In 2001, a Hooter’s restaurant held a sales contest offering the prize of a new Toyota (which was actually April Fools’ joke). When a waitress won, she was given a new toy “Yoda". She sued the restaurant alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and won enough money to buy a new car.
2. Two prison inmates once sued the state of Alabama, claiming that the cramped space in their cell was a cruel and unusual punishment. The state argued that students at Auburn University actually paid to live in even smaller living spaces in the Magnolia Dorm. The inmates lost the case.
3. In 2008, a Russian man named Dmitry Agarkov changed a credit card agreement to his benefit and the bank signed it. In 2010, when the bank wanted him to pay late fees, he sued it, as according to the changed deal, the bank owed him money 24 million Rubles. It all ended with an out-of-court settlement.
4. In 2013, Subway was sued for selling 11-inch Footlongs. In the settlement, they agreed to pay $525,000 in attorney fees and required their restaurants to now measure bread, so that Footlong and 6-inch sandwiches will indeed be at least 12 inches and 6 inches, respectively.
5. The creators of Spam sued Jim Henson Productions for using the name “Spa’am” for one of Muppet Treasure Island’s pig characters. The judge dismissed the suit after trial for failure to prove damages, noting, “one might think Hormel would welcome the association with a genuine source of pork.”
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15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History
6Getty Images Lawsuit
In 2016, ‘Getty Images’ sold some of the 100,000+ photos that had been donated, royalty-free, to the Library of Congress by photographer Carol Highsmith. Getty Images then demanded payment from the photographer, for using the photos she owned. She sued them (unsuccessfully) for over $1 billion.
7. In 1976, a woman sued Disney for $150,000 in damages, claiming one of the Three Little Pigs fondled her at “It’s a Small World” and that she gained 50 lbs (23 kg) as a result. The case was dropped when the costume was found to have “inoperable stub arms,” making said fondling impossible.
8. In 2002, a couple of PETA members, after attending an anti-hunting campaign, wrecked into a deer. They followed up by sueing the New Jersey Game Department claiming that their deer management program was to blame.
9. Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei has a harem of forty women, including a former Miss USA who sued the Sultan in 1997 for keeping her and other women as sex slaves. She lost the lawsuit after the Prince claimed diplomatic immunity.
10. A German landlord once evicted a tenant without notice for pouring Surstromming in the stairwells of the building. When sued over the eviction, he won the case by opening a can of surstromming in the court, convincing the court that the smell of the fish brine was too much to tolerate.
11John Fogerty Lawsuit
In 1985, John Fogarty was sued by Fantasy Records for copyright infringement because his song (the 1984 hit “The Old Man Down The Road”) sounded too much like CCR’s 1970’s hit “Run Through The Jungle”, a song that Fogarty wrote and produced. The case cost him $1.1 million in legal fees. He pushed it to the Supreme Court to fight the double standard of defendants not being awarded the fees and won, setting a precedent that defends artists from corporate sabotage.
12. Jackie Coogan was a child actor in the silent film era who earned millions of dollars, only to find out in his 20s that his parents spent it all on jewelry and cars. He sued and the litigation resulted in the passage of the Coogan Act, which protects child actors.
13. In the early 2000s, an entrepreneur named Ken Belanger sued Microsoft for illegal use of his “Pocket PC” trademark. Ken’s “Pocket PC” was a 1985-made plastic coin with 0 and 1 engraved on its front and back.
14. A Jehovah’s Witness was temporarily incapacitated following a car accident. Her doctor transfused her with blood which saved her life, despite knowing she had signed a card requesting this not be done. Following her recovery, she successfully sued the doctor for battery.
15. A man being arrested on the show “COPS” for prostitution charges threatened suing the show if his Chihuahua’s face wasn’t blurred. The man claimed that he did not sign a release for the dog who is an actor with an agent.
16The Goldwater Rule
“The Goldwater Rule” forbids psychiatrists from offering opinions on somebody they haven’t interviewed. It was created in response to Barry Goldwater suing Fact Magazine for $75,000 after they published “1189 Psychiatrists Think Goldwater is Psychologically Unfit to be President” in 1964.
17. A man who was napping under a tree and had his skull crushed by a 16-pound pinecone sued various governmental agencies in 2015 for $5 million due to the lack of warning signs.
18. In 2012, a man donated his kidney in order to save his younger sister but his efforts ended in vain when a nurse mistakenly disposed of the donated organ. Despite the success of the kidney transplant 3 months later, the family sued the hospital for their negligence.
19. In 1981, Disneyland was sued by the family of a 9-year-old girl, claiming that a performer in a Winnie the Pooh suit had hit her in the face, causing brain damage. The performer defended himself in court by wearing the costume and demonstrating that he was unable to hit anyone.
20. A couple sued AC/DC in 1981 for $250,000 because their telephone number in the song “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” resulted in hundreds of prank calls.
21Mt. Dew Lawsuit
In 2009, a man sued Pepsi after finding a dead mouse in his Mt. Dew. They responded by saying that if the mouse had been in the soda since its bottling, it would have dissolved.
22. In 1986, a woman who sought psychiatric help discovered memories of being in a satanic cult where she was forcibly raped, had to eat babies and as a consequence developed 120 different personalities to cope. The memories were later found to be false and the therapist was sued.
23. Ashley Madison, a dating website for married people who want to cheat on their spouses, was sued for $21 million by a former employee who says she damaged her wrists while typing up hundreds of fake profiles of women.
24. In 2011, a woman in France sued her husband and won $15,000 for not giving her enough sex during their marriage.
25. When a Holocaust denial group offered $50,000 dollars to “prove that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz,” a camp survivor, Mel Mermelstein sent them definitive proof. When they refused to pay, he sued them and he was given $90,000 when the court noted, “It is simply a fact.”