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Category:
Lawsuits

Lionlike snorer sues wall-banger

Classic headline and story from The New York Times - Jan 21, 1964.

My favorite line: "Mr. Scheir's snores of gigantic proportions are an animalistic roar, lionlike, that vibrate the rooms. The very anticipation of their beginning at about 2:30 A.M. every day has shaken my client and his wife, deprived them of sleep, injured their health, and, in fact, constitute an assault upon their persons."

The case was subsequently resolved by the construction of a soundproof wall.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 11, 2015 | Comments (9)
Category: Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace, Lawsuits, 1960's

Who’s responsible?

Megan Campbell's parked car was hit by a van driven by a city worker, so now she wants the city to pay for the damages. Sounds reasonable. But Campbell was the city worker driving the van that hit her own car. The city is reviewing the incident. [twincities.com]

I'm pretty sure Chuck has posted about similar cases in the past. So perhaps this kind of thing is no longer weird?
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Oct 09, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Lawsuits, Cars

You got the right one, baby, uh-huh

In the early 1990s, Diet Pepsi ran a series of successful ads that featured Ray Charles and the slogan, "You got the right one, baby, uh-huh."


But not everyone liked the ads. Arthur Takeall claimed that Pepsi stole the slogan from him, saying he had used it in his ventriloquism act for years. He would choose an attractive woman in the audience and say, "You've Got The Right One" and his puppet would then say "Uh-huh."

Takeall sued Pepsi for $130 million, but his case was dismissed by the judge. However, in 1997 the Patent and Trademark Office ruled in his favor, deciding that he was entitled to the rights to the slogan, "You got the right one, baby, uh-huh." But as far as I know, it was a bit of a hollow victory since Pepsi never paid him any money.


Arthur Takeall and his puppet, Scooter

More about Takeall in the Baltimore Afro-American - May 3, 1997.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Aug 15, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Lawsuits, 1990's

Who owns the selfie?

1) Some monkey took a 'selfie' with a professional photographer's equipment.

2) Wikipedia used the image.

3) The photographer claimed copyright & brought a £10,000 suit.

Where do you stand on this? Who has the rights to the image?

Posted By: Expat47 | Date: Thu Aug 07, 2014 | Comments (12)
Category: Animals, Photography and Photographers, Lawsuits

Suicide Payoff

If you jump in front of a train, is it the train driver's fault if he doesn't stop in time to run you over? Maybe. Back in 1977, Milo Stephens tried to commit suicide in this way and later sued the New York City Transit Authority for running him over. The TA gave him a settlement payment of $650,000 rather than going to trial.

A Time magazine article (Jan 9, 1984) explains why the TA opted for the settlement rather than fighting it:

The new rules, known as comparative negligence, allow a jury to assess the percentage of fault on each side and apportion damages accordingly. This is what worried Richard Bernard, general counsel for the Transit Authority. Stephens' injuries, based on other recent jury awards, "would have justified a verdict of, say, $3.5 million," observes Bernard. If the jury then found that Stephens was only 75% responsible for the accident, the Transit Authority might have been liable for $875,000, plus the cost of going to trial, thus making a $650,000 settlement 'favorable from our point of view.'

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Aug 04, 2014 | Comments (11)
Category: Lawsuits, 1970's

Zulu Blowgun Free

image

Oh, just imagine the glorious lawsuit possibilities if this toy were offered today!

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jan 15, 2013 | Comments (7)
Category: Death, Stereotypes and Cliches, Toys, Lawsuits, 1920's, Africa

Election Laws Sixty Years Ago

Modern U.S. elections have their problems, but at least election laws aren't as blatantly racist as they were as late as the 1950s. For instance, in Oklahoma, in the 1950s, if you wanted to run for public office you first had to file a form with the state declaring what race you were. There were only two options. If you were of "African descent" you were "Negro." If you were anything else (Chinese, Australian aboriginal, etc.) you were "White." If you indicated you were "Negro," then this descriptive term was placed in parentheses after your name on the ballot. "Whites" were not similarly labeled.

A black Oklahoma City attorney, A.B. McDonald, filed suit against the State Election Board in 1954 alleging discrimination. The District Court dismissed his case, ruling that, "The placing of the word 'Negro' on a ballot after the name of a candidate is merely descriptive and properly serves to inform the electors of the fact that the candidate is of African descent."


The Supreme Court eventually overturned the District Court's ruling, deciding that the Oklahoma law was unconstitutional. As for A.B. McDonald, I haven't been able to find much information on his subsequent career. All I found was a short paragraph in Jet magazine (Mar 1959) indicating that he had some other problems in his life:
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Nov 05, 2012 | Comments (7)
Category: Politics, Racism, Judges, Lawsuits

Smells Like Harvey Comics

image image

Now that DreamWorks has acquired the rights to the Harvey Comics characters, surely they will zealously protect properties such as Little Dot and issue a lawsuit against such blatant ripoffs as Dot Perfume.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jul 29, 2012 | Comments (3)
Category: Lawsuits, Comics, Perfume and Other Scents

Procreation Conundrum

A lesbian* same-sex couple decided to procreate and there was an acceptable and willing male donor available. From this point on the whole thing fell apart, the FDA got involved, and now the prospective mom is filing suit against them for meddling where it is not wanted.

It seems that one can not, legally, artificially inseminate themselves even if/when they already own a turkey baster which, BTW, would have been a pretty good idea if the obvious method was really off the table. One needs, by law, to get the medical profession involved at the cost of about $2,000 a (no pun intended) shot.

Why Ms. Namewithheld chose this arduous route to motherhood is unknown to this reporter but you're more than welcome to read all about it by clicking here!

* Inhabitants of the Isle of Lesbos claim to be the only true Lesbians but that's another story. Read about that one here.
Posted By: Expat47 | Date: Fri Jul 13, 2012 | Comments (4)
Category: Lawsuits

A Little Light Weirdness – 9

Technology
First up, apologies if this post contains more typos than usual, I'm sending it from my new ultra-small netbook and I'm still getting used to its itty-bitty keyboard. Which brings me nicely to my first story. That according to a survey for satellite channel SKY-HD, British consumers waste £52 billion a year on hi-tech features they don't use. For example, half of the people polled did not know their high definition television also required a hi-def signal source such as a blu-ray player or HD satellite receiver – like the ones sold by SKY-HD perhaps (Telegraph).

And it's not just the the British, military officials in Russia recently discovered 100 front-line battletanks parked and forgotten by the side of the road near Yekaterinburg in the Urals. Locals say the tanks, which were unguarded and unlocked, have been there for several months and lack only ammunition and the all important starter keys (Reuters).

Someone who might have had a use for those tanks were guests at a wedding in New Delhi in India recently. The Hindu ceremony was somewhat marred when an elephant hired for the event went on a rampage after becoming aroused by the smell of a nearby female in heat. The amorous pachyderm then proceeded to crush 20 limousines, smash through a nearby mall and mount a truck before it could be tranquilised (Orange).

Also losing it this week was the man on the RyanAir flight who found he had won 10,000 euros on a scratchcard he bought on the budget flight from Poland to the UK. Furious that the airline had not seen fit to equip all their planes with the requisite amount of cash onboard, hence he could not be given his prize there and then as he demanded, the unnamed passenger ate the winning card rather than wait to claim it at his destination (BBC News).

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.