More On

5 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

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

Typo Trouble

Bank of America (BoA) is suing a Florida couple over a typoa move that doesn’t exactly help their reputation as less-than-friendly. When the couple sold the house eight years ago (and paid their mortgage in full), the title company they hired made an error on the deed that said the house was located in a different neighborhood. Now, three sales later, the current owner has fallen behind in payments and BoA, the mortgage holder, is unable to foreclose because the property is incorrectly listed. So, the couple, and all the house’s buyers after them are named in BoA’s lawsuit.

Ruined Reputation

Kim Kardashian is suing Gap Inc. for allegedly using a look-a-like model in an ad for Old Navy (a Gap subsidiary) and violating her name and likeness rights. Kardashian is seeking $20 million in damages for the harm the ad supposedly has done to her reputation. There is another level to the weirdness, though.  Gap has now hired Louis Petrich to craft the company’s defense around the idea that Kardashian is “libel-proof,” i.e., her reputation already is so tarnished that even if the allegations are true, she could hardly be damaged more.

Not-So-Natural

A California woman is suing orange juice maker Tropicana, claiming that the company’s marketing images and phrases that portray the juice as being all-natural are false advertising. The packaging has the words “100 percent Pure and Natural Orange Juice” emblazoned across it, alongside a picture of a straw stuck directly into an orange, which reinforces the message. The plaintiff alleges that adding aromas and flavor packs to the juice means it is no longer natural. "While Tropicana claims that 'making Tropicana orange juice is truly art,' it is far more a science," the lawsuit says.

Shoe Suit

Zooey Deschanel, star of Fox’s comedy “New Girl” and one half of the musical duo She & Him, has dropped a case against Steve Madden. The lawsuit claimed that Deschanel was never paid for allowing the shoe company to use her name and likeness in promotional materials. Deschanel’s agent allegedly orally negotiated a $2 million deal with Steve Madden, which the company tried to reduce to $1.5 million, and then never paid her. Representatives for Deschanel then found a “Zooey” shoe by Candies, which the complained claimed had an exclusive contract with Madden. However, Deschanel’s people filed a motion to dismiss, so the suit was dropped.

Abandoned Adoption

In April 2010, a woman sent her 7-year-old, adopted Russian son back on a plane to Moscow, accompanied only by a note saying she didn’t want him anymore and that he had psychological problems. The woman was not criminally charged, but her adoption agency filed a lawsuit seeking child support in Tennessee, where the trial will take place on March 27.

Contributing Author

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.