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Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2017

Posted on Jan 03, 2018 by: Scott West

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Headed to court for texting during a movie date, falling off a donkey statue, and even an enthusiastic handshake.


The Institute for Legal Reform published its Top Ten Silliest Lawsuits of 2017:

  1. ‘Deceived’ by Jelly Beans, Woman Files Lawsuit Against Jelly Belly (San Bernardino County, California)
  2. Man Sues Uber for Ruining His Marriage (France)
  3. ‘Time Clock’ Lawsuit Filed Against Starbucks (California)
  4. Man Trips Over Christmas Tree, Sues (New Milford, New Jersey)
  5. Negligent Handshake Leads to Lawsuit (Palm Beach County, Florida)
  6. Woman Sues Restaurant After Falling Off Popular Donkey Statue (Tallahassee, Florida)
  7. Class Action Lawsuit Over ‘Fake Butter’ (Worcester, Massachusetts)
  8. Man Sues Date for Texting During Movie (Austin, Texas)
  9. 15-Year-Old Sues Mom for Confiscating Phone (Spain)
  10. Woman Sues U.S. Government Over Nacho Cheese Burn (Wichita Falls, Texas)

My personal favorites?

  • Someone in France claiming that his wife was able to view his Uber stops, raising awkward questions and ultimately creating grounds for divorce.
  • A first date at an Austin movie theater that left the young man agitated over his date’s texting during Guardians of the Galaxy Part 2. His date left the theater after he repeatedly urged her to stop texting, leaving him to watch the rest of the film alone. Afterwards, he sued her to get a refund of $17 cost of admission. She paid up.
  • The man who sought either $100,000 or an apology for a vigorous, painful handshake. 

While it’s no surprise to see California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts as homes to frivolous lawsuits, Texas and Florida also made the list. Might have something to do with large populations and overactive legal schools?

In another interesting and ultimately disturbing trend of sending our litigious environment overseas, two suits came from Europe.

Those of us in the insurance industry deal with odd, seemingly frivolous suits on a daily basis. I’m just glad I didn’t have one of these, which would have required a “you don’t have a policy that will cover this” response.