Legally Weird: Strange Lawsuits Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Lawsuits Category

A man who claimed he was burned while praying over Applebee's fajitas won't be able to sue the restaurant chain.

A New Jersey appellate court affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss his case, saying the sizzling hot fajitas were an "open and obvious" danger.

Sandy Kane, a.k.a. The Naked Cowgirl, is suing the city in which she performs after an alleged wrongful arrest last year. She may have "rebuilt Times Square ... and made Manhattan and Times Square history," as she told the New York Post, but the guitar-toting, pastie-sporting performer is now seeking $2 million in damages from the City of New York.

Kane is representing herself in her civil suit against the city.

It appears that the long struggle of one former Ohio schoolteacher to avoid discrimination is at an end. In 2013, we blogged about Maria Waltherr-Willard, who worked as a school teacher in Cincinnati for 35 years but eventually was diagnosed with anxiety.

On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the school district in Willard's Americans With Disabilities Act claim.

Willard claimed she was forced into early retirement due to her debilitating fear of children.

In 2010, New York resident Jimmy McMillan ran for mayor on the platform that "the rent is too damn high." He didn't win that election, but he did become one of the Internet's most popular memes, along with his Franz Josef beard and ubiquitous gloves.

It looks like McMillan won't have to worry about his rent anymore. Earlier this week, he was evicted from his rent-stabilized apartment in New York's artsy East Village, the New York Daily News reports.

At long last, a New York menace has gotten the punishment he deserved. No longer will the citizens of the Big Apple be victims of this terror.

Thanks to a federal judge, Mister Softee is off the street.

Well, not really. A fake Mister Softee is off the street. The real, legitimate Mister Softee continues to roam free, as he should.

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Volunteer rescuer Nick Papageorge's IV (not a typo; that's apparently his real name, though the Los Angeles Times spells it without the "s" or the apostrophe) was injured in April 2013 when he went searching for two missing hikers in Cleveland National Forest (which is actually about an hour east of San Diego, for some reason).

Papageorge's fractured his spine after falling off a 110-foot cliff while looking for 18-year-old Kyndall Jack and 19-year-old Nicholas Cendoya. The pair had disappeared during their hike -- which, according to the lawsuit, wasn't so much a "hike" as a "trip into the woods to smoke meth."

So how is it that the missing hikers can be on the hook when someone else gets injured rescuing them?

A New Mexico woman has filed suit against the makers of a novelty flask after discovering that the flask featured her yearbook photo from 1970.

Veronica Vigil's daughter originally found the flask while vacationing in Florida, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican. Along with Vigil's photograph, the flask features a caption reading, "I'm going to be the most popular girl in rehab!" As you might imagine, Vigil -- who now runs an auto-restoration business with her husband -- took umbrage with this use of her image.

But what can she do about it legally?

A Florida lottery winner (and registered sex offender) is being sued by his alleged victims.

Timothy Poole opted to take about $2.2 million in a lump sum after purchasing a winning Florida Lottery ticket earlier this month. According to Orlando's WKMG-TV, Poole also is also being sued by two brothers who claim he abused them when they were children.

Can these alleged victims get a chunk of Poole's lotto winnings?

Whether the world is actually getting weirder or we're just more aware of the odd things that people do these days, one thing is for sure: People do a lot of strange stuff.

Often, these off-the-wall events have legal consequences. In 2014 there was certainly no shortage of legally weird occurrences. And since the name of this blog is Legally Weird, we went ahead and wrote about them.

So without further ado, here are our 10 most popular Legally Weird blog posts of 2014. Prepare to get weird:

The rise of the apes may be nigh, as a New York appellate court unanimously denied that chimpanzees were legal persons.

On Thursday, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division issued a decision declaring that chimps -- including a 26-year-old chimp named "Tommy" -- were not entitled to the same legal protections as human inmates because they aren't legally considered "persons." The New York Daily News reports that Tommy is owned by an upstate New York couple, and this case was an attempt to free him from their care.

What exactly does this chimp decision mean for us humans?