Silly lawsuits cost money to defend

If you or your company get named in a lawsuit you are going to have legal costs. Do you have insurance to help pay for the costs of the lawyers to defend you in court?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform has released the results of its annual poll of the most ridiculous lawsuits for 2010. This is done by The Institute for Legal Reform as part of the campaign to create awareness of the impact of abusive lawsuits on small businesses, communities, and individuals.

The waste in cost and time is not something to be taken lightly, especially if you have to pay your legal costs for defense out of pocket.

Some of the cases that are included in this list are outlined below:

Lauren Rosenberg vs Google for negligence

After being hit by a vehicle on a four-lane street in Park City, Utah Rosenberg sued Google for negligence. She alleged that she downloaded walking directions to her destination from Google Maps and the online source failed to tell her she would be traversing a busy roadway.

Is it reasonable that you follow directions without the normal regard for your own safety in crossing a four-lane highway?

Lindsay Lohan vs E-Trade for defamation

Lindsay Lohan filed a $100 million lawsuit against financial services company E-Trade for alleged defamation. This lawsuit alleged in part that a commercial with babies who play the stock market featured one baby boy apologizing to his girlfriend for not calling her the night before. The baby girl accuses him of of having “that milkaholic Lindsay” over instead.

Lohan claimed that she enjoys single name recognition, and that the commercial unfairly traded off her established celebrity. E-Trade's defense is that it was simply using a popular baby name; the case was settled within a few months.

Emily Braxton vs Chrleston physicians, Orpah Winfrey, Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush

Baxton alleged that they surgically implanted a camera with wire sensors into her “with the intent of reincarnation.” She also alleges that the defendants are monitoring her 24 hours a day.

Michelle (formerly Robert) Koilek vs Massachusetts Department of Corrections for payment of a sex-change operation

This transgendered murderer Michelle (formerly Robert) Kosilek filed suit in federal court in Boston against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. Kosilek was convicted of killing his wife.

While in prison in 1993 he legally changed his name to Michelle and began taking hormone treatments. He has sued the state twice seeking a sex-change operation at taxpayer expense. His 2010 lawsuit asks for state-funded electrolysis hair-removal treatments since having facial hair is “intensely personally stressful” for Kosilek.

Craig Clark Snow vs Idaho Police Department destruction of mystical powers

Craig Clark Snow of Portland, Oregon man claims that when Idaho police arrested him for drunk driving, they opened a “medicine bag” that had been blessed by a “medicine woman” and closed since 1995.

Snow alleges that the act by the policeman destroyed the “mystical powers” of the bag, which had provided Snow with protection. Apparently Snow's blood alcohollevel was 0.16. 0.16.

Elliot Miller vs Michael Steadman for defamation

After purchasing a time clock for $44 off eBay that was not satisfactory Steadman proceed to post remarks about the seller. He warned other buyers that "emiller 1313" was a "bad seller" and said he had "the ethics of a used car salesman".

The seller is a lawyer who turned around and sued Steadman for ruining his 100% customer approval level and for damaging his "commercial reputation". At time of publication Steadman who owns a welding shop, has spent over $7,000 in legal costs. Be careful about what you say in the "feedback" section of eBay.

Arturo Carvaial vs Hillstone Restaurant Group for negligence

Dr. Arturo Carbaial, family medicine specialist has sued the restaurant group for failing to instruct him on the proper method of eating an artichoke. Apparently he ate the entire thing, including theouter leaves and ended up in the hospital with severe abdoninal pain.

Teen-age would-be suicide sues accident victims' family

A Kalispell, Montana teen-aged girl attempted to commit suicide by driving her car into oncoming traffic. The resulting crash killed 35 year-old wife and mother Erin Thompson, her unborn child, and her 13 year-old son.

The would-be suicide is charged with homicide and then sues the victims’ surviving family members, claiming the accident was actually Thompson’s fault. This is an accident where the teenage girl crossed the center line at 85 mph.

Ann Knopf, child molester vs the victim's parents

Ann Knopf from Prescott, was a Wisconsin substitute teacher and convicted child molester. She sued the parents of the 13 year-old boy she had repeatedly assaulted over five months. She alleged that the parents contributed to the abuse by failing to do enough to stop her.

In what became as an "Alice In Wonderland" allegation, The Wisconsin Court of Appeals shut down her “up is down, black is white” lawsuit, ruling that “we will not follow down the rabbit hole and open the door for a child molester to sue the victim’s parents for their failure to lock their child away or for their ineffectiveness in trying to stop the child from being sexually abused.”

Micheal Dupree vs citizens assisting in arrest

Michael Dupree of St. Petersburg, Florida is serving a 12-year prison sentence for burglary. He is suing he three men who caught and subdued him until police arrived at the scene.

Dupree's lawsuit alleges that the rough citizens arrest hurt him, resulting in “permanent disabilities and psychological disorders;” he wants $500,000 plus punitive damages.

Does your insurance cover legal defense for frivolous lawsuits? As your agent or broker. Take control of your insurance.