Category:
Lawsuits

April 29, 2016

Cable Car Nymphomaniac

In my latest article over at About.com, I tell the story of the 1970 Cable Car Nymphomaniac lawsuit — which is still one of the most infamous legal cases in SF's history (and was recently made into a musical).

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 29, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Lawsuits, 1970's

April 15, 2016

Controlled by Pineapple Soda

1947: Once Minerva Elagan had accepted a pineapple soda from Rev James Chambers (Chalmers?), she was under his influence forever.

The Daily Standard (Sikeston, Missouri) - Oct 17, 1947



The Cincinnati Enquirer - Sep 18, 1947

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 15, 2016 - Comments (13)
Category: Lawsuits, 1940's

March 29, 2016

Square Donuts

The Square Donuts company of Terre Haute, Indiana has been making square donuts for 50 years, and they've trademarked the name. Eleven years ago, the Family Express convenience store also began making donuts that are square, and selling them as "square donuts." The Square Donuts company recently noticed what they were doing. Therefore, lawyers are now involved.

Square Donuts demands that Family Express stop selling those square donuts. Family Express insists that "square donuts" is too generic a concept to trademark.

I wonder if anyone has trademarked Triangular Donuts or Polyhedral Donuts? A business opportunity perhaps?

More Info: CBS Chicago

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 29, 2016 - Comments (11)
Category: Business, Food, Junk Food, Lawsuits

January 24, 2016

June’s Creation

A month ago I posted about the rice recipe that caused a woman to have a nervous breakdown.

Summary: In 1989, Bobbie June Griggs submitted her rice recipe to South Carolina Electric & Gas's annual rice cookoff. She didn't win, but they published her recipe in their cookbook anyway. So she sued them, claiming its publication had caused her to have a nervous breakdown. For good measure, her husband sued also claiming "loss of consortium." The case almost made it to the Supreme Court, but they decided not to hear it, thereby letting the previous decisions stand. Those decisions were that: a) you can't copyright a single recipe, and b) "copyright law does not cover infliction of emotional distress." So Bobbie June Griggs was out of luck.

A few of you asked, what was the recipe? Thanks to the magic of interlibrary loan, I finally managed to obtain a copy of it, courtesy of the Charleston County Library, which sent me a photocopy of it free of charge. So here it is — the rice recipe that caused a woman to have a nervous breakdown.

I haven't made it yet, but I plan to try it out sometime in the near future. If any of you make it, let us know how it is, and post a picture of it.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 24, 2016 - Comments (11)
Category: Food, Lawsuits, 1990's

January 5, 2016

Tricycle operator deemed reckless

It'd be interesting to know what the ruling was in this case, but I haven't been able to find any follow-up articles. The answer is probably hidden somewhere in a court archive.

The story reminds me of that more recent case of the aunt who claimed that her 8-year-old nephew's "exuberant hug" broke her wrist, so she sued him for $127,000 in damages. (Yeah, I know, she had to sue for insurance reasons. Perhaps this 1961 case had a similar motive.)

The Daily Capital News (Jefferson City, Missouri) — Jan 27, 1961



Tricycle Operator Said Too Reckless
STEPHENVILLE, Tex. (AP) — Eddie Jones, 3, was described as "a reckless and incompetent tricycle operator" in a $50,000 damage suit in district court Tuesday.
The petition, filed by Homer Wolfe against Eddie's father, Ed Jones, alleges that Wolfe's wife, Bertha, was employed as a maid in Jones' home when she was struck by a tricycle last Aug. 26. The petition alleges she suffered extensive injuries and mental anguish.
"Little Eddie, who was on his tricycle, gathered a full head of steam and without a warning yell of any nature propelled his tricycle with great force into the body of Bertha Wolfe while her back was turned," the petition charged.
The plaintiff contends that the senior Jones knew that his son "was a reckless and incompetent operator of the tricycle."

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 05, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Lawsuits, 1960's

December 18, 2015

Rice recipe caused nervous breakdown

1992: Bobbie June Griggs sued South Carolina Electric & Gas, claiming that its publication of her rice recipe caused her to suffer a nervous breakdown. Her husband also brought an action for "loss of consortium."

Griggs had entered her rice recipe in the utility's Third Annual Rice Cookoff in 1989. She wasn't picked as a finalist, but the utility nevertheless included her recipe in the cookoff cookbook (Rice, a lowcountry tradition: the official cookbook for the Third Annual South Carolina Rice Cookoff). This is what triggered the nervous breakdown.

