "I am currently in prison because of Uber." And although the lawsuit has been debunked, the claims had a familiar ring to them -- Dalton told police the Uber app on his iPhone directed him where to go and when and whom to shoot.

Why Kris Jenner Cannot Be a #ProudMama

Do you hashtag? Hashtags are usually used to commune online, or gather information. So why have they become so divisive that people are threatening to sue over them?

If you keep up with the Jenner-Kardashians then you'll know that for the rich, everything is a source of potential profit and litigation. Now proud mama of the famous, profitable, and litigious Kardashian clan, Kris Jenner, faces legal threats from a jewelry brand claiming she's infringing on their intellectual property by using #ProudMama in posts about her children while promoting a jewelry line.