While the Halloween movie franchise may allegedly be coming to an end this year, litigation abuse unfortunately continues to live on. This season reminds us of the things that haunt us in our sleep, like the fear of being attacked by a terrifying lawsuit. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have found loopholes in our laws that allow them to be relentless in pursuing clients to file outrageous lawsuits on their behalf.
Here are five scary stories of people who are finding ways to take advantage of our civil justice system by filing frightening lawsuits.
1. Man Sues Texas Pete After Learning Hot Sauce is Not Actually Made in Texas
Careful—this one may fill you with a fiery rage. The makers of Texas Pete hot sauce are being sued because the beloved condiment is made in North Carolina instead of Texas, according to chron.com. The claimant alleges that the product label is misleading to consumers because its label features “a stereotypically white Texas ‘lone star’ reminiscent of the Texas flag” along with the word “Texas.”
We can’t help but wonder if this means Moon Pies are next.
2. McDonald’s Faces Another Lawsuit Over Hot Beverages
McDonald’s is now facing a sequel to its infamous hot coffee lawsuit, but this time it’s over hot tea. Not to mention, the plot is the same–plaintiff orders hot drink, spills hot drink, sues McDonald’s. Now you might think the hot drinks get all the lawsuits, but don’t tell that to Starbucks. They got sued for too much ice in their iced coffee.
Sued over hot coffee, sued over iced coffee—it’s a good thing for the Three Bears that Goldilocks didn’t know any trial lawyers.
3. Cities Want to Sue Car Manufacturers Whose Cars are Stolen Too Much
Citing the recent spike in auto thefts, city leaders in St. Louis have threatened to sue car companies Hyundai and Kia, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. They claim that the cars are too easy to steal. So instead of addressing the issue of increased auto thefts within their city, they’re coming after the car makers.
A law firm in Kansas City has also filed lawsuits in multiple states against both Hyundai and Kia, claiming their vehicles are too easy to steal.
4. Colorado Woman Sues Facebook Alleging Her Daughter is Addicted
A woman in Colorado is suing Facebook, alleging that her 13-year-old daughter has been addicted to the platform since she was 7 (although Facebook requires that you be at least 13 years old to use the platform). The plaintiff alleges that the app contributed to a decline in her daughter’s mental health, according to Fox Business.
5. Fan Lawsuit Claims the Giants and Jets Should Drop ‘New York’ From Names Because They Play in New Jersey
According to the New York Post, two New York football fans filed a $6 billion class action lawsuit against the Jets, the Giants, and the National Football League. Their lawsuit demands that the two teams remove “New York” from their team names since they play at a stadium that is seven miles outside of New York in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
But nearly a third of NFL teams play in a city other than the one their team is named after. The San Francisco 49ers play in Santa Clara–45 miles away.
These scary stories of lawsuit abuse are becoming all too familiar. While many of these cases are laughable to a reasonable consumer, our lawsuit system has emboldened plaintiffs’ lawyers to file claims with little to no focus on whether their client has experienced real harm or has a questionable claim.
In fact, according to ILR’s research, Unfair, Inefficient, Unpredictable: Class Action Flaws and the Road to Reform, more than half of class action lawsuit settlements on average went to attorneys or others who were not class members.
Our legal system is meant to protect consumers, but as it stands, plaintiffs’ lawyers are frequently the only winners.
Photo credit: Madalyn Cox