Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly #10-4

Published February 21, 2011

Kevin Underhill at recounted several “tales of love and the law” in celebration of this past Valentine’s Day. Here are a few samples:

  • A man called 1-800-Flowers to order a dozen roses for his sweetheart on Valentine’s Day with a card saying: “Just wanted to say I love you; you mean the world to me.” The teleflorist sent a thank-you note to the man’s house, where his wife read it. The problem was she didn’t get the roses or the card. He’s suing the teleflorist to recover the extra million dollars he says his divorce is costing him.
  • An Australian man forged his divorce papers and married a second wife. Where he went wrong was in sending the wedding photo to the local newspaper. Wife #1 saw it and called the police. The man was fined $1,800 for bigamy, perjury, and forgery. A six-month jail term was suspended.
  • A South Korean man broke up with his girlfriend and tried to get her to repay what he spent dating her, 1,000,000 in the Korean won, about US $900.00. When she didn’t pay up, he sued her, but the judge tossed the case out of court.

For more lovelorn lawsuits, visit

Source: Kevin Underhill, “Happy Valentine’s Day?”, February 14, 2011.

End Game

The lawyer for a thief in the U.K. made a pitch for sympathy from the judge, telling him a police dog took a bite out of his client’s rear end as he tried to escape, but it didn’t work.

The thief was trying to steal a bronze statue from a park in Bristol, England, worth £3,000 (about US $4,900.00). Passersby called the police and the thief ran away, but police unleashed Zak. “The dog followed the scent to a nearby courtyard where the defendant was hiding,” said the prosecutor. “Zak detained him by biting his left buttock.”

The thief had been in court 19 times in the past on 45 charges, but his lawyer submitted letters attesting to the man’s good character. “My client has gained nothing from this [latest] offence save perhaps a bite from police dog Zak,” the lawyer told the court.

“Good,” the judge said. “I hope it hurt. Well done, Zak.” The judge sentenced the thief to nine months in jail.

Source: “Judge tells burglar bitten by police dog: ‘Good, I hope it hurt,'” U.K. Telegraph, February 17, 2011

Sandwich Shock

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has settled his $150,000 lawsuit against the congressional cafeteria over a tooth he injured when he bit into a vegetarian sandwich wrap containing an olive pit. He claimed the pain was “excruciating,” according to the Los Angeles Times, and he couldn’t chew his food properly. He appeared on Fox News a few days later, though.

His suit alleged the wrap was “unwholesome and unfit for human consumption” and sought recovery of dental expenses and damages for pain and suffering. The settlement amount was undisclosed.

Source: Sabrina Eaton, “Rep. Dennis Kucinich sues cafeteria over olive pit in sandwich,” The Plain Dealer, January 26, 2011; Andrew Malcolm, “Rep. Dennis Kucinich details his recent dental work,” Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2011

Shrink Rap

Several women claiming they were held captive in a room with a naked man as part of the “Dr. Phil” show can proceed with their case, a California appellate court ruled recently.

The women, who said they expected to receive counseling from Dr. Phil, instead were put in an enclosed “Dr. Phil House” onstage and filmed for a show. Their cell phones and laptops were confiscated. On the third night, Dr. Phil announced to them, “Here’s your dinner guest,” and a naked man then appeared at the door.

The women are suing for false imprisonment, fraud, misrepresentation, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and infliction of emotional distress.

Source: Hollywood Reporter, “Women Allegedly Held Captive with Naked Man on ‘Dr. Phil’ Win at Appeals Court,” January 10, 2011

Wonder What Kind of Hospital it Was …

Hip hopper P Diddy is being sued by a woman who claims to be his former girlfriend and the mother of his son. She wants $900 billion in child support and $100 billion in lost income.

In addition, she claims he’s responsible for the collapse of the World Trade Center, knocked her children down, date-raped her, and otherwise abused her. She also claims he has “the chip” for money she won at a casino in Mississippi, worth “zillions of dollars”–and also took her hospital key.

Source: “Exclusive Documents: Woman Blames P Diddy For World Trade Center Collapse–Demands $100 Billion Loss Of Income,”, January 27, 2011

Tangled Logic

A Kansas man terrified of using his seat belt because he fears being trapped in a burning vehicle thought he found a surefire way to avoid mandatory seat-belt laws.

He read up on the Kansas law, which provides every occupant of a car “shall have a safety belt properly fastened about such person’s body at all times when the passenger car is in motion.” As he read it, this law requires the wearing of a seat belt, but nothing requires the seat belt be attached to the car. So he fastened the belt around his waist, kind of like an ordinary belt.

Police ticketed him anyway, and the judge convicted him.

Source: “TIP: To Avoid Seat-Belt Ticket, Seat Belt Must Be Attached to Car,” Kansas City Star, February 10, 2011

Cents of Honor

A retailer in New Jersey handed out coupons to its customers for $5.00 off a purchase of $50 or more, and a New Jersey housewife took advantage of one. She spent $106.82 on clothing and toys and received the discount.

But she returned $17.97 in children’s clothing. She received a full refund, minus the pro-rata discount of 80 cents she received through the coupon.

She’s now making a federal case out of allegedly being deprived of the “full benefit” of the coupon. Her father, a lawyer, has filed a case for her seeking $5 million in damages and also seeking class-action certification. Her complaint alleged the retailer was “unjustly enriched” by the alleged coupon fraud.

Source: Bruce Golding and Jeane MacIntosh, “NJ housewife suing Century 21 for $5M over 80 cents,” New York Post, February 17, 2011 via, a project of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform

Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly

Published by The Heartland Institute (312/377-4000), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1984.
Phone 312/377-4000, fax 312/377-5000
Back issues are available online at
Publisher: Joseph L. Bast
Author: Maureen Martin
Editors: S.T. Karnick, Diane Carol Bast

Information on lawsuit abuse can be found on these Web sites:

The Heartland Institute
19 South La Salle Street #903
Chicago, Illinois 60603