I'm gonna sue someone...

I'm gonna sue someone...

This is a discussion on I'm gonna sue someone... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Maybe Bumper... I bet he's got a lot of scratch... World's Most Litigious Man Suing Guinness Book of World Records? By SCOTT MICHELS and SARAH ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    I'm gonna sue someone...

    Maybe Bumper... I bet he's got a lot of scratch...



    World's Most Litigious Man Suing Guinness Book of World Records?

    By SCOTT MICHELS and SARAH NETTER
    May 26, 2009


    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.

    Among this clown's defendants:

    Bill Belichick-



    The New England Patriots coach was sued for “illegal surveillance”. The rambling document, which states that Belichick bugged the home of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, placed a listening device “in Donovan McNabb’s Chunky Soup”, surveilled the home of New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, and planted a recording device on San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawn Merriman’s sleeve, finally tells at the end that Belichick illegally taped Riches’ prison phone calls and sold the tapes to CNN.

    "My heart is broke forever…I’m terrified of defendant Belichick…He told me that if I expose his wiretaps he would get the owner of the Patriots, Mr. Kraft, who owns Kraft Foods, to put poison in the Kraft cheese I eat at prison."
    Martha Stewart



    The entrepreneur who did some jail time herself was sued for supposedly violating Riches’ rights in a real estate deal. Riches seeks $3.5 million in damages from Stewart for “emotional, mental, psychological distress.” Riches says he will donate any damages he collects to television cook Rachael Ray.

    According to boston.com:

    He claims the real estate listing for the property falsely claimed it was painted with Dutch Boy paint. The suit also states that while touring the property (although records indicate he would have been in incarcerated at the time) Riches contracted poison ivy, was scratched by pricker bushes and fell in a groundhog hole.

    Riches also claims he saw Stewart’s turkeys playing football with Vick’s jerseys and that the birds attacked him. And, recently resigned Bush political strategist Karl Rove has found a new job working on Stewart’s estate as her gardener.
    Jeff Gordon



    The NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon was sued for, in Riches’ words, “Recklessly Drivin’ My Life Crazy.”

    Source: WSOCTV:

    The handwritten, 3-page complaint goes on to accuse Gordon of a litany of other crimes–from poisoning fans with chemical weapons, to wrecking other drivers by dropping Tic Tacs and oil on the track through a secret trap door under his race car.

    In one section Riches states, “Gordon tied me to his bumper during the Talladega race.” Elsewhere he complains, “Karl Rove left the White House to work as Gordon’s tire changer.”
    Man, Riches must really dig Karl Rove. He also states that “Gordon told me secret plans to put wings on the #24 car and fly it into Ft. Knox.”

    So how is a convicted federal inmate able to keep filing all of these frivolous complaints and wasting time, money and manpower in an already swamped legal system? Simply put, anyone is allowed to do it.

    There is one line though that is telling of a man’s mental condition, “Plaintiff seeks 22,000,000,000.00 Billion dollars…” That’s just greedy, not crazy.
    Michael Vick



    According to AJC, the infamous Atlanta Falcons quarterback (along with PETA, the Humane Society, a prison warden, and a federal judge) was sued for being the ringleader of a “vast conspiracy to kidnap my mind, hijack my soul.”

    He said Vick ordered the warden to chemically induce his food, causing him to lose almost 50 pounds. Riches said it was all done as revenge because he caught Vick, whom he called a “NASA creation,” betting on Falcons games in 2005.
    This particular lawsuit was tossed out, but there’s another lawsuit, where Riches says Vick stole his dogs for fighting purposes, opened credit cards in Riches’ name and stole his copyrighted property. The suit even claims Vick sold some of Riches’ dogs on eBay and “used the proceeds to buy missiles from the Iran government.” Riches is demanding $62 billion in gold and silver.

    Steve Jobs



    The favorite guy at Apple, who helped bring us the iPod, got sued by Riches for employing O.J. Simpson as a hitman.

    Source: Apple Insider:

    The 3-page handwritten complaint alleges that Simpson has been Jobs’s “hitman” since the “1985 MOVE house bombing in Philadelphia, which Jobs started with borrowed pyrotechnics from Great White.”

    Also: “O.J. has been providing Jobs with food blenders since the midwest flood of 1993″ and that O.J. also “paid Jobs to clone Dolly the sheep on April 20, 1998.”

    Jobs is charged with aiming nuclear missiles at Riches’ brain and Lance Armstrong’s bicycle, as well as price gouging iPhone customers. “On May 10th, 2007, I bought an Apple iPhone for $922.01 at the FCI Williamsburg commissary,” Riches wrote. “Now Jobs sells that same iPod for $199.”
    “A cursory review of the complaint is sufficient to establish that it is nothing more than fanciful nonsense,” US District Judge Gregory Presnell wrote in his order for dismissal. “The whole thing reads like a cross between Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ and a Dr. Bronner’s soap label, if Dr. Bronner had been a first-year law student with untreated paranoid schizophrenia.”

