It is estimated that the annual cost to the United States economy for civil lawsuits is $233 billion. While many of the suits filed are meritorious and have valid legal claims, many do not, despite the fact that people believe they have truly been wronged and believe they are entitled to some economic remedy. Many of the suits filed today are frivolous ones, those that have little to no chance of winning. While many of us laugh at these lawsuits (they are pretty funny), they are unfortunately quite common. We look at three extreme examples of frivolous lawsuits that will leave you scratching your head and laughing out loud.
1. Man Sues Kardashians and Kanye West for conspiring with Al-Qaeda.
A man claims to have been wandering the hills of West Virginia when he stumbled upon Kanye West and the Kardashian family at a secret Al-Qaeda training camp. He claims he saw Kanye and the Kardashians burn the U.S. flag and stomp on a picture of President Barack Obama. He then alleges that Kanye performed a concert for the Al-Qaeda members and asserts that Kim Kardashian is now the leader of Al-Qaeda. The Kardashians also allegedly made a vow that all the proceeds from their websites, clothing line, and E! Network reality shows would go directly to Al-Qaeda to finance and support the jihad. The lawsuit was immediately dismissed by a judge in Montana.
2. Judge files $67 Million Lawsuit Over a Pair of Pants.
In 2007, Roy Pearson, a D.C. judge filed suit against a small dry cleaner over a pair of pants. Judge Pearson claimed that the shop owners misplaced his pants after he brought them in for an alteration and then tried to return him an imitation pair of pants (instead of his $800 pair). The shop owners felt that they had done nothing wrong, but agreed to settle with the judge for $12,000. Judge Pearson refused their offer and sued the owners and their son, claiming that the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Same Day Service” signs in the shop represented an unconditional guarantee that entitled him to a larger amount of money than the one he was offered. The judge wanted $1,500 per defendant for each of the 12,000 days that the sign appeared in the shop. He also wanted to be compensated for emotional damages, the cost of the rental car used to drive to another dry cleaner, and legal fees, despite the fact that the judge represented himself. The lawsuit totaled $67 million. The presiding judge ruled in favor of the shop owners and awarded them court costs and attorney’s fees. Pearson was not reappointed to his position as an administrative law judge.
3. Man Sues McDonald’s over Napkin Incident.
In January 2014, Webster Lucas visited a local McDonald’s in California and asked for an extra napkin with his food. The on-duty manager mumbled something that Lucas interpreted to be racially discriminating. He was so bothered by the incident that he proceeded to write a letter to McDonald’s claiming that the incident left him unable to work because of the undue mental anguish and intentional infliction of emotional distress caused by the manager. Webster is seeking $1.5 million from McDonald’s.