25 Strangest Courtroom Cases That Actually Happened

Posted by , Updated on July 14, 2017

Courtroom cases are filled with hundreds of lawsuits a day. They’re everywhere. We love them for their drama and intrigue, which is probably why Judge Judy and The People’s Court became so popular. A good portion of the time, lawsuits are legit and need to be heard. But, let’s be honest, all the others are usually just a get-rich-quick scheme. However, it’s not just lawsuits. Even criminal cases have dipped their feet in the bizarre, making very little sense at all. Want to hear about why some of these people are going to court? Here are the 25 Strangest Courtroom Cases That Actually Happened.

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25

PETA Files Lawsuit for Monkey to Own Selfie Copyright

Macaca_nigra_self-portrait_largeSource: http://www.npr.org

In 2011, a macaque took nature photographer David Slater’s camera, smiled, and took a picture. Now, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) is filing a lawsuit claiming the copyright to the photo belongs to…the macaque. The U.S. Copyright Office claimed a monkey cannot hold a copyright, and a judge threw the lawsuit out. Currently, the photograph is in the public domain.

24

Starbucks Sued for $750,000 over Hot Coffee

starbucksSource: http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org

Coffee seems to always end up in one lawsuit at one time or the other. In this case, Starbucks was sued by a Raleigh cop after he spilled hot coffee on his lap. He wanted $750,000 for damages. To top it all off, he was given the cup of coffee for free. Of course, the case was thrown out of court.

23

Woman Sues Google Maps for Bad Directions

Google_MapsSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

After being guided to a “safe” pedestrian walking road by Google Maps that ended up being a four-lane highway, Laura Rosenberg decided to keep walking down the road anyway. You know, instead of just using sound judgment. Of course, she was hit by a car doing this and proceeded to sue Google for claiming the road was safe.

22

Inmate Sues $88 Billion over Packers-Cowboys Playoff Game

packers cowboysSource: http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org/2015/04/88-billion-lawsuit-filed-over-overturned-catch-in-cowboys-packers-playoffs-game/

Despite being an inmate at a Colorado Correctional Facility, Terry Hendrix sued the National Football League for $88 billion for an overturned call he felt cost the Cowboys the NFC Championship.

21

The Scopes Trial

John_t_scopesSource: http://www.history.com

In 1925, high school teacher John Scopes did the unthinkable, he taught evolution at a Tennessee high school. The trial became a media circus at the time and involved famed lawyer Clarence Darrow versus Christian Fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan. Scopes lost the trial and was fined $100. Later, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the verdict.


20

77-Year-Old Sued 19-Year-Old for Not Having Sex with Him

Rolf_S._EdenSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Rolf Eden, a 77-year-old German playboy, filed a lawsuit against a 19-year-old woman that he had picked up at a bar. Why? She refused to have sex with him for being too old. He claimed it was age discrimination.

19

Woman Sued Office Landlord for Seagull Attack

SeagullSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

In Scotland, a 59-year-old woman was viciously attacked…by a seagull. The seagull dive-bombed at her, which terrified her, causing her to fall over. Claiming the office building nearby didn’t do enough for her safety, she filed a lawsuit against them for damages.

18

Student Sued University after They Expelled Him for Smelly Feet

smelly feetSource: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke

A student at Erasmus University never washed his feet and apparently didn’t wear shoes. Students and professors said it was difficult to concentrate with such a horrible stench in the area, so the school decided to expel him. However, in 2009 a judge ruled it wasn’t a good enough reason to expel him and that they should “hold their noses.”

17

Bank Robber Sued City after Pointing a Gun at a Deputy and Getting Shot

police-carSource: http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org

Todd Kirkpatrick was in the middle of a bank robbery when the police showed up. When he pointed his gun at a deputy, he got shot twice. Now an inmate, he filed a lawsuit against the city for 6.3 million dollars, saying the medical bills were $300,000 and the other deputies failed to stop the deputy who shot him.

 

16

The Lindy Chamberlain Trial

Canis_lupus_dingoSource: https://www.nytimes.com

In 1980, Lindy Chamberlain was on a camping trip with her husband and 2-month old baby, Azaria. One night Azaria disappeared and Lindy claimed a dingo killed and ate her, leading to the popularized phrase, “A dingo ate my baby.” However, no one believed Lindy and she was put on trial for murder, claiming she slit her daughter’s throat and hid the body. A media circus sensationalized the trial and Lindy was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. After spending three years in prison, a piece of clothing belonging to Azaria was found near a dingo lair. Lindy was acquitted after the coroner confirmed Azaria’s death.