The state court dismissed her case, noting that it was really a copyright case and thus belonged in the federal courts. In 1995, the state supreme court affirmed this decision (although one justice dissented). And it seems that Griggs tried to take her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, because the AP reported in April 1996 that the Supreme Court also refused to hear her case, noting that "copyright law does not cover infliction of emotional distress" and also that you can't copyright a single recipe.

Her recipe, which she said she spent 10 years developing, involved canned tomatoes, meatballs, onions and bell peppers on a bed of rice. She called it "June's Creation."

Spartanburg Herald-Journal - Apr 23, 1996

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 18, 2015 - Comments (10)
Category: Food, Lawsuits, 1990's

December 13, 2015

Swimsuit became transparent when wet

Mrs. Muncy of Redondo Beach was shocked and humiliated when her white swimsuit got wet and showed everything. So she sued the maker of the suit for $10,000.

Unfortunately I can't find any record of the outcome of her lawsuit.

That info is probably available somewhere in the archives of the L.A. County Superior Court, but their archives aren't searchable online. It's too bad that courts, for the most part, don't make any effort to put their archives online. It would be a gold mine for the history of weird news if they did.

Freeport Journal Standard - Nov 19, 1953



LA Times - Nov 19, 1953

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 13, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Lawsuits, 1950's

October 13, 2015

Kurvon Breast Enhancement Pills

image
image

[Click to enlarge--ha!]

There's a great story behind this pill, wherein an ex-employee tried to rip off the formula and sell it as "Charm-on." Read it here.

Did you know breast-boosting pills are still for sale?

Original ad scanned from this magazine:

image

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 13, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Body Modifications, Lawsuits, 1950's

March 22, 2015

Nagging as divorce cause

The 1947 case of DeWaal vs. DeWaal established nagging as legitimate grounds for divorce (in Nebraska). I assume this was before the availability of no-fault divorce. (A quick google search reveals that Nebraska only adopted a no-fault divorce law in 1972.)

Note that Mrs. DeWaal argued that her husband was at fault (and not herself) because he went to motion picture theaters and read "sensational magazines."


(left) The Harrisburg Evening News - Oct 28, 1947; (right) The Lincoln Star - Oct 24, 1947

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 22, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Law, Lawsuits, Husbands, Wives, 1940's

February 11, 2015

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 - Wed Feb 11, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace, Lawsuits, 1960's

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >
Custom Search





Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


weird universe thumbnail

Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
May 2016 • April 2016 • March 2016 • February 2016 • January 2016

December 2015 • November 2015 • October 2015 • September 2015 • August 2015 • July 2015 • June 2015 • May 2015 • April 2015 • March 2015 • February 2015 • January 2015

December 2014 • November 2014 • October 2014 • September 2014 • August 2014 • July 2014 • June 2014 • May 2014 • April 2014 • March 2014 • February 2014 • January 2014

December 2013 • November 2013 • October 2013 • September 2013 • August 2013 • July 2013 • June 2013 • May 2013 • April 2013 • March 2013 • February 2013 • January 2013

December 2012 • November 2012 • October 2012 • September 2012 • August 2012 • July 2012 • June 2012 • May 2012 • April 2012 • March 2012 • February 2012 • January 2012

December 2011 • November 2011 • October 2011 • September 2011 • August 2011 • July 2011 • June 2011 • May 2011 • April 2011 • March 2011 • February 2011 • January 2011

December 2010 • November 2010 • October 2010 • September 2010 • August 2010 • July 2010 • June 2010 • May 2010 • April 2010 • March 2010 • February 2010 • January 2010

December 2009 • November 2009 • October 2009 • September 2009 • August 2009 • July 2009 • June 2009 • May 2009 • April 2009 • March 2009 • February 2009 • January 2009

December 2008 • November 2008 • October 2008 • September 2008 • August 2008 • July 2008 • 

