Legal Follies: 16 Silly Lawsuits That Actually Happened

1Madalyn O'Hair

Madalyn 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.

2Yogi Berra

Yogi 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.

3Hollister store chain

Hollister 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.

5Anthony Beninati

Anthony 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.

6L. Pearson Jr.

L. 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.

7Robert De Niro

Robert 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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8Juraj Herz

Juraj Herz

Slovak filmmaker Juraj Herz wanted to sue Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List but he couldn't come up with the money to fund it. According to him, the scene where a group of women confuses a shower for a gas chamber was taken directly from his own The Night Overtake Me (1986) shot for shot.

9Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

In 1998, a group of cattle ranchers sued Oprah Winfrey after she made disparaging comments about beef. About 13 states in USA have food libel laws which allow companies to sue people who speak badly about their food.

10Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

American actress Lindsay Lohan attempted to sue Rockstar Games stating the character Lacey Jones in GTA 5 was based on her.

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