On Frivolous Lawsuits


A friend of mine is currently on the receiving end of a ridiculously frivolous lawsuit. I'd love to write all about it here, but that's probably not going to help his case. So instead, here are some other mind-boggling legal actions, courtesy of Deborah Ng at LegalZoom.com.

"¢ In 1991, Richard Harris sued Anheiser-Busch for $10,000 for false advertising. Harris claimed to suffer from emotional distress in addition to mental and physical injury. Why? Because when he drank beer, he didn't have any luck with the ladies, as promised in the TV ads. Harris also didn't like that he got sick sometimes after he drank. The case was thrown out of court.

"¢ In 1998, Kellogg sued Exxon because customers might confuse the gas station's "whimsical tiger logo" with Kellogg's mascot, "Tony the Tiger." It didn't matter, of course, that Exxon had already been using this logo for 30 years. A federal court tossed the suit. Kellogg appealed the case claiming the Exxon tiger walks and acts just like Kellogg's "Tony."

"¢ In 2003, Richard Schick sued his former employer, the Illinois Department of Public Aid. Schick sought $5 million plus $166,700 in back pay for sexual and disability discrimination. In fact, Shick was so stressed by this discrimination that he robbed a convenience store with a shotgun. A jury felt his pain and awarded him the money he was seeking. The decision was then reversed. Unfortunately, the $303,830 he was still awarded isn't doing him much good during the ten years he's serving for armed robbery.

"¢ In 1996, Florida physical therapist Paul Shimkonis sued his local nudie bar claiming whiplash from a lap dancer's large breasts. Shimkonis felt he suffered physical harm and mental anguish from the breasts, which he claimed felt like "cement blocks" hitting him. Shimkonis sought justice in the amount of $15,000, which was denied.

Ng has many more stories here. I hope to one day add my friend's tale to this list.