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Unread 05-26-2009, 10:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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World's Most Litigious Man Suing Guinness Book of World Records?

After hearing the Guinness Book of World Records planned to name him the most litigious man, one federal prisoner did what he does best -- he sued.

Jonathan Lee Riches' rambling lawsuit against the record-holding institution and several others is just the latest in his growing stash of outrageous court filings against everyone from New England Patriot's coach Bill Belichick to Martha Stewart.

But Riches is not alone in trying up the legal system. Sometimes the coffee is just too hot. Or the the dry cleaners lost a favorite pair of pants. Sometimes, like one Colorado inmate who hurt himself rappelling down a jail wall claimed, sheriff's officials made escaping a little too easy.

Hundreds of lawsuits are filed every day in the United States, for claims ranging from legitimate to ridiculous. A survey of 34 state court systems found 433,000 new tort cases in 2006, down from 547,000 in 1997, according to the National Center for State Courts.

A woman famously sued McDonald's in the early 1990s after she spilled scalding coffee on her legs. A jury awarded her more than $2 million, which was reduced by a judge. A Michael Jordan look-alike sued Nike and Jordan for $862 million because he found it distressing to be mistaken for the basketball star. He dropped his suit after a wave of negative news articles.

"When people bring suits they often sue for the moon," says Phillip Howard, chairman of Common Good, a legal reform coalition. "Some people will bring suits over any accident or perceived slight and the broad effect of that is that people in society go through the day looking over their shoulders."

Here are a few of the more controversial recent lawsuits.

Can Guinness Listing Cause 'Danger and Bodily Harm?'
As if finding out he was to be named the world's most litigious man by the Guinness Book of World Records wasn't bad enough, they got the tally wrong, according to federal prisoner Jonathan Lee Riches, who is now suing.

Imprisoned in Lexington, Ky., for wire fraud, Riches, aka Irving Picard, wrote in his handwritten document that he's actually filed more than 4,000 lawsuits in countless courts, not 5,500 as mentioned in a letter Riches said he got from Guinness congratulating him on his distinction.

Riches said in his lawsuit that he sent Guinness Book of World Records 10 letters declining the offer because the facts were wrong.

Now, naming Encyclopedia Britannica and the Library of Congress as two of more than a dozen co-defendants, Riches claimed he faces "iminent (sic) danger and bodily harm from the Defendant's (sic) who plan to publish me and about my life in their books without my authorization or consent."

Riches, whose above mugshot was provided to ABCNew.com by The SmokingGun, also details the injuries he's suffered as a result of his thousands of lawsuits, including "arthritis in my fingers, numbness in my wrists [and] crooked fingers."

While the federal Bureau of Prisons lists Riches potential release date as March 23, 2012, Riches wrote in his lawsuit that he could be released into a halfway house as early as next summer.

"And when I get out of prison I'm going to start a lawsuit 101 shop and teach Americans how to file prose lawsuits," he wrote before detailing his other plan to sell T-shirts with his likeness and the words "watch what you do or I'll sue you."

Hold The Pickles, or Else

Darius Dugger wanted his sandwich without onions, pickles and tomatoes.

Dugger is seeking $100,000 in damages after a Burger King franchise allegedly messed up his order, making him sick, according to the Virginian Pilot newspaper.

Dugger claims he suffered a "severe allergic reaction" to the condiments, costing him thousands of dollars in medical bills and forcing him to miss work.

His "specific request for the omission of onions, pickles and tomatoes had not been complied with," the lawsuit claims, the paper reported.

Lawyers for Dugger and the Burger King franchise did not return calls for comment.

A similar lawsuit against McDonald's was recently dismissed. Jeromy Jackson sued the fast food chain for $10 million after he said he had a severe allergic reaction to the cheese on his quarter pounder, according to the Charleston Gazette.

He claimed he was assured his burger wouldn't have any cheese. In a lawsuit filed in 2007, he alleged he "was only moments from death" by the time he reached the hospital.


Scalding Coffee Leads to Lawsuit

One of the most famous lawsuits, which became the poster child for those who advocate for reforms to lower jury verdicts, was a result of McDonald's coffee.

Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, N.M., was severely burned by the chain's coffee in February 1992. Her lawyer argued that the hot coffee was unreasonably dangerous.

Liebeck, then 79 years old, had set a cup between her legs while sitting in a parked car. She spent a week in the hospital, and then returned a month later for skin grafts to heal the second- and third-degree burns, according to the Legal Times.

A jury awarded Liebeck more than $2 million. The judge reduced the total award to about $640,000. The two sides settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

The $54 Million Pants

Former Washington, D.C., Administrative Judge Roy Pearson made headlines in 2007 when he sued a local dry cleaner, claiming it had lost a prized pair of pants he planned to wear on his first day on the bench in 2005. Pearson initially asked for $67 million but later reduced that to $54 million.

