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6 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

The following lawsuits exemplify the lighter, and sometimes bizarre, side of the corporate legal world.

Gary Busey

Busey Bust

Actor Gary Busey allegedly got drunk last May while waiting for a flight and knocked a 57-year-old woman, Carla Loeffler, to the ground as he hurried to cut the boarding line. Loeffler filed a lawsuit, but Busey’s representatives say he “has no knowledge whatsoever of any of the alleged events reported,” and that he “has neither the time nor any patience for this sort of money mongering.”

Rather than issuing an apology, the statement goes on to call the suit “nothing other than sleazy gossip and a cheap opportunistic attempt to extract some sort of monetary nuisance settlement from a celebrity … We strongly suggest that she go elsewhere to seek her 15 minutes of fame and fortune.” Loeffler is seeking unspecified damages.

Matthew Fox

Frivolous Fox

He has to go back—not to the island, but to the courtroom. Former “Lost” star Matthew Fox countersued Heather Bormann, an Ohio private bus driver who claimed she was punched by the actor, after charges against him were dropped earlier this month. Bormann initially sued Fox for about $75,000 in damages, which Fox claims defamed and tarnished his reputation. Though Bormann’s attorney called the actor’s lawsuit frivolous last week, Fox seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

vodka

Investment Issues

Investor Joseph Lehey filed a $15 million lawsuit over control of a luxury vodka brand, which claims to have a “WiFi-capable, electronically powered illuminated display” that scrolls personalized messages across the bottle. Lehey said in the complaint that he provided $7.5 million toward Madea Vodka, but the money allegedly was pocketed instead. The defendants claim in court documents that Lehey is a “desperate, irrational and potentially violent individual.” Still, Lehey says he was unaware his investment paid the company’s founders’ salaries.

condoms

Bundles of Surprise

A man claims his ex-girlfriend stole his sperm from a used condom to impregnate herself and is now suing a U.S. fertility clinic for negligence after she gave birth to twins. Joseph Pressil found a receipt in his mailbox for sperm cryopreservation in February and, according to the lawsuit, discovered the clinic assumed he and his ex-girlfriend were married when doctors performed in vitro fertilization.

Though the clinic claims to have consent documentation signed by Pressil, he says his signature was forged. The lawsuit seeks to determine how he can be compensated for child support and mental anguish.

Tobey
Poker Face

“Spider-Man” actor and Tobey Maguire settled a lawsuit that sought repayment of $311,000 he allegedly won in secret, high-stakes poker games held at luxury hotels in Beverly Hills. According to the suit filed in March, Maguire’s poker winnings were paid with funds stolen by Bradley Ruderman, a Beverly Hills resident who stole from investors using an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Ruderman is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for tax, wire and investor advice fraud convictions. The suits said the secret poker games were “exclusive events, by invitation only” and were unlicensed and illegal.

Graveyard
Graveyard Grievance

A plot of land purchased 60 years ago in a Catholic cemetery was too small for the casket of Agnes Zimmick, so graveyard workers allegedly hopped on her casket and poked it with poles to try to force the casket into the ground. Zimmick’s family filed a lawsuit seeking a jury trial and at least $25,000 from the cemeteries association and from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. However, a cemetery executive called the claims “unfounded.”

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