Nation & World

How a handshake, a bad date and jelly beans made for 2017’s most ridiculous lawsuits

Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans are seen in this 2005 file photo. A woman sued the company over the sugar content in the beans. The lawsuit topped the Institute for Legal Reform’s annual Most Ridiculous Lawsuits list.
Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans are seen in this 2005 file photo. A woman sued the company over the sugar content in the beans. The lawsuit topped the Institute for Legal Reform’s annual Most Ridiculous Lawsuits list. Associated Press file

Lawsuits are filed every day. Some sue for child support or workers’ compensation, others for sexual harassment or dog bites.

But suing over a bad date or having a cellphone taken away? According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, these and more happened in 2017.

The institute on Thursday released its annual Top 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits list, including two that were filed in California.

“Lawsuits like these may be a dream come true for late night comedians, but the toll that abusive litigation takes on our society is no joke,” Lisa A. Rickard, president of the Institute for Legal Reform, said in a press release.

A video by the Institute for Legal Reform and published by Faces of Lawsuit Abuse summarizes the list. Here’s a look at the suits, from 10 to 1:

▪ 10. Woman sues government over nacho cheese burn

A Texas woman says a burn on her finger from hot nacho cheese ultimately made her lose her job. She sued for $95,000.

▪ 9. Teenager sues mother over confiscating cellphone

A 15-year-old boy in Spain claimed “mistreatment” over having his phone taken away.

▪ 8. Man sues his date over texting during movie

A Texas man wanted his $17.31 back over what he told the Austin American-Statesman was the “first date from hell.”

▪ 7. Man sues Dunkin’ Donuts over “fake butter”

A Massachusetts man filed two lawsuits, including a class-action suit, after Dunkin’ Donuts put a butter substitute on his bagel.

▪ 6. Woman sues restaurant over slipping off donkey statue

A woman sued a Mexican restaurant in Tallahassee, Fla., after falling off a “smooth and slick” donkey statue while attempting to have her photo taken.

▪ 5. Man sues fellow lawyer over handshake

Florida lawyer says friend’s handshake was “unexpected, unprovoked, uninvited, unauthorized, uncalled for and most certainly negligent.”

▪ 4. Man sues apartment complex after tripping over Christmas trees

New Jersey man says complex “recklessly, carelessly and/or negligently” discarded trees, ultimately leading to his injury.

▪ 3. Starbucks sued over time clock issue

California man wants to be paid for the time it takes to clock out and lock up when the store closes.

▪ 2. Man sues Uber, claiming company ruined his marriage

A French man says the ride-sharing company sent info to his wife’s phone, leading to divorce. He seeks $48 million.

▪ 1. Woman sues Jelly Belly over sugar content in Sport Beans

A California woman claims the term “evaporated cane juice” misled her over how the amount of sugar in Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans.

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