Updated: Jul 25, 2022
While a claim must be supported by the law to succeed, that doesn't stop some people from trying anyhow. Here are five (5) lawsuits with claims that were more than a little creative.
(#1) Texas Man Sues Date for Texting ... and Gets Paid?
In 2017, Brandon Vezmar sued his date in an Austin, Texas small claims court for $17.50, the price of her movie ticket to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. According to Vezmar’s Petition, the woman left him at the theatre after he complained about her persistent texting and phone use during the movie. Vezmar's Petition described her behavior as a “threat to civilized society.” Although the woman initially refused to repay Vezmar, she eventually agreed if he agreed to leave her alone. Vezmar dismissed the suit.
(#2) Nebraska Senator Sues God
In 2007, Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers sued God for causing “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” Chambers asked the court for a permanent injunction (an order to stop certain conduct) against God. Chambers reportedly filed the lawsuit as an act of protest against a suit filed against a federal judge. His point was to demonstrate that anybody can file a lawsuit for any reason despite having dubious merit.
(#3) Graduate Sues College Due to Unemployment
Trina Thompson graduated from New York's Monroe College in April 2009 with a Bachelor's in IT Business Administration. Thompson sued the college after three (3) months of unsuccessful job hunting. Her complaint sought $70,000.00 to reimburse her for the cost of tuition and $2,000.00 "because of the stress I have been going through looking for a full time job on my own." Her complaint alleged,
"[T]he Office of Career Advancement Information Technology Counselor did not make sure the Monroe e-recruiting call the graduates that recently finished college for a[n] interview to get a job placement. They have not tried hard enough to help me."
(#4) Kidnapper Sues Hostages for Escaping
Jesse Dimmick was convicted with an eleven (11) year prison sentence for kidnapping Jared and Lindsay Rowley. Dimmick kidnapped the couple at knifepoint in Topeka, Kansas while fleeing from the police who wanted to question him about a man beaten to death in Colorado. Apparently, the couple earned Dimmick’s trust and escaped his clutches after he fell asleep during a movie. During his arrest, an officer’s rifle accidentally went off and shot Dimmick in the back.
The Rowleys sued Dimmick for $75,000.00 in damages for emotional distress. Dimmick filed a counterclaim for breach of contract seeking to recover $235,000.00. Dimmick argued that the couple agreed to hide him from the police in exchange for payment and blamed them for his injuries. According to FindLaw, Dimmick’s counterclaim alleged:
"As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me. The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay."
Unsurprisingly, the court dismissed Dimmick’s claim.
(#5) Prisoner Sues Himself for $5 million
In 1995, Robert Lee Brock, was serving a 23-year sentence at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia, for breaking and entering and grand larceny. Brock filed a seven (7) page letter suing himself for violating his civil rights. Brock wrote that he violated his religious beliefs by drinking alcohol on July 1, 1993, which caused him to get arrested and sent to prison. He allegedly stated, “For violating my religious beliefs, I want to pay myself 5 million dollars, but ask the state to pay it [o]n my behalf since I can't work and am a ward of the state." Needless to say, Brock’s case was dismissed.
Apparently, this wasn’t Brock’s first lawsuit. An article by Grunge states that Brock filed 29 complaints in one year. The court eventually had enough and banned him from filing lawsuits under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38. Yes, it's possible.
(#6) Man Sues Bass Pro Shop Over Socks
In July 2022, A Missouri man sued Bass Pro Shops claiming that the lifetime warranty on wool socks was false. The brand packaging says, “This is the last sock you’ll ever need to buy.” Previously, Redhead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose Wool Socks came with a lifetime warranty that Bass Pro would honor by giving customers a new pair at no charge. In 2021, the store changed its policy. Now, the socks are replaced with a new, different pair that only come with a sixty (60) day guarantee. According to the Washington Post, Kent Slaughter, the plaintiff, filed a class action suit seeking $5 million in damages.
It's worth noting that all except one of the above-described lawsuits were filed pro se, which means the plaintiffs did not have lawyers representing them. The only lawsuit with attorneys involved is (#6).
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