Archive | November, 2013

The Stupidest Lawsuits of All Time

4 Nov

A few months ago an American man named Chris Sevier sued Apple in what has got to be one of the most optimistic legal claims of all time.  The thirty six year old filed a lawsuit seeking damages and injunctive relief against the tech company for creating devices that resulted in his addiction to porn.

Don’t laugh – Sevier is a victim.

Sevier was a victim because, according to his lawsuit, “But for the Plaintiff’s use of the Apple product, the quality of the Plaintiff’s life would have been much better and injury would have been avoided.  The Plaintiff sustained these unwarranted damages in the course of using Apple’s product as designed.”  Further, by allowing Sevier to access porn the products, “systematically poisoned his life.”

Noticeably absent from the lawsuit is the term “self-control”.

Get that Devil's instrument away from me!

Get that Devil’s instrument away from me!

The plaintiff’s 50 page complaint is loaded full of gems.  Among the highlights:

–        Porn is responsible for American girls traveling overseas and being abducted for sex trafficking.  He didn’t refer to it explicitly in the lawsuit, but I’m pretty sure Sevier has watched Taken a few too many times.

–        The beginning of Sevier’s descent into addiction began when he “accidentally misspelled ‘’ which lead him to ‘f**’ and a host of web sites that caused him to see pornographic images that appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male”.  That’s one hell of a typo.  If indeed it was an accident, his subconscious is screaming at him.  I also love his horniness being referred to as his “biological sensibilities as a male”.

–        The Apple device resulted in “unfair competition” between porn actresses and Sevier’s wife, the result being that he “began desiring, younger more beautiful girls featured in porn videos than his wife, who was no longer 21”.  Ignoring the shocking grammar, that is one of the funniest statements anyone has ever made about their wife.

–        Sevier’s proposal for Apple devices to automatically block pornography would boost the economy of “the bricks and mortar pornography industry”, whose businesses are being threatened by their online counterparts.  Sevier isn’t just looking out for himself, but for all of the good people of America.

I don’t like Sevier’s chances of a favourable result, which is a shame, because any lawsuit that uses phrases like “intent to cause vicarious arousal” and “‘mom and pop’ porn shops” should be applauded.

I would advise in future that Sevier gets a lawyer to file lawsuits on his behalf, instead of doing it himself.  Wait a second – Sevier is a lawyer.  God bless America.

This bizarre legal claim reminded me of a few other lawsuits that defied logic, and so here are some of the Stupidest Lawsuits of All Time.

Graduating With Honours, But Without Honour

Trina Thompson graduated from Monroe College in New York, USA, in April 2009.  Three months later she hadn’t been able to find employment in her industry of information technology and so she undertook the only logical option available to her – she sued the college for failing to secure her a job.

Thompson sought damages of $70,000 for the cost of her tuition, plus $2,000 for the stress of spending three months unsuccessfully trying to find employment.  There are plenty of reasons why someone might not be able to find a job straight out of college.  The first reason that comes to mind is that little thing called the Global Financial Crisis.  In this instance, however, I think we shouldn’t overlook the fact that Thompson is clearly an idiot.

Evidently Monroe College don’t teach their students common sense.

Beer, I Thought We Were Friends

In 1991, Richard Overton sued beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch for $10,000.  It’s amazing to think that someone could have any problems with a company that goes out of its way to produce beer for our enjoyment, but Overton did.  Did he consume a beer that was tainted with an unwanted ingredient?  Did he cut himself on a broken bottle?  Did he get run over by a beer truck?

No, Overton sued the company because although its commercials showed that drinking Budweiser beer would lead drinkers to “scenic tropical settings [with] beautiful women and men engaged in endless and unrestricted merriment”, it turned out to be “untrue” when Overton began to drink the product.  That’s right, because Overton didn’t suddenly find himself on a tropical island with a bunch of hotties, he sued the company for false and misleading advertising that caused him emotional distress, financial loss and mental injury.  I think the mental injury must have occurred long before he began consuming the product.

Heads up dude, this won't happen either if you drink German beer.

Heads up Overton: if you drink German beer, this won’t happen either.

Needless to say his lawsuit was dismissed.  It is believed that Overton is now focussing on suing Red Bull on the basis he drank a can and didn’t grow wings.  Some members of the legal profession are probably hoping he still tries to fly off a building.

What is This Slop?

In 1989, a man named Kenneth Parker sued the US state of Nevada $5,500.00 for mental and emotional pain.  What could cause him such distress?  He ordered two jars of chunky peanut butter from a state run facility, but one of the jars he received was smooth peanut butter.   Not cool Nevada.  Not cool.

What makes Parker’s claim a little more unusual (it’s possible!) is that the state run facility he was suing was a prison.  A prison in which Parker was an inmate, serving 15 years for armed robbery.

Yes, Parker was suing his prison for giving him the wrong kind of peanut butter.  His lawsuit could not be more outrageous than that.  Except that it was.  Parker was also seeking a jail term for the worker who gave him the smooth peanut butter.  Presumably so that the worker would know what it’s like to get given incorrect condiments in prison.

"Aw, hell no muthaf*cka!"

“Aw, hell no muthaf*cka!”

Somehow it took two years before the lawsuit was finally dismissed.  Parker’s lack of success didn’t discourage other prisoners from filing claims though.

I Hate This Guy

Possibly the most creative lawsuit on this list was filed by inmate Robert Lee Brock, who was serving a lengthy sentence for grand larceny and breaking-and-entering in Virginia, US.  He sued the person that he thought was most responsible for him being incarcerated.


Yes, Brock sued himself $5 million for breaching his own “religious and civil rights” by “partaking of alcoholic beverages” that led to him committing his crimes.  Talk about hating yourself.  The genius of the lawsuit (if you can call it that), was that given the fact that he was incarcerated, Brock’s claim went on to assert that the state of Virginia should pay the damages on his behalf.  His logic was that the state was denying him from earning an income, and responsible for him during his jail term, and therefore should be responsible to pay the damages.

The lawsuit failed on basically every ground it was made on.  However Judge Rebecca Beach Smith did praise Brock for his “innovative approach to civil-rights litigation.”  Seriously Your Honour – don’t encourage him.

Pop Quiz

There are plenty more ridiculous lawsuits out there, some of which will be in part two of this post.  Until then, here’s a little pop quiz for you.

Which of the following are reasons why actual lawsuits were filed by US prisoners:

  1. A prison failed to freeze a prisoner’s ice-cream.
  2. A prisoner received a bad haircut.
  3. A phone message taken for a prisoner contained errors.
  4. A prison refused to include veal, lamb and oysters on its menu for inmates.

Share your guesses in the comments section below and check back into Hesaidwhatnow? later for the answers!