The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) issued 2015’s “Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits” this week in Washington, D.C., which included a Florida woman’s filing against FedEx for leaving a package too close to her door.
The woman, who allegedly tripped over the package, claimed that she was not properly informed of the box’s proximity to the doorway, arguing “severe physical pain, mental anguish and humiliation.”
“These stories will make you laugh, but sadly, frivolous lawsuits are all too common,” ILR President Lisa Rickard said. “As a society we’re too quick to sue, and issues that could be settled outside of the courtroom result in expensive and unnecessary litigation and wasted time.”
Not only did the ILR release its “Top Ten” list to raise awareness of frivolous lawsuits, but it also put together a video spotlighting the “outrageous” cases. While a widely publicized animal rights group’s suit over ownership rights to a monkey’s “selfie” topped the survey, others were valiant contenders for the title of “ridiculous” with trivial lawsuits spanning various scenarios.
In New York, an eight-year-old’s aunt sued him for an overly exuberant hug that left her with a broken wrist. Two Manhattan women suffering superficial scratches and resultant “trauma” from a distant explosion in New York City’s East Village raised a furor with their filing, as they were not among the two people killed or the 22 others severely wounded.
A California bank robber sued over injuries incurred while fleeing the scene of the crime. An incarcerated Colorado man sued the NFL when the Cowboys lost the playoff due to an overturned call. After twice failing a course, a Pennsylvania nursing student sued her school.
Two filings echoed a 1994 McDonald’s case when a jury awarded a large sum to a burn victim. A North Carolina police officer sued Starbucks after scalding himself with hot coffee that was given to him free. A California woman allegedly faked a similar injury by downloading internet photos and presenting them as evidence. She in turn now faces 21 counts of fraud.
In a Missouri restaurant where servers traditionally toss rolls to diners, a woman went to court over an eye injury.
ILR promotes civil justice reform through activities at the national, state, and local levels.
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