VOTE NOW: February’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuit

Feb 13, 2013

Jesus Olmedo, right, and Adrian Fermin, prepare orders in a Subway restaurant in New York. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News.

Each month, the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform gets a lot of attention for featuring a poll through which Americans can vote for the “Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month.”

We wish we could claim that finding the monthly nominees requires hours upon hours of research and investigation. But, the truth is, since we started conducting these polls four years ago, we have never had trouble finding new nominees.

In fact, picking a handful of lawsuits is the hardest part of our job.  We usually have more lawsuits than we can handle. But, after careful deliberation and many restless nights, we manage to whittle our way down to just a few.

With that, here are the nominees for this month’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuit:

1.      Five Dollar Not-Quite-Foot-Longs: Two New Jersey men have sued Subway because they allege that its foot-long sandwiches are not always 12 inches. Unremarkably, the plaintiffs’ lawyer is seeking class-action status against the world’s biggest fast food chain and plans to file a similar suit in Pennsylvania. Following an in-depth study that took reporters to Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, the New York Post found that four out of seven so-called “footlongs” measured only 11 or 11.5 inches. What would Jared say?

2.      He Was Robbed: A San Antonio Spurs fan is suing the team for “intentionally and surreptitiously” resting its best players during a game. The plaintiff – who’s also a lawyer – has filed a class-action lawsuit against the NBA franchise and compared his gruesome game-day experience to going to “Morton's Steakhouse and paying $63 for porterhouse and they bring out cube steak.” There was no word on what the players who did start thought about being compared to cube steak, but they probably have a libel suit.

3.      Schoolteacher Loves Her Job, Just Hates Kids: What does a woman who experiences “stress, anxiety, chest pains, vomiting, nightmares, and higher than healthy blood pressure” whenever she’s around kids choose to do with her life? Become a schoolteacher of course. An Ohio woman is suing her school district for age and disability discrimination because it reassigned her from high school to junior high. And because she’s “pedophobic,” she had to resign. No doubt pedophobia is a severe enough condition, but then shouldn’t she have chosen a career that had a lot fewer kids? Say a nursing home, perhaps?

4.      Fine Print: Red Bull Does Not Actually Give You Wings: A New York man has sued the popular energy drink maker Red Bull for charging more for its product even though an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull (price: $2.19) has no more caffeine than a cup of coffee (price: $0.89). Not that Red Bull ever claimed to have more caffeine than its brewed competition, but the tag line “Red Bull Gives You Wings” must flummox many. Obviously Red Bull needs to find a different tag line, perhaps to: “Red Bull Gives You Wings When Pigs Can Fly.”

You can click here to vote for which of the suits you think is most ridiculous.

We’ll be sure to report back on the results next month.

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