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Oct 19, 2012

In advance of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s annual summit, we’re taking a look back at some of the most ridiculous lawsuits of the year.

Haunted by Frivolity
It’s that time of year. The leaves are falling, nights are getting cooler, ghosts are forcing tenants out of rental agreements. A Toms River, NJ couple claims their rental house is haunted, and they’re suing their landlord for the security deposit. The landlord thinks that the couple was spooked by the rental fee and an other-worldly desire to break their lease.

The Price of Gas Really Is Skyrocketing!
Victoria Jean Church-Dellinger of White Lake, MI defaulted on lease payments for her 2008 Pontiac G6. The lender then repossessed her car. Simple enough? Not quite. The car still had half a tank of gas in it and her lost personal property—eight gallons of gas—is part of a class action lawsuit for $5 million. That’s quite a bit pricier than today’s $3.73 a gallon average.

From the Baseball Diamond, a Real Gem
Two years ago, eleven-year-old catcher Matthew Migliaccio’s errant throw teed off a spectator who was struck in the head. Elizabeth Lloyd, who said she was not hurt when asked, threw the Little Leaguer a real curveball when she sued him for more than $150,000 in damages and an undefined amount in pain and suffering. The swing-for-the-fences suit hasn’t been resolved.

This Lawsuit Has Teeth
Freedom of religion is one of America’s founding principles, but when you’re a vampire serving a life sentence in Texas, there are limits. Inmate Courtney Royal requested religious items, a spirit advisor, and a black Bible, among other things he requires to perform vampiric rituals for his practices of “West African Spiritualism and 18th Century Catholicism.” The self-proclaimed “Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest” lost his civil rights suit after two years in the courts.

Cheaters Never Prosper, But They May Profit
What would you do if your child cheated on a test? While most parents would opt for some kind of punishment, Jack Berghouse and his wife chose to sue the school district when their son was caught copying another student’s homework. The couple alleges their son’s due process rights were violated and that the school’s punishment for cheating is vague and contradictory. It’s important to know who to blame.

Which lawsuit do you find the most ridiculous? Share your thoughts in the comments below.