    “Several weeks ago, he filed suit against Elvis Presley and Neverland Ranch for, inter alia, ‘WAR CRIMES Rock N Rollin My Brain’,” the Judge wrote.

    While it’s unclear whether Riches’ cockamamy pleadings are products of actual mental illness or simply a hobby akin to short story writing, all complaints filed with the US court system have to be processed, filed and dismissed.
    Perez Hilton

    This celebrity blogger (real name Mario Lavandeira) got sued for running a web site which invades Riches’ privacy and puts his life in danger.



    Source: Smoking Gun:

    Riches states that he carried on a years-long sexual relationship with Hilton and once bought the blogger a $23,000 diamond ring. Riches is seeking the closure of Hilton’s popular web site.

    Britney Spears



    According to Contact Music, Britney got sued for holding Riches at gunpoint and forcing him to commit crimes, like the identity theft he got busted for. Also he says Britney forced him to pay for abortions, breast implants, drugs and alcohol.

    Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf, and the INS



    Yes, the poor woman who was assassinated is named in a suit along with Musharraf.

    Source: Justia:

    Plaintiff seeks a temporary restraining order against Defendants Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to stop his extradition to Pakistan on March 2012 because he will be tortured. Plaintiff asserts that the case is one of mistaken identity and that Pakistan wants another Jonathan Lee Riches, who is an international fugitive and made nuclear weapons with Pakistan scientist A.D. Khan.
    That’s not all… here comes the really goofy stuff:

    Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron’s Bat!!!



    The complaint involves Barry Bonds, baseball commissioner Bud Selig, and Hank Aaron’s bat.

    Source: The Smoking Gun:

    Riches weaves an intricate conspiracy theory involving television ratings, steroids, the cracking of the Liberty Bell, Colombian narco-terrorists, and secretly recorded conversations for which journalists Robert Novak and Judith Miller have transcripts.
    A copy of the Bonds complaint can be found here.

    The lawsuit allges things like “bat assault, treason, illegal moonshine, treason (again!), stalking, illegal wiretapping, and bad debt” He requests that the court file a temporary restraining order against the broadcast of MLB games, all defendants (amd their pets!!), and is seeking 42 million dollars worth in swiss francs!

    Grand Theft Auto

    On April 9, 2008, Riches filed a request for a temporary restraining order against Take-two (publisher of Grand Theft Auto), as well as developer Rockstar Games, FCI Williamsburg, and the game Grand Theft Auto itself, claiming that the defendants “put me in prison.”

    Source: Computer and Video Games:

    “Defendants contributed to Plaintiff committing identity theft. Defendant’s games show sex, drugs and violence which offends me.” Riches continued, “Defendants put me in prison. I face imminent danger from violent inmates who played Grand Theft Auto who will knock me out and take my gold Jesus cross.”
    And the BIG ONE - Suing the Entire World!!!!

    George Bush + 783 others!

    Source: City Paper:

    Here is the PDF of the document, where Riches does really intend to sue the entire world.

    56 pages of nonsense naming Bush and 783 other people in a lawsuit. Who are some of these “others”? Would ya believe Plato, Nostradamus, Che Guevara, Jimmy Hoffa, “Various Buddhist Monks”, the Lincoln Memorial, the Eiffel Tower, the USS Cole, the book Mein Kampf, the Garden of Eden, the Roman Empire, the Appalachian Trail, Three Mile Island, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Google, Pope Benedict XVI, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, John Deere, www.accuweather.com, Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party, Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Exchange, Gambino (crime family), Three Mile Island, Tony Danza, Islamic Republic of Iran, University of Miami, GEICO Insurance, Jewish State of Israel, Soledad O’Brien, Tsunami victims, The American Red Cross, Jessica Alba, Charles Moose, al-Qaida Islamic Arm, Fruit of A-Loom, Outback Steakhouse, Donald J. Trump, Chris Berman, Puff Daddy, Vince McMahon, Meals on Wheels, Saddam Hussein, Jewish workers at NBC/Universal, Elizabeth Smart, The Panama Canal Commission, Kelly Clarkston, 13 tribes of Israel, Plato, Lincoln Memorial, Boris Becker, Various Buddhist monks, Christina Applegate, Jewish Mossad, National Vanguard Books, Mein Kampf, Venus Williams, Medieval Times, Denny’s, Brotherhood of the Snake, Larry King, Rastafarian natives, National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, the Illuminati , Wu-Tang Clan, Wu Wear Inc., Nordic gods, The Da Vinci Code, Sears Tower, Mike Tyson, Native American Fish Society, Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, Pizza Hut, Ming Dynasty, Barry Bonds, Gangs in Hong Kong, Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, National Hockey League Players’ Association, Philadelphia Eagles (2005 roster), The Waffle House, Skittles Candy, etc…



