20 Strange & Fascinating Lawsuits You Never Knew About

1Apple and Samsung

In 2012, Apple attempted to sue Samsung in the UK court system and lost. It was ruled that the look of Samsung's Galaxy Tab computers was not too similar to designs registered in connection with the iPad and Apple Inc. was ordered to display advertisements on their website and billboards stating that Samsung had not infringed upon their rights.

2Stephen Joyce

James Joyce's grandson, Stephen Joyce, as executor of his grandfather's estate would sue anybody who attempted to write about, quote, recite, display, or perform any of James Joyce's work or personal effects and effectively halted any scholarly research on any of James Joyce's work for decades. 

3Freaks movie

A woman threatened to sue MGM after viewing the 1932 movie Freaks, claiming it caused her to miscarry. The movie features actually deformed circus "freaks" and has been banned in Ireland, Sweden, the UK, and several other areas over the years.

4Madalyn O'Hair

In 1970, an atheist named Madalyn O'Hair attempted to sue NASA for the reading of Genesis by Apollo 8 astronauts, arguing that it violated constitutional separation of church and state.

5Yogi Berra

American baseball catcher Yogi Berra threatened to sue Hanna-Barbera for naming their character "Yogi Bear." Hanna-Barbera claimed the similarity was a total coincidence, but almost nobody believed this defense since Yogi Berra was already a household name at the time Yogi Bear was created. Berra later relented.

6Hollister store chain

The Hollister store chain threatened to sue merchants in the city of Hollister, California who sold shirts that had the city's name on it.


In 1971 someone in Pennsylvania tried to sue Satan for having “threatened him, caused him misery, impeded his course in life, and generally precipitated his downfall.” The case was dismissed, partly because it couldn't be shown that Satan lived in the court's jurisdiction.

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8Anthony Beninati

A man named Anthony Beninati who was burned by the burning mat at Burning Man tried to sue the event's organizers, claiming that they should have prevented him from walking into the fire.

9L. Pearson Jr.

A judge named Roy L. Pearson Jr. once tried to sue an immigrant dry cleaners for $67 million after they "lost" his pants, claiming inconvenience, mental anguish, attorney's fees for representing himself, and as a result of their failure to live up to a "satisfaction guaranteed" sign that was displayed in the store.

10Robert De Niro

In 1999, Robert De Niro threatened to sue the owners of a restaurant called 'De Niro's Supper Club' under section 3 of the BC Privacy Act. In response, the restaurant changed its name to 'Section (3).'

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