Most Bizarre Lawsuits You’ve Never Heard Of

Written by Emily Kemp
Marketing Executive

It’s not uncommon for particularly sensational legal cases to make the headlines, but not all lawsuits are made equal. Keep reading to learn about some of the most extraordinary lawsuits in legal history you’ve likely never heard of! 

Bizarre Lawsuits

1. QC Chocolate Quandary

In Belfast, a pair of QC’s appreciation for sweet treats was picked up on by a journalist with less-than-meticulous concern for details. In The Sunday World in 1987, the aforementioned journalist of apparent ill-repute claimed to have witnessed the two  gentlemen fighting over the last chocolate éclair in a bakery. This seemingly innocent, humorous story did however come with serious consequences.  

Instead of seeing the funny side, both Desmond Boal and Robert McCartney, the two QCs, took the paper to court and won themselves £50,000 each. Not a number to be sniffed at!  

2. The Infamous Mcdonald’s Hot Coffee Case 

Ok, so maybe you have heard of this one but there’s more to it than meets the eye on this particularly well-known case.  

In 1992, 79 year old Stella Liebeck visited an Albuquerque, New Mexico branch of McDonald’s fast-food chain, when she spilt a hot coffee onto herself. Retellings of the incident usually deliver this tale insinuating Liebeck’s carelessness and overreaction to spilling a drink that is usually served hot on herself. What is often missed out of these reports, is that the coffee was in fact so hot that it gave Liebeck third degree burns that resulted in her being hospitalised for 8 days and requiring skin grafts!  

This important detail regarding the extraordinarily high temperature of the coffee is regularly left out to allow for a more sensationalistic and shocking headline that will generate attention. No surprises there from the tabloids.

Bizarre Lawsuits

3. Florida Man Strikes Again. 

Ever heard of someone suing themselves? Neither had we! 

In 1995, Robert Brock, was in prison when he attempted to sue himself for $5 million. He claimed that his civil rights had been violated by himself when he was arrested two years prior for charges related to a robbery. He can be quoted as justifying his claim by saying; “I partook of alcoholic beverages in 1993, July 1st, as a result I caused myself to violate my religious beliefs. This was done by my going out and getting arrested”.  

Whilst in prison Brock had no income and thus requested that the state fork out the $5 million for his claim. His case was dismissed by the judge as ‘ludicrous’ but Judge Smith acknowledged his ‘innovative approach to civil rights litigation’. Kudos for trying, Brock. 

4. You’ve Got to be Kidney Me! 

This case scores rather high on the unbelievable scale. 

In 2009, a New York-based doctor attempted to reclaim a kidney he donated to his wife. Whilst embroiled in a particularly messy divorce, Dr Richard Batista requested that his estranged wife either return his kidney, which he had donated to her during a period of serious illness, or pay him the value of the kidney in the settlement. An independent valuation estimated the kidney to be worth around $1.5million (£993,000 at the time).  

Unfortunately for Mr Batista, he was unsuccessful and the Supreme Court ruled that his kidney could not be considered as ‘marital property’.  An anti-climatic ending to perhaps the most bizarre of bizarre lawsuits. 

These bizarre lawsuits are a colourful example of how there really is no such thing as unusual in a world as diverse and unpredictable as ours. 

 

If you or someone you know has found themselves stuck in a situation stranger than fiction, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced and empathetic solicitors. Our team specialise in a number of fields of law and will be more than happy to help where possible.  

Contact us by filling out the contact form below, or call us on 01582 343 453. Alternatively, you can email us at info@greystonesolicitors.co.uk. 

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