The bad blood between the customer and store dates back to 2002, when Pearson claimed a first pair of pants had disappeared from the dry cleaners. The owners of the dry cleaners, Jin and Soo Chung, gave Pearson a $150 check for a new pair of pants and Pearson was banned from the store, the Chungs' lawyer said.

Three years later, Pearson said he returned to Custom Cleaners and another pair of trousers went missing. It was May 2005 and Pearson was about to begin his new job as an administrative judge. He said in court filings he wanted to wear a nice outfit to his first day of work.

Pearson said he brought one pair of pants in for alterations and they disappeared gray trousers with what Pearson described in court papers as blue and red stripes on them. The dry cleaning bill was $10.50.

First, Pearson demanded $1,150 for a new suit. Lawyers were hired, legal wrangling ensued and eventually the Chungs offered Pearson $3,000 in compensation. Then they offered him $4,600. Finally, they offered $12,000 for the missing gray trousers with the red and blue stripes.

Citing the District of Columbia's consumer protection laws, Pearson said he was entitled to $1,500 per violation each day that the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service" signs were up in the store. It had been more than 1,200 days.

He multiplied each violation by three because he sued Jin and Soo Chung and their son. With an additional $1 million for emotional damages and more for legal fees, that brought Pearson to his original $67 million claim.

The trial proved nearly as dramatic and unusual as the plaintiff's claims. On the witness stand, Pearson broke down in tears while testifying about his experience with the missing trousers. Because he served as his own lawyer, Pearson wept during a question-and-answer session with himself.

In his opening statement, Pearson told the court, "Never before in recorded history have a group of defendants engaged in such misleading and unfair business practices."

D.C. radio station WTOP reported in March that the D.C. Court of Appeals denied Pearson's petition to re-hear the case.

World's Most Litigious Man Suing Guinness Book of World Records? - ABC News
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Unread 05-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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O... M... G...

These people are the stupidest of the stupidest!
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Unread 05-26-2009, 11:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ridiculous!

This thread should move to "Stupid and odd" news sub-forum. IMO


Its similar case over tabacoo...


Widow of chain-smoker awarded $8 million
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Unread 05-28-2009, 12:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My gawd, people are getting more insane each year!
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Unread 05-28-2009, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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****ing lawyers, bunch of wankers
now, a challenge for you women, trying marrying the prick and then divorce him see how rich you might end up being
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Unread 05-28-2009, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If someone files that many lawsuits, they've got way too much time on their hands and they need to be doing something more productive uh, like work at a regular job. Sounds to me like this guy is just looking for some fast money by filing any ridiculous claim he can come up with.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea, even some of stupid lawsuits against fast food joints for being fat. It's not their fault, it's their choice to overeat, basically.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, I am pretty sure we will see the day that lawsuits are 'capped off' in which there are certain things you cannot sue a company or person for, and there would be certain criteria to be met in order for a suit to be filed. This would protect the companies from ridiculous lawsuits as well as also offer protection for the consumer. You can still sue - but only in cases where the company clearly messed up and did not make things right or tried to hide the fact that the product or services they offered caused personal damage or injury to yourself and/or your property of over $500. Basically meaning the only reason you could ever sue McDonald's is if you ate a burger there and got salmonella poisoning and you were hospitalized for more than 24 hours and McDonald's refused to pay your medical bills and/or tried to cover up that they had a batch of burgers that were contaminated due to improper temperatures and/or improper food handling practices.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 09:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dixie, I sure hope there will be a law to prevent lawsuits for stupid reasons to protect both the consumer and the company. It has to be a GOOD reason to sue for something, you know?
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Unread 05-29-2009, 01:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lets sue anyone that made us deaf.
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Unread 05-29-2009, 07:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoS View Post
Lets sue anyone that made us deaf.
Well...In my case, "should of"!...But my mother didn't, and she passed before I could find out why.....then the doctor died....would not release my records.....it went round and round.

The doctor severed my nerves during surgery....so it's possible my mother signed saying she knew the dangers of the surgery so the doctor would not be sued for malpractice.....tooooo many years have passed since....Long story.....but never forgotten! Too much time has passed since.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 08:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockin'robin View Post
Well...In my case, "should of"!...But my mother didn't, and she passed before I could find out why.....then the doctor died....would not release my records.....it went round and round.

The doctor severed my nerves during surgery....so it's possible my mother signed saying she knew the dangers of the surgery so the doctor would not be sued for malpractice.....tooooo many years have passed since....Long story.....but never forgotten! Too much time has passed since.
What surgery?
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Unread 06-02-2009, 09:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What surgery?
My ears....age 14...after the surgery I was deaf.....Too much time has passed now....the time limit is and has been up....(let's leave it at that, OK?)
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