If there were a Cheapskate's Hall of Fame, the Chicago Board of Education would surely have to be in it. In 1994, after gym teacher Clarence Notree heroically saved a group of children from a gunman who had entered the school gym by shielding them with his body, the Board of Education informed him that he wasn't entitled to Workers Compensation for his injuries because saving children wasn't technically part of his job.
After a protracted legal battle, he did finally get a settlement of $13,447.
Ruling in what it called a "tragically bizarre" case, an appeals court found that the estate of a man killed by a train while crossing the Edgebrook Metra station tracks can be held liable after a part of his body sent airborne by the collision struck and injured a bystander.
In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch an inbound Metra train due to arrive in about five minutes when he was struck by a southbound Amtrak train traveling more than 70 mph.
A large portion of his body was thrown about 100 feet on to the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58, who was waiting to catch the 8:17 a.m. train to work. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.
Donald Drusky, of McKeesport, Pa. (which happens to be my mother’s hometown) specifically wanted God “to grant him the guitar-playing skills of famous guitarists, along with resurrecting his mother and his pet pigeon.”
Suing God, and perhaps even winning, would seem to be the easy part. Collecting payment is what’s hard.
In 1973, UC Davis fired Doris Judd from her job as a sandwich maker in the school's cafeteria, citing her "failure to spread mayonnaise to the edges of sandwich bread." Her supervisors also complained that she was slow putting sauerkraut on hot dogs, and had once made too many sloppy joes, which then had to be thrown out.
Judd subsequently sued the university for unlawful termination, arguing that the real reason she was fired was because the university was trying to save money by eliminating older workers. In the ensuing media coverage, she was nicknamed the "Mayonnaise Lady."
The judge agreed with her, remarking that the charges against her seemed "trivial" and ordered that she be rehired. Back on the job, she was assigned to work the grill, rather than sandwich duty. But apparently she didn't stay long, retiring soon after with the money from the settlement.
The philosophy of anti-natalism has been around for a while. It’s the belief that reproduction is bad because it involves bringing someone into this world without their consent and dooming them to potential suffering.
Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel (aka Nihil Anand) has now taken this one step further by claiming that he’s going to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent.
His mother's response: "I must admire my son's temerity to want to take his parents to court knowing both of us are lawyers. And if Raphael could come up with a rational explanation as to how we could have sought his consent to be born, I will accept my fault."
Of course, Samuel hasn't yet found a lawyer willing to take his case. And he fully anticipates that the case will promptly be thrown out. But he's plowing ahead nevertheless.
The plaintiff, Janine Sugawara, says shes bought the Cap’N'Crunch with crunchberries because she thought crunchberries were real fruit. She subsequently learned that the “berries” were actually nothing more than brightly colored cereal balls, and that the cereal contained no real fruit.
She sued on the grounds that the cereal advertised falsely. She reported that she was suing for herself, and every other consumer that had been “tricked” by the cereal company. According to the complaint, Sugawara and other consumers were misled not only by the use of the word “berries” in the name, but also by an image on the front of the box, which features the product’s namesake, Cap’N'Crunch, aggressively “thrusting a spoonful of ‘Crunchberries’ at the prospective buyer.” The plaintiff brought claims for fraud, breach of warranty, and the California Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
"The mere fact that you're holding up McDonald's with a gun doesn't mean you give up your right to be protected from somebody who wants to shoot you."
-Attorney for Timothy Ray Anderson who was shot by a security guard while robbing a McDonald's in 1991.
I'm curious to know what happened to Anderson's case, but haven't been able to find any follow-up about it.
During the gasoline shortage of 1979, New York state ordered a $7 minimum purchase of gas at stations, to stop people topping up. Frank Makara's tank would only hold $5.05 woth of gas, but he had to pay the full $7 minimum anyway. Outraged, he sued the BP station that charged him the $7, and took his suit all the way to the supreme court... which refused to hear the case. He ended up spending over $100 to try to recover $1.95.
According to the online inflation calculator I ran the numbers through, $1.95 in 1979 has the same purchasing power as $7.18 in 2017. So, even in today's money, not worth going to court over. Unless you're a stubborn old goat for whom the principle is worth more than the money spent on court fees.
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.