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June 5, 2013

June Ridiculous Lawsuit Nominees: Treadmills, Track Teams, Golfers and Jaywalkers

Please finish this lead sentence in a May 9 story in the Louisiana Record: “A New Orleans woman who was allegedly injured when she fell after stepping on a moving treadmill is____.”

A. grateful the fitness club staff came to her aid swiftly.

B. embarrassed that she didn’t understand how to use such a simple machine correctly.

C. suing her fitness club.

If you answered anything but C, then you clearly hold too much faith in the nation’s lawsuit system. As it happens, the New Orleans treadmill case kicks off our monthly“Most Ridiculous Lawsuit” poll where we ask you, our readers, to tell us which lawsuit can rise (or sink) to the level of most ridiculous.

Our second nominee concerns the professional golfer Vijay Singh, who admitted in a January Sports Illustrated article that he had used deer-antler spray, then a banned substance for golfers. The PGA opened an investigation, only to close it after twelve weeks when antler spray was removed from the list of banned substances. Singh promptly sued, despite the fact that he had admitted to using a banned substance – and despite the fact that the 50-year-old golfer has made more than $67 million in his career (courtesy of the PGA).

Our third entry comes to us from neighborly Canada, where an Edmonton jail inmate happened to kill a fellow inmate after stomping on the victim’s head 26 times. (Unfortunately, the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on ridiculous lawsuits.) If you’re thinking that the victim’s family has sued, well, you’d be wrong. The stomping inmate has sued the jail for $500,000 for putting him in the same cell as another inmate.

Finally, to round out this month’s nominees, we have the Philadelphia-area father who’s suing the local high school for kicking his son off the track team. According to the school, the track coach removed the son from the team for unexcused absences from practice. The father disagrees and said the school violated his son’s rights. For damages, the father is asking the school to award his son the varsity letters and championship jackets for the 2012 and 2013 seasons – that, and $40 million.

You can vote on this month’s “Most Ridiculous Lawsuit” here.

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