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5 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

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


Smelly Socks

A customer is suing General Electric Co., claiming that washing his clothes in its front-loading washing machines is tantamount to not washing them at all, as the machines have defects that give the clothes a mildewy, moldy smell after washing.

Stanley Fishman filed a complaint on Feb. 1 in a New Jersey federal court, alleging that GE violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud act by failing to acknowledge that customers need to use bleach or rinse the clothes in hot water to deal with the mold.

Rabid Robosigning

On Feb.2, the Illinois attorney general sued Nationwide Title Clearing Inc., a mortgage document firm for rushing to process mortgages and foreclosures by filing faulty documents. The suit claims that Nationwide employees sign several thousand documents a day and do not read them, a process they call “robosigning.” In some cases, this practice allegedly led to unlawful foreclosures.



Petty Perfumers

Because God forbid that Paris Hilton and Rihanna’s perfumes sell for less than they’re worth, a shareholder of Parlux Fragrances Inc. is suing the company’s board of directors, claiming that they are selling it too cheaply to Perfumania Holdings Inc.

Perfumania, which operates a chain of perfume shops, is one of Parlux’s biggest customers. The lawsuit claims that Perfumania used that to its advantage when negotiating a lower price for the deal that would leave it in control of Parlux.

But the people have spoken: The people want to smell like Paris Hilton, and they want to do it for a fair price.



Phony Foods

Perhaps inspired by the similar Tropicana suit a couple weeks ago, a man sued Frito Lay on Jan. 30, claiming that the company is misleading customers by printing on its packaging that Tostitos and SunChips products are “all-natural.”

The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, alleges that the chips are not made with natural ingredients, but use corn and vegetable oils that are made from genetically engineered plants. The plaintiff, Chris Shake, is very upset, as he’s paid a “premium” to purchase these “deceptive” snacks.



Disgruntled Golfer

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson is suing a Canadian Internet service provider in order to discover the identity of someone who has been posting “vexatious statements” on Yahoo! Sports and hurting his feelings.

This person, or group of people, has been posting under pseudonyms such as “Fogroller” or “Longitude,” and alleging that Mickelson not only fathered an illegitimate child but that his wife is having an affair. Mickelson is requesting that the user be forced to identify his or herself so that the comments can be curtailed.

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