Dumbest Lawsuits of 2015

Here are the ten most ridiculous lawsuits of 2015 according to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

The Monkey and His Selfie

Closeup of brown macaque with green background
Image courtesy of [Arup Shah] / Getty Images.

A British photographer has been sued by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) over a "selfie" taken by a macaque, a type of monkey. The photographer had been photographing macaques in Indonesia and had decided to take a break. The macaques grabbed his unattended camera and began snapping pictures. One of them (named Naturo) took a selfie that became a hit. PETA has sued the photographer claiming that Naturo, not the photographer, is the legal owner of the photograph under U.S. copyright laws.

Foiled Bank Robber

Masked man pointing a gun
Image courtesy of [Cristian Baitg] / Getty Images.

A foiled bank robber has sued Snohomish County (in Washington state) over injuries he received while attempting to flee from a sheriff's deputy. The would-be robber pointed a gun at the deputy, who shot him twice. The man has filed a $6.3 million claim against the county, alleging that the deputy tried to execute him. He is currently serving a 17-year prison sentence for four bank robberies.

The Negligent Hugger

Woman hugging boy whose feet are in the air
Image courtesy of [Rebecca Nelson] / Getty Images.

Can a hug be performed negligently? According to a woman in New York, the answer is yes. The woman has filed a lawsuit against her nephew. She is seeking $127,000 for bodily injury she allegedly sustained at his eighth birthday party in 2011. She claims that the boy carelessly flung himself into her arms, causing her to fall and sustain a broken wrist.

It's Your Fault I Failed That Course Twice!

Distressed woman with head in hands over an open textbook
Image courtesy of [Seb Oliver] / Getty Images.

A nursing student has filed a lawsuit against Misericordia University in Pennsylvania after failing the same course twice. The student alleges that her anxiety and depression constituted a disability, which the university failed to accommodate.

$40 Million for Scratches?

Bundles of U.S. cash in various denominations
Image courtesy of [Don Farrall] / Getty Images.

Two New York women have sued a utility and a restaurant for physical and mental injuries they allegedly sustained in a gas explosion that occurred in March of 2015. The explosion and an ensuing fire destroyed several buildings, but caused only minimal damage to the building where the plaintiffs lived. Even so, the women are suing for $40 million. One claims she sustained "a few scratches" while visiting the blast site. The other says she requires therapy to cope with the traumatic event.


$88 Billion for a Bad Call in Football

Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers
Image courtesy of [Joe Robbins] / Getty Images.

An inmate in a Colorado prison has filed a suit for over $88 billion (yes, billion) against the National Football League. The suit stems from a ruling made by officials during a playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. The officials determined that a catch made by Dez Bryant (of the Cowboys) was incomplete. The inmate disagrees. His suit alleges that NFL officials acted negligently and breached their fiduciary duty. Why is the inmate suing for $88 billion? Mr. Bryant's jersey number is 88.

Woman Sues for Fall in her Own Doorway

Two packages on the doorstep of a home
Image courtesy of [Siri Stafford] / Getty Images.

A Florida woman has sued Federal Express for failing to notify her that a package had been placed near the doorway of her home. Apparently, the woman was exiting her home and didn't see the package. She tripped and fell. The woman is seeking compensatory damages for physical pain, mental anguish and humiliation.

Lawsuit in Exchange for Free Coffee

Police badge
Image courtesy of [Tetra Images] / Getty images.

A police officer in North Carolina sought $750,000 from Starbucks after the lid popped off a cup of coffee, which spilled on him. The officer claimed that the incident caused his Crohn's disease to act up. As a result, he needed surgery to remove a portion of his intestine. The jury did not buy the officer's argument, and he did not receive any damages.

The Case of the Flying Bread

Basket of rolls partially covered by a napkin
Image courtesy of [Tom Grill] Getty Images.

Lambert's Cafe in Missouri is known for its "throwed rolls." Servers at the restaurant have been tossing, rather than handing, rolls to patrons since 1981. The cafe advertises itself as "the only home of throwed rolls." Still, it seems that one patron failed to heed the warning. She has sued the restaurant for an injury she allegedly sustained when a flying roll hit her in the eye.

Coffee Fraud

Coffee spilled from paper cup
Image courtesy of [Jeffrey Coolidge] / Getty Images.

Finally, a California woman has been charged with insurance fraud and workers compensation fraud after faking an injury. The woman had sued McDonald's for $10,000, claiming that coffee she purchased at the restaurant had severely burned her right hand. Investigators learned that the woman had not received any medical treatment and that the photos of her alleged injury had come from the Internet.