    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    Is this guy going to sue his mother for giving birth to a loser like him???
    That is one he might win.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
    Susan B. Anthony
    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    There's more to the coffee suit than shows up in the news. Basically, they kept the coffee at near boiling temperatures on purpose to so it would taste freshly brewed longer (it starts tasting old pretty quick if it's kept a drinkable temperatures), to save a few dollars a pot. Then they were jerks in court so the jury punished them for bad manners.

    McDonalds spent more trying to establish that meme about the coffee suit being frivolous than they did on lawyers or the actual award. The cites needed are probably buried too deep to find now, that was a long time ago and it's been Google bombed.

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    this is why we need a 'loser pays' system!
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillep Harding View Post
    There's more to the coffee suit than shows up in the news. Basically, they kept the coffee at near boiling temperatures on purpose to so it would taste freshly brewed longer (it starts tasting old pretty quick if it's kept a drinkable temperatures), to save a few dollars a pot. Then they were jerks in court so the jury punished them for bad manners.

    McDonalds spent more trying to establish that meme about the coffee suit being frivolous than they did on lawyers or the actual award. The cites needed are probably buried too deep to find now, that was a long time ago and it's been Google bombed.
    I've bought coffee at places other than McDonalds that is extremely hot. The difference is that I don't put it between my legs and drive off. This woman did something stupid and was awarded millions of dollars for it. God Bless America, apple pie, and stupid jurors.
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    VIP Member Array shooterX's Avatar
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    We need laws that prohibit law suits of this nature, it really has gotten way out of hand.

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    Don't think so

    Quote Originally Posted by shooterX View Post
    We need laws that prohibit law suits of this nature, it really has gotten way out of hand.
    Judges have ample discretion to toss these things and sanction those who bring them. The problem with putting limits on bringing actions in the first place is that until a judge looks at the case, there is no way to know if it is in fact baseless in nature. Also, sometimes, one man's baseless suit is another man's legitimate grievance.

  8. #8
    New Member Array bigger hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    I've bought coffee at places other than McDonalds that is extremely hot. The difference is that I don't put it between my legs and drive off. This woman did something stupid and was awarded millions of dollars for it. God Bless America, apple pie, and stupid jurors.
    I'm afraid that you've gotten some important facts wrong on this. Ms. Liebeck did not drive off. In fact she was not even driving! She was a passenger in the car and the driver stopped so she could put in cream and sugar. The spill happened when she tried to remove the lid. She had the cup between her knees, not in her crotch.

    Other coffee vendors in the are were serving coffee that was 20 degrees below that served at McDonald's. This wasn't just "hot coffee." It was scalding hot!

    Ms. Liebeck tried to settle out of court for just her medical bills, about $800. She suffered third degrees burns in her groin, inner thighs and buttocks (OUCH) but McDonald's refused. The injuries were so severe that she required skin grafts.

    McDonald's certainly should have been on notice. They'd settled 700 such cases before this one to the tune of about $500,000.

    It was obvious that McDonald's knew of the problem and had been advised many times to reduce the temperature of their coffee but had refused. The jurors said that they thought that McDonald's did not care for the safety of their customers.

    The jury originally awarded her about $2.9 million but the judge reduced it to less than $500,000. The case was finally settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. The jury found Ms. Liebeck 20% at fault. That's about two day's profit for McDonald's sale of coffee.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigger hammer View Post
    I'm afraid that you've gotten some important facts wrong on this. Ms. Liebeck did not drive off. In fact she was not even driving! She was a passenger in the car and the driver stopped so she could put in cream and sugar. The spill happened when she tried to remove the lid. She had the cup between her knees, not in her crotch.
    Either way it is my opinion that she was at fault for not holding a somewhat flimsy disposable cup securely while she removed the lid.

    Other coffee vendors in the are were serving coffee that was 20 degrees below that served at McDonald's. This wasn't just "hot coffee." It was scalding hot!
    Were they really, or did they all turn down the burners after news of this got out and before whoever went around taking coffee temperatures got there? Also, if the coffee wasn't hot enough, any bets on whether or not she would have returned it and/or complained in a letter to corporate? People do that all the time.

