TV personality Maury Povich is being sued by a convicted rapist who saw his daughter on the "Maury Povich Show."
Alan B. Griffin, who is currently incarcerated in Florida for sexual battery and second-degree attempted murder, claims that seeing his daughter exploited on "Maury" led him to suicidal thoughts and a whole year of psychiatric counseling. TMZ reports that this all went down more than four years ago when Griffin's wife and 7-year-old daughter appeared on TV, and Griffin was the topic of discussion.
Does this prison inmate have a case against Maury?
Impressively Handwritten Complaint
There are a number of different ways to file a lawsuit, but in Griffin's case, he hand-wrote the whole thing. And before you judge based on your assumptions about the fact that he's an incarcerated felon, check out this penmanship. Although you're more likely to be taken seriously when you type up your legal pleadings, even the Supreme Court has taken handwritten petitions in the past.
But once you get to the actual substance of Griffin's claims, more problems arise.
Statutes of Limitations
Before we start on what legal theories Griffin poses for his demands for compensation from Maury, let's look at the timeliness of Griffin's claims. Under Florida's statute of limitations, Griffin would have only four years to bring a personal injury lawsuit, and only three years under the laws of New York, where Povich, his production company, and NBCUniversal are located.
According to Griffin's own allegations, the harm from watching the "Maury" episode with his wife and young daughter occurred on December 11, 2010, slightly more than four years before he filed his lawsuit on December 17, 2014. The federal judge considering Griffin's case might be inclined to throw it out based on the statute of limitations, assuming Maury, his production company, and NBCUniversal's respective legal teams are on the ball.
$300K Sought for Emotional Distress
Although Griffin doesn't neatly label his legal theories against the defendants, he does specifically request $100,000 from each in damages for his alleged emotional distress -- totaling $300,000. Griffin's lawsuit asserts that Maury was negligent in allowing his daughter, for whom he still claims legal custody, to appear on television without his consent.
We're pretty sure that while Griffin was incarcerated, his consent over his daughter doing just about anything was legally worth next to nothing. But if this case ever survives a motion to dismiss, we'll set our DVRs to record it.