Legally Weird: Strange Lawsuits Archives

Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Lawsuits Category

In the quiet town of Webster, Massachusetts, a small claims case is causing some squawking. A resident who lives on Webster Lake is seeking to hold a local woman liable for feeding the seagulls that frequent the lake. The man claims that the seagulls, after being fed, poop all over his dock and boat. 

As a result of the seagull feces, he is suing for $2,000 in order to replace his boat seating as well as to clean up his dock. Though some might think it is unfair to hold the bird feeding lady liable, the city issued a cease and desist to her specifically demanding that she stop feeding the seagulls, yet she persisted. 

There are the things you go to Krispy Kreme for: frosting, fat, comfort, calories, and icing. Fresh fruit, on the other hand, is normally not among the donut chain's top selling points. Still, there are selections like Glazed Raspberry Filled, the Glazed Blueberry Cake, and the Maple Iced Glazed sitting right there on the menu, so perhaps you could excuse Jason Saidian for thinking those raspberries, blueberries, and, uh, maples would be real, and not just flavoring and food coloring.

When Saidian found out he'd been duped by the most trusted name in the school fundraising game, he did what any other disgruntled donut customer would do. He filed a $5 million lawsuit against the company.

A struggling freelance model filed a lawsuit seeking an exorbitant amount of money over a scratch that occurred during a haircut. The NYC hair stylist, Martino Cartier, gave the model a haircut as part of a public demonstration. The model claims that Cartier made a mistake and scratched her neck because he was rushing, and the scratch has now become a scar.

Despite the fact that a Facebook post from the model talks about how much she loves the haircut, the model is seeking $5 million. The model claims that the scratch has created a scar, and has caused her pain, shock, and mental anguish. Cartier, who is known for providing free celebrity-style wigs to children and women with cancer through the Wigs and Wishes non-profit that he founded, has not commented on the lawsuit.

In the recently filed civil suit in New Mexico against Roosevelt County Sheriff Marlin Parker, the town of Elida's mayor, Durward Dixon, alleges the sheriff challenged him to a fist fight in the middle of the road. Dixon and Parker are at odds over Parker's alleged interference with the Elida police department's enforcement of law and order.

The lawsuit specifically claims that Sheriff Parker returned a dog to its owner after Elida police had taken the dog away for killing chickens. The sheriff returned the dog because he asserted that chickens are not livestock. When Dixon attempted to speak with the county sheriff, Parker refused to discuss the matter on a couple occasions, and on one occasion, according to Dixon, challenged him to a fist fight in the road.

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.”