Weird Universe Categories
1900's - 1910's - 1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's - 1960's - 1970's - 1980's - 1990's - 2000's - 2010's - Accidents - Actors - Addictions - Advertising - Africa - Agriculture - AI, Robots and Other Automatons - Air Travel and Airlines - Alcohol - Alex - Aliens - Amateurs and Fans - Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity - Animals - Anniversary - Annoying Things - Anthropology - Anthropomorphism - Antiques, Anachronisms and Throwbacks - Appliances - Archaeology - Architecture - Armageddon and Apocalypses - Armed Forces - Art - Asia - Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters - Australia - Authorities and Experts - Avant Garde - Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests - Babies - Babies and Toddlers - Backyard BBQ - Bacon - Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses - Bathrooms - Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods - Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues - Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles - Billboards - Birth Control - Blood - Boats - Body - Body Fluids - Body Modifications - Body Painting - Bodybuilding - Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers - Bombast, Bloviation and Pretentiousness - Books - Boredom - Brain - Brain Damage - Buildings and Other Structures - Bums, Hobos, Tramps, Beggars, Panhandlers and Other Streetpeople - Bus - Business - Busybodies, Snoops and Kibitzers - Butt - Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults - Can't Possibly Be True - Candy - Cannibalism - Caribbean - Cars - Cartoons - Cats - Celebrities - Censorship, Bluenoses, Taboos, Prohibitions and Other Cultural No-No's - Central America - Centuries - Ceremonies - Certificates, Diplomas, and Other Testaments of Achievement - Charities and Philanthropy - Charity - Child Prodigies - Children - Chindogu - Chocolate - Chuck - Civic Duties - Clowns - Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations - Coffee and other Legal Stimulants - Collectors - Comedians - Comics - Comments - Communications - Computers - Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension - Conspiracy Theories and Theorists - Contest - Contests, Races and Other Competitions - Conventions - Cops - Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings - Corrections - Cosmetics - Costumes and Masks - Couples - Crafts - Crime - Criticism and Reviews - Crossovers and Mashups - Crowds, Groups, Mobs and Other Mass Movements - Cryptozoology - Cult Figures and Artifacts - Culture and Civilization - Curmudgeons and Contrarianism - Curses - Curses, Slurs, Insults, Vituperation, Libel and Slander - Customs - Dance - Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers - Death - Decades - Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination - Design and Designers - Destruction - Detectives, Private Eyes and Other Investigators - Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers - Dieting and Weight Loss - Differently Abled, Handicapped, Challenged, and Otherwise Atypical - Dinners, Banquets, Parties, Tributes, Roasts and Other Celebrations - Dinosaurs and Other Antediluvian Creatures - Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Creatures - Diplomacy and Foreign Relations - Disabilities - Disasters - Disease - Diseases - Disguises, Impersonations, Mimics and Forgeries - Dismemberment - Divorce - Documentaries - Dogs - Domestic - Double Entendres and Nudge-Nudge, Wink-Wink - Dreams and Nightmares - Drones - Drugs - Eating - Eccentrics - Education - Eighteenth Century - Elderly - Elderly and Seniors - Emigrants, Immigrants and Borders - Emotions - Engineering and Construction - Enlargements, Miniatures, and Other Matters of Scale - Entertainment - Environmentalism and Ecology - Ethics and Morals - Ethnic Groupings - Etiquette and Formal Behavior - Europe - Evil - Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough - Excrement - Exercise and Fitness - Experiments - Experts and Authority Figures - Exploitation and Grindhouse - Explosives - Eyes and Vision - Face and Facial Expressions - Facial Hair - Fads - Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts - Family - Fantasy - Farming - Fashion - Feet - Feminism - Fetishes - Fey, Twee, Whimsical, Naive and Sadsack - Fictional Monsters - Fireworks and Pyrotechnics - Fish - Flags - Flatulence - Flight - Food - Foreign Customs - Forteana - Frauds, Cons and Scams - Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature - Freebies, Come-ons and Loss Leaders - Furniture - Futurism - Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance - Games - Garbage, Trash, Waste and Other Detritus - Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters - Gender - Gender-bending - Genitals - Geography and Maps - Giant People in Ads - Gods - Goofs and Screw-ups - Goths - Government - Graffiti - Graphics - Guess the Scientist - Guns - Hair and Hairstyling - Hair Styling - Head - Headgear - Headlines - Health - Hermits - Highways, Roads, Streets and Traffic - Hillbillies, Country Bumpkins, Ruralism and Flyover Country - Historical Figure - History - Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators - Hobbies and DIY - Holidays - Hollywood - Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings - Horror - Horticulture and Gardens - Hospitals - Hotels - Human Marvels - Humor - Hunting, Trapping and Other Wilderness Activities - Husbands - Hygiene - Imitations, Forgeries, Rip-offs and Faux - India - Industry, Factories and