Legal Briefs #11: February 11, 1998

Contents:* Parents Cry Foul Ball in Bench Warming Case
* Judge Drills Inmate for Frivolous Olive Oil Suit
* Red-As-A-Lobster Lawyer Claws His Way to Court
* Bakers Beware
* Tort D’Jour: Warning: Substances Thaw in Warm Temperatures 

Parents Cry Foul Ball in Bench Warming CaseWhile some parents have for years been notorious sideline coaches at their kids’ games, there may be a new game in town — lawsuits.

Outraged parents of a Gibsonberg, Ohio boy are suing the high school baseball team’s coaches because their son spent too much time warming the bench. The parents claim that they’ve been humiliated by their son’s lack of playing time and their lawyer has filed suit on the grounds that the coaches’ “bench warming” decision violates the U.S. Constitution.

As the Port Arthur News says, “This must be the part which reads “Let Sammy pitch whenever he wants or we’re going sue your backside, man.”

Could this be a new trend? One can almost hear the trial lawyer ads: “Has your child ever been benched in a game, picked last for kickball or embarrassed by teammates or coaches? We can help you recover the damages you deserve.”


Judge Drills Inmate for Frivolous Olive Oil Suit“We find this case extremely hard to digest,” said a panel of Superior Court judges about a lawsuit brought by a Cumberland, Maryland, convict, who sued an olive oil manufacturer because a ten-ounce bottle of olive oil did not contain 128 tablespoon servings.

According to the Cumberland Times News, the judges castigated the plaintiff, Keith Maydak, for wasting the court’s time, saying that the plaintiff deliberately ignored the obvious mistake on the label, so “any injury… resulted from his own nonfeasance.”


Red-As-A-Lobster Lawyer Claws His Way to CourtWhile most people return from sunny vacation resorts to sport their tans for snowbird neighbors, a Milwaukee lawyer is heading indoors to court. He’s suing because a Sun protection factor 2 sunscreen “provided no prevention of sun burning.”

The lawyer is suing the company which manufactures Nivea Sun for $5,000, the cost of his vacation, despite the fact that the product label says the sunscreen is suitable for people who rarely burn or who have deep-based tans.


Bakers BewareA Nashua, New Hampshire woman has helped cook-up one of the most ludicrous lawsuits of the last year by suing a doughnut shop for negligence and emotional distress. The woman says that she suffered this stress when she and co-workers opened a box of baked goods which allegedly included a dozen or so in the shape of male genitalia.

No word on what happened to the evidence.


Tort D’Jour

Warning: Substances Thaw in Warm TemperaturesFrom Insight magazine’s October 20, 1997 edition, in a story by Stephen Goode, comes the tale of a farmer who put a ladder on top of a pile of frozen horse manure. When the manure thawed, the ladder slipped, and the man sued… the weatherman? the horse?

No, the ladder manufacturer.

The farmer and his lawyers say that the ladder manufacturers failed to anticipate the circumstances of his accident, and warn him that it could occur.

Ridiculous? Not to a Pennsylvania jury, which awarded the farmer $300,000.

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