15

Man Sued His Employers Because His Job Was Too Boring

bored manSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Most people get bored with their jobs every now and then, but they never sue their companies for it. Well, 44-year-old Fredric Desnard did just that, suing his company for a job that was so boring he was left, “depressed, destroyed, and ashamed.” With no chance of promotion and all his responsibilities stripped away, he eventually quit and his case is waiting to be heard.

14

The Judas Priest Subliminal Message Trial

Judas_PriestSource: http://www.rollingstone.com

In 1985, two teenagers listened to Judas Priest and then shot themselves. One died and the other suffered severe facial injuries. The parents sued the band and the label, claiming it was because of Judas Priest’s subliminal messages in the record that lead to their suicide. However, the teenagers had a long, disturbing history, and the judge ruled in favor of Judas Priest.

13

Nursing Student Failed Test Twice - Sued Her School for Not Helping with Her Anxiety

failSource: http://www.nydailynews.com

After nursing student Jennifer Burbella failed her final exam twice, she sued her school, claiming they didn’t do enough to accommodate her anxiety and depression. She’s sought $75,000 in damages, but would rather take the test again and pass it.

12

Florida Woman Sued FedEx for Package Left at Her Front Door

HTS_Systems_FedEx_Express_parcel_driverSource: http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org

FedEx must place thousands of boxes in front of doorsteps a day. If you’re expecting a package, that’s the first place you look. However, this woman claims to have tripped and fallen over her package laying on the front doorstep and decided to sue FedEx for severe physical pain, anguish, and humiliation. Apparently, the driver put the box too close to the door and didn’t warn her.

11

Radio Contestant Sued the Station after Finding Out Her "New Car" Was Just a Toy

capri-ford-oldtimer-automotiveSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Cathy McGowan expected to get a brand new car after she answered the question correctly on the radio. Imagine her surprise when she got a toy car in the mail. She quickly sued the radio station for misleading her into thinking she’d won a new car. To her delight, she won the trial, and the judge ordered she be granted the Renault Clio she was promised.

10

Woman Sued Restaurant after Being Hit by a Flying Dinner Roll

LambertsCafeSource: http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org

When you eat at Lambert’s Cafe in Missouri, you expect rolls to be thrown around. Even on the outside sign, it reads, “Lambert Cafe – www.throwedrolls.com” and they’re all over the restaurant as well. One lady apparently forgot about all that as she forgot to dodge a roll coming her way, and it hit her in the eye. She sued the restaurant for $25,000.

9

I am the Beast Etc. vs. Michigan State Police

2006_Michigan_State_Police_Dodge_Charger_1Source: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/I_Am_The_Beast_etc._v._Michigan_State_Police

Edmond Frank MacGillivray Jr. filed a suit with the Michigan State Police, claiming he was mistreated and wanted 2 billion dollars. What’s even more strange, however, is the name he used for the trial:

I AM THE BEAST SIX SIX SIX OF THE LORD OF HOSTS IN EDMOND FRANK MACGILLIVRAY JR NOW. I AM THE BEAST SIX SIX SIX OF THE LORD OF HOSTS IEFMJN. I AM THE BEAST SIX SIX SIX OF THE LORD OF HOSTS. I AM THE BEAST SIX SIX SIX OTLOHIEFMJN. I AM THE BEAST SSSOTLOHIEFMJN. I AM THE BEAST SIX SIX SIX. BEAST SIX SIX SIX LORD, Plaintiff, v. MICHIGAN STATE POLICE; CITY POLICE OF LANSING; STATE OF MICHIGAN; INGHAM COUNTY 54A DISTRICT COURT; and INGHAM COUNTY JAIL, Defendants

8

Two Women Filed a $40 Million Lawsuit over "Like, Five or Six Scratches"

Cleanup_of_2015_East_Village_explosion_and_fire_in_New_York_City_3Source: http://nypost.com

After a gas explosion took down an entire building, resulting in bodily harm and heavy loss of property by the tenants, two women, who lived in a building nearby, filed a 40 million dollar lawsuit, claiming mental trauma and physical harm of “like, five or six scratches.”

