Weird and wonderful lawsuits

Elliott Special Risks is an insurance company that often will write policy for the more unusual-type of insurance needs. This can include everything from construction wrap-up for a very large project to environmental pollution coverage. We reprint herewith some unusual claims that they have reported.

  • While following Google Maps' directions on her smartphone, a Utah woman crossed a four-lane street and was struck by a car. She's suing Google for more than $100,000 in damages, claiming that the instructions took her on a route that was not safe for pedestrians. A Google spokesperson pointed out that all its maps' pedestrian instructions carried a disclaimer stating that the routes might be missing sidewalks or other suitable walking paths.

  • A New York man visiting Las Vegas paid an "escort" for an hour of her time and gave her an additional $120 to perform an illegal sex act. She left after only 30 minutes, so he's suing her for nearly $2 million in damages, claiming he needs mental treatment for a condition he developed because of the incident.

  • Employees at a Duane Reade pharmacy warehouse in New York City allege that they were filmed in the washrooms by secret cameras hidden in air vents. The firm has denied the claims, but the complainants have launched a $110-million lawsuit.

  • A Pennsylvania woman was walking through a mall with her face down as she texted on her phone. Her foot clipped the edge of a fountain and she fell into the water, so she's suing the mall for an undisclosed amount. Because the fountain had no railing, she might actually have a case.

  • A Brooklyn man discovered that many of the gorgeous women he found on the dating website were cancelled subscribers or had never been members. He said he was humiliated and disappointed when he sent e-mails and notifications to these women. He filed a class action suit worth more than $5 million on behalf of those "who feel rejected when their e-mails get no reply."