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December 20, 2015

Monkey “Selfies” Tops Annual List of Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

Filing a lawsuit — so easy a monkey can do it? Well, almost.  An animal rights group filed suit on behalf of a monkey, alleging that the primate, not the photographer, should own the copyright to a series of “selfie” photographs.  This monkey lawsuit tops the list of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s “Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2015.”  You can check out the full list here

The list is this year’s ten most popular stories featured in monthly polls on FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org, ILR’s online public awareness campaign.  The purpose of producing this eyebrow-raising list is to highlight the ridiculous lawsuits that are brought against individuals, communities, and businesses, from mom and pop shops to international chains. 

The top suits for 2015 also include a Delaware bank robber suing over injuries sustained while holding up a pizza place, a Florida woman suing FedEx after tripping over a package she alleges was placed too close to her door, and a lawsuit brought against a 7-year old boy by his own aunt for a “negligent and careless hug.” 

Sound like a good use of our justice system? 

While these lawsuits make you laugh, the United States having one of the most costly legal systems as a share of its economy is no joke. The tort liability price tag for U.S. small businesses is upwards of $105 billion per year.  

While there are of course legitimate reasons to file suit, the ridiculous lawsuits clog up our justice system, and waste time and resources.  Litigation should not be the default option, when many issues can be resolved outside of a courtroom. 

It’s important that we curb the amount of abusive lawsuits that reach our courts, by passing common sense legal reforms and not liability expanding legislation that leads to monkey business. 

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