Manufacturing - Inebriation and Intoxicants - Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art - Infantilism - Injuries - Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages - Insects - Insurance - Intelligence - Interior Decorating - Internet - Inventions - Jabberwocky, Scat Singing, Nonsense Verse and Glossolalia - Jewelry - Jobs and Occupations - Johnson Smith Catalog - Jokes - Journalism - Judges - Junk Food - Juvenile Delinquency - Kitsch and Collectibles - Landmarks - Landscaping - Languages - Law - Lawsuits - LGBT - Libraries - Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating - Literature - Little People - Love & Romance - Love and Romance - Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains - Magazines - Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand - Marriage - Martial Arts - Mass Transit - Medicine - Men - Mental Health and Insanity - Middle East - Midwest Divisions Friday Feast - Military - Mining - Misbehavior, Rebellion, Acting-out and General Naughtiness - Mistranslations - Money - Monuments - Moral Panics and Public Hysteria - More Things To Worry About - Motor Vehicles - Motorcycles - Movies - Museums - Music - Myths and Fairytales - Name That List - Native Americans - Natural Resources - Natural Wonders - Nature - Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust - New Age - New Zealand - Newspapers - NGOs - Nineteenth Century - Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace - North America - Not Clear On The Concept - Nudism - Nutrition - Obesity - Obituaries - Obscenity - Obsessions - Oceans and Maritime Pursuits - Odd Names - Officials - Opera - Outrageous Excess - Outsider Art - Overpriced Merchandise - Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise - Parades and Festivals - Paradoxes, Enigmas and Other Conundrums - Paranormal - Parents - Parody - Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil - Patriotism - Paul - Performance Art - Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents - Perfume and Other Scents - Pests, Plagues and Infestations - Pets - Philosophy - Photography and Photographers - Pirates - Poetry - Police and Other Law Enforcement - Political Correctness - Politics - Pop Art - Pop Culture - Postal Services - Posters - Power Generation - Pranks - Pranks and Revenge - Predictions - Pregnancy - Prisons - Products - Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing - PSA's - Psychedelic - Psychology - Public Humiliation - Public Indecency - Public Utilities - Publicity Stunts - Puns and Other Wordplay - Puppets and Automatons - Quizzes - Racism - Radio - Rants, Warnings, Jeremiads, Prophecies and Cassandra-like Figures - Reader Recommendation - Real Estate - Really Bad Ideas - Recreation - Recurring - Reformers, Do-gooders, Agitators and SJWs - Regionalism - Regulations - Religion - Restaurants - Retail Establishments - Retailing - Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience - Rituals and Superstitions - Robots - Roleplayers and Re-enactors - Romances - Royalty - Rube Goldberg Devices - Russia - Sadness - Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny - Scary Criminals - Scatology - Scholarship - School - Science - Science Fiction - Screams, Grunts and Other Exclamations - Screwups - Seasonal - Self-help Schemes - Seventeenth Century - Sex - Sex Lives Worse Than Yours - Sex Symbols - Sex Toys - Sexuality - Shoes - Shopping - ShowBiz - Sightseeing - Signage - Sixteenth Century - Skin and Skin Conditions - Skulls, Bones and Skeletons - Slang - Slavery, Bondage and Indenture - Sleaze and Sleazeballs - Sleep and Dreams - Smoking and Tobacco - Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages - South America - South Pacific - South Pacific and Polynesia - Space Travel - Space-age Bachelor Pad & Exotic - Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy - Spies and Intelligence Services - Spies and Secret Agents - Spies and Secret Agents - Sports - Stamps - Statues, Monuments and Memorials - Stereotypes and Cliches - Stomach - Stop-motion Animation - Strange Candidates - Strange Websites - Stupid Criminals - Stupidity - Subcultures - Subways - Success & Failure - Suicide - Superheroes - Superstition - Surgery - Surrealism - Swears - Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving - Synchronicity - Synchronicity and Coincidence - Tattoos - Taxidermy - Technology - Teenagers - Teeth - Telephones - Television - Terrorism and Terrorists - Testing and Ranking - Theater and Stage - Time-travel - Tobacco and Smoking - Tools - Torture - Tourists and Tourism - Toys - Tradesmen, Manual Laborers, and Skilled Workers - Tragedy and Pathos - Trains - Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails - Transportation - Travel - Trucks - TV News - Twentieth Century - Twenty-first Century - Twins, Lookalikes & Doppelgangers - Underwear - Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia - Unsolved Mysteries - Urban Life - Utilities - Utilities and Power Generation - Utopias and Dystopias - Vaudeville - Vegetables - Vegetarians and Vegans - Video - Videogames - Videogames and Gamers - Vigilante Justice - Violence - War - Weapons - Weather - Weddings - Weddings and Marriage - Weird Names - Weird Studies and Guides - Weird Theory - Weird Universe - Wild West and US Frontier - Wimps, Milquetoasts and Cowards - Wives - Women - Work and Vocational Training - World - World Records - Wrestling - Writers - Yesterday's Tomorrows - Your Daily Jury Duty - Your Daily Loser




This page has been viewed 42934685 times.