    Ms. Liebeck tried to settle out of court for just her medical bills, about $800. She suffered third degrees burns in her groin, inner thighs and buttocks (OUCH) but McDonald's refused. The injuries were so severe that she required skin grafts.
    Something doesn't add up here. Skin grafts and other medical care for $800?

    McDonald's certainly should have been on notice. They'd settled 700 such cases before this one to the tune of about $500,000.

    It was obvious that McDonald's knew of the problem and had been advised many times to reduce the temperature of their coffee but had refused. The jurors said that they thought that McDonald's did not care for the safety of their customers.

    The jury originally awarded her about $2.9 million but the judge reduced it to less than $500,000. The case was finally settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. The jury found Ms. Liebeck 20% at fault. That's about two day's profit for McDonald's sale of coffee.
    I didn't know about the 700 previous cases. I do believe in holding corporations responsible in the same way I would people and sometimes the best way to make them notice is to him them in the pocketbook, so maybe it was a valid case. But I also believe this woman was more than 20% at fault. I've bought scalding hot coffee too, even recently. How many brain cells does it really take to know enough to be careful with something that's supposed to be hot?
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  10. #10
    New Member Array bigger hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    Either way it is my opinion that she was at fault for not holding a somewhat flimsy disposable cup securely while she removed the lid.
    If this was an able person of an age where this sort of coordination is expected, I'd agree. But Ms. Liebeck was 79 at the time of the incident. I'd cut her a little slack on this. Others might not.

    Earlier I wrote,
    Other coffee vendors in the are were serving coffee that was 20 degrees below that served at McDonald's. This wasn't just "hot coffee." It was scalding hot!
    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    Were they really, or did they all turn down the burners after news of this got out and before whoever went around taking coffee temperatures got there?
    The temperature measurements were done when the attorney was researching the case and deciding whether or not he'd take it. There was no lawsuit yet so word had not gotten out.

    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    Also, if the coffee wasn't hot enough, any bets on whether or not she would have returned it and/or complained in a letter to corporate? People do that all the time.
    The attorney's research showed that one version that came from McDonald's was that people were taking the coffee they purchased either home or to work and drinking it there. That argument might hold up under that circumstances. But McDonald's own research showed that many customers intended to drank it immediately after purchase, while they were driving. McDonald's Quality Assurance Manager admitted that any food served at the temperature or their coffee, 180-190 degrees was "not fit for consumption" because it would burn the mouth and throat.

    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    Something doesn't add up here. Skin grafts and other medical care for $800?
    Sounds like a medical insurance co-payment to me. I think the total medical costs (which would have to have been paid to the insurance carrier at settlement) was something like $20,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    I didn't know about the 700 previous cases.
    You're not alone in this. Most of the jurors had heard about this case before being selected to serve. Most of them thought that this was a perfect example of a frivolous lawsuit. But when they heard the facts they awarded Ms. Liebeck $2.9 million.

    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    I do believe in holding corporations responsible in the same way I would people and sometimes the best way to make them notice is to him them in the pocketbook, so maybe it was a valid case.
    Once you know the facts I think it can go either way. Part of the testimony was that coffee at that temperature can cause third degree burns (full thickness of the skin) in only 2-7 seconds! That's pretty quick! Coffee served at lower, drinkable temp of 160 degrees would take 20 seconds, enough time, even for an older person to remove the clothing (she was wearing sweat pants) from their skin. She'd not have to undress, just lift the clothing away from her skin. But 2-7 second for a person of that age is not much time to do so.

    I don't think that McDonald's suffered very much. The award was only the profit from two days of coffee sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    But I also believe this woman was more than 20% at fault.
    I'll agree. But under the legal system we have that only means that the award was cut by that amount.

    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    I've bought scalding hot coffee too, even recently. How many brain cells does it really take to know enough to be careful with something that's supposed to be hot?
    Perhaps this should be asked again when we're both 71 years old? I just wanted to point out that this case is not the "perfect example of a frivolous lawsuit" that people something think it was.

    One fact remains, no matter where you come down on this case; McDonald's, as a direct result of this lawsuit, lowered the temperature at which they serve coffee.

    The trial judge called McDonald's "callous and uncaring." If you read the transcript that comes across very strongly. I'm sure that influenced the jury as well. An elderly woman with 3rd degree burns on her thighs, groin and buttocks elicits a certain amount of sympathy. That probably played to the jury too.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array United93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit51 View Post
    Is this guy going to sue his mother for giving birth to a loser like him???
    That is one he might win.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    This is just too funny. It's a shame though that this guy clogs up the legal system with this garbage. I wonder if Plato will pay in dollars or drachmas? I do think though, that he should win his case against Perez Hilton. Shutting him down should be considerd a public service.

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Check out these keenly crafted legal documents...
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    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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