Nothing reveals more about our culture than the depths to which we’ll stoop to make someone else pay for our own stupidity. And every year the insurance industry chronicles the ten most ridiculous lawsuits to take the measure of our rapacity.
Here we go.
10. Man sues Godiva Chocolates because it’s not in Belgium
Sure, you’d think that you could look at the label and define where Godiva chocolates are made, but what fun would that be? The man claimed that the chocolates were advertised as “Belgian” but were made in the U.S. and that was false advertising.
9. Man gets sued for writing a bad Yelp review
Rembrandt the dog didn’t make it, so a Florida man wrote a bad Yelp review about the vet. The veterinarian sued him claiming the man defamed him and his practice without evidence.
8. Fortnite dancers claim copyright infringement
Producers of the game Fortnite held a dance competition, promising that winners would have their moves put in the game. No compensation was promised. Gamers voted on the winner. Now, one guy is suing for copyright infringement. It’s not clear that you can copyright a dance move. This is the same company sued by “Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly, former ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ star Alfonso Ribeiro, and Instagram’s ‘Backpack Kid'” for using their dances, such as The Floss, in the game.
7. Former NBA player sues to get a piece of Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster
No, you’re not misreading that. David West claimed that he was paid less because of a reduction in tourism from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. His lawsuit was tossed out when a judge read his New Orleans contract and found out he made most of his $45 million upfront. Oops.
6. When vanilla is anything but bland
An enterprising attorney figured out that Friendly’s vanilla ice cream contains more than simply vanilla and has sued. That lawsuit has grown into a class-action lawsuit against other makers of ice creams, including Wegmans, which use more than simple vanilla to flavor their creams. The extra ingredients are not poisonous, toxic, or bad for you. They’re just not from the vanilla plant. Off with their heads!
5. No, coffee doesn’t cause cancer, but the State of California almost ruined a guy’s business over it
California’s Proposition 65 is a voter-approved measure to warn of cancer-causing chemicals on business premises. The list of such chemicals is like a kid’s Christmas list – it keeps growing and growing, currently more than 900 hundred and counting.
The Jones Coffee Roasters was accused of having a chemical in its coffee that caused cancer. The company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and years fighting it. Among Jones’s antagonists was Attorney General Kamala Harris. When she ran for president she used his company for a photo op.
4. Poster about a TV show was so scary that woman hurt herself
A woman says she tripped in the subway and hurt herself because the poster about the TV show “Dexter” was so scary. The lawsuit took five years to wind its way through the courts and into the garbage heap.
3. Woman sues vegan “butter” maker because the “butter” isn’t real “butter”
Wait till she finds out that vegan “cheese” isn’t real cheese.
2. Lawyers lose lawsuit when “expert” loses it on the witness stand
The $600 million class-action lawsuit was about the alleged uselessness of daily vitamin supplements. Then came the plaintiff’s big expert, a forensic nutritionist. The expert “all but admitted” that there was no basis for the lawsuit.
1. Woman sues over gravity
Ok, it’s not exactly about gravity per se, but about what gravity does to Blistex lip balm in one of its containers. This started a few years with a woman claiming that 11% of her container of Blistex was stuck at the bottom of the tube. This one’s still going on. Wait till she finds out about toothpaste. It could go on for decades.