7

American Man Sued Foster's for Not Being Brewed in Australia

FostersSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

New Yorker Leif Nelson drank Foster’s because he thought it was from the land down under. However, he was none too pleased to find out it’s actually brewed in Texas. Believing the company was false advertising, he sued them. He said he loved the product and would keep drinking it if they started brewing in Australia again.

6

Man Sued Michael Jordan for Looking Like Him

Michael_Jordan_in_2014Source: http://nypost.com

Most people want to be like Mike, but not Allen Heckard. He was getting pretty tired of the number of people telling him he looked like Michael Jordan. In fact, he took it a step further. Claiming it was ruining his life, Heckard filed a lawsuit against Jordan for 52 million dollars, and he even blamed the Nike owner for helping contribute to his personal anguish and pain.

5

Woman Sued Her Divorce Lawyers for Getting Divorced

divorce-separation-marriage-breakup-split-39483Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Devout Roman Catholic Jane Mulcahy didn’t quite get that divorce meant divorce. When she found out her marriage was terminated by her divorce lawyers, she was quite upset and didn’t want to terminate the marriage after all. So…she sued her divorce lawyers for not explaining to her that she was getting a divorce.

4

8-Year-Old Nephew Sued By Aunt for "Careless" Hug

hug sunsetSource: http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org

Hugging extended family can be pretty awkward at times. But 8-year-old Tarala was so excited to see his Aunt Jen that he raced up to hug her. Surprised, she went to hug him but toppled over and broke her wrist. Aunt Jen, in all her love, turned around and filed a lawsuit against him for $127,000. It didn’t take long for the jury to decide Aunt Jen wasn’t getting a cent.

3

Man Sued Almost Everyone for 2 Undecillion Dollars over a Dog Bite

Ellsworth_dog_biteSource: http://nypost.com

Anton Purisima sued the city, NYC transit, two local hospitals, Au Bon Pair store, among many others because he was bitten by a “rabbies-infested” dog on a city bus. He essentially asked for all the money in the world. (Undecillion isn’t a fake number. It’s 340 trillion trillion trillion.)

2

Guinness Book of World Records Was Sued for Naming Man "Most Litigious"

Jamie_Card_aka_Jonathan_Lee_RichesSource: http://abcnews.go.com

Being litigious is being easily disagreeable and particularly in this case, prone to filing lawsuits.The Guinness Book of World Records wanted to name Jonathan Lee Riches the world’s most “Litigious man,” but once he found out about it, they probably regretted the decision. He turned around and sued them for it, claiming they got their facts wrong. He’s filed 4,000 lawsuits, not the 5,500 Guinness Book of World Records claimed.

1

Policewoman Claimed Pineapple Gave Her PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression

pineappleSource: http://www.express.co.uk

Tracey Ormsby was handling a protest in Glasgow when violence erupted and projectiles were thrown. One of these projectiles was a pineapple, hitting Ormsby. She filed a lawsuit for 1.5 million pounds, claiming the demonstration was poorly handled and the pineapple caused her PTSD, anxiety, and depression, ruining her career. Though, the court found out much of what she claimed was greatly exaggerated and was granted only 3,000 pounds.

 

Looking for more? Here are 25 Bizarre Lawsuits That You Won’t Believe Are Real.

Photo: Feature Image: Shutterstock; text added, 25. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 24. Rudolf Schuba via flickr. CC BY 2.0., 23. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 22. Flickr.com (Public Domain), 21. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 20. Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley), Rolf S. Eden, CC BY-SA 3.0, 19. Wikipedia COmmons.com (Public Domain), 18. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 17. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 16. Peripitus, Canis lupus dingo – cleland wildlife park, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 14. Sibuachu, Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls – 9th Oct 2014 – Barclay Center, Brooklyn , New York, CC BY-SA 4.0, 13. amboo who? via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0, 12. MobiusDaXter, HTS Systems FedEx Express parcel driver, CC BY-SA 3.0, 11. Pexels.com (Public Domain), 10. Infrogmation of New Orleans, LambertsCafeAlJul07, CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 8. MusikAnimal, Cleanup of 2015 East Village explosion and fire in New York City 3, CC BY-SA 4.0, 7. Roger W via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 6. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 5. Pexels.com (Public Domain), 4. MaxPixel.com (Public Domain), 3. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 2. Truth.seeking.sleuth, Jamie Card aka Jonathan Lee Riches, CC BY-SA 4.0, 1. Pixabay.com (Public Domain)

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