A country’s legal framework ensures that justice prevails, always. And when we talk about filing a lawsuit or a petition, we think of issues that are grave and serious. But sometimes, people get into a legal battle for the most bizarre reasons, resulting in great laughs, if nothing else!
Here are 10 ridiculous cases of lawsuits filed for the weirdest reasons:
1. Lawsuit against Red Bull for not giving wings to consumer.
Red Bull claims to give you wings after consuming it, but only till you don’t take it literally! One consumer sued the beverage company when he did not grow any wings, even after consuming Red Bull for 10 long years. Result?
Red Bull had to pay $13 million in damages, out of which $6.5 million went into a fund where people who bought Red Bull since 2002 could claim a refund through a special Red Bull Internet page.
2. Man sued wife for giving birth to an ugly daughter.
After Jian Feng’s wife gave birth to their daughter, he could not believe that a good-looking couple like them could produce a child he deemed ‘ugly’. He became suspicious of his wife having an extra marital affair. But what followed was even more horrifying.
His wife revealed that she had undergone a plastic surgery worth £62,000 before marriage, which gave her the good looks. The court awarded Feng £75,000 after his wife admitted she had not told him about the surgery.
3. When the Mayor of Batman town decided to sue Christopher Nolan.
The mayor of a southeast Turkish city, called Batman, planned to sue Warner Bros and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, blaming that they stole the name of his city for Batman’s character. He was reported as saying, “The royalty of the name ‘Batman’ belongs to us. There is only one Batman in the world. The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.”
The mayor, eventually, did not file the lawsuit, and was in fact sentenced to 10 months jail for promoting terrorism in the city.
4. Pimp sued Nike after injuring a man with his shoes.
Sirgiorgiro Clardy, a 26-year-old pimp from Portland, Oreogan, sued Nike for $100m, after he was convicted for beating up one of the customers using his Air Jordans. He based his case on the argument that the company did not warn him that the shoes could be used as a dangerous weapon.
Clardy alleged that Nike was partially responsible for his 100-year prison sentence, and also wrote in his complaint that Nike puts a warning label for all ‘potentially dangerous Nike and Jordan merchandise’. He obviously lost the case.
5. PETA claimed that a monkey was the rightful owner of a selfie.
In 2011, a macaque monkey on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, took a selfie with a British nature photographer’s camera, while he was on a trip to the island. And then began the argument about who was the copyright owner of the photograph? The monkey or the photographer whose camera he used? In 2015, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit and sought a court order to allow the animal rights organisation to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the monkey.
Finally, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the monkey cannot be declared the copyright owner of the photos. Duh.
6. Man sued Fair & Handsome for not making him fair.
One Nikhil Jain filed a petition against Emami for unfair trade practices, alleging that even after using Emami’s product Fair And Handsome, a fairness cream for men, according to directions, it did not give him the results as claimed by the company.
Emami was asked by the district forum, New Delhi, to pay up to Rs. 15 lakhs to the petitioner.
7. Neuropsychologist sued NASA over the description of a rock on Mars.
Rhawn Joseph, a neuropsychologist and author, was not satisfied with NASA’s explanation of a rock-like structure, which appeared in the photographs taken on Mars by NASA’s Opportunity Rover. According to the scientists, the object hadn’t been there before because it might have been something which was moved by the rover. But Joseph filed a lawsuit in a California court, demanding that NASA “thoroughly scientifically examine and investigate” the mystery object, which appeared out of nowhere on Mars.
Later, the explanation given by scientists said that the object was a piece of rock, which broke off when a rover wheel rolled over it.
8. Man sued himself for an injury.
A man from Kentucky threw a boomerang, a curved and flat piece of wood traditionally used by Australian Aborigines as a hunting weapon, which flew back and hit him on the head. What did he do next? He sued himself for $ 300,000, claiming that the accident affected his memory! And that’s not the only surprise.
This man won the case against himself, and his insurance company bore the cost. What a win!
9. This man was declared dead and fought to prove that he was alive.
Lal Bihari was only 18 years old in 1976 when he couldn’t take education loan from the bank because his official documents said he was dead. It was actually his uncle who had bribed a government official to register him as dead because he wanted to get ownership of Lal Bihari’s ancestral land.
Lal Bihari added the word Mritak,meaning dead, before his name, and fought for 18 long years to prove that he was alive. In 2003, he was awarded the Ig Nobel Peace Award for fighting for people who were battling similar circumstances.
10. Widow of a deceased chain smoker sued the tobacco company.
Cynthia Robinson, a widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer, filed a lawsuit against cigarette makers R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, which led to the jury slamming the company with $23.6 billion in compensation.
As one of her attorney’s said, “The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of, and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes.”
Strange but true!