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6 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

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

Phillie Phanatic

Deservedly or not, Philadelphia sports fans have a reputation for being violent, loud and unruly, and their team mascots aren’t helping to change that impression. A woman has sued the Phillie Phanatic, the Philadelphia Phillies and a New Jersey hotel, after the mascot allegedly tossed her into the hotel’s swimming pool in July 2010.

Shopping Spree

A Texas woman found the limits of Neiman Marcus’s famously generous return policy when she unsuccessfully tried to return $1.4 million in merchandise. Patricia Walker spent three years bedridden following a car accident, during which time her ex-husband Roger Tennison racked up astronomical bills at the luxury department store.

Arby’s Agony

Kenneth DeJoie got more than just a hot lunch when he stopped at an Arby’s restaurant two years ago. The Colorado man claims that while he was using one of the restaurant’s urinals, a jet of hot steam abruptly shot out, scalding his genitals.

Driver Discrimination

An aspiring racecar driver filed a discrimination suit against NASCAR, claiming that the racing association refused him a place in its “Drive for Diversity” program because he looked “too Caucasian." Michael Rodriguez—whose grandfather is Puerto Rican—was invited to the program in 2005 and 2006, but was never actually allowed to drive.

Vindictive Vampire

Vampires are everywhere these days, from Bon Temps, La., to Forks, Wash. and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But a federal appeals court ruled this week that the ranks of the undead do not include Texas inmate Courtney Royal.

Dating Disaster

Online dating can be awkward in the best of cases, but it’s a rare date that ends in a $900,000 lawsuit. An Oregon jury awarded the hefty sum to a 49-year-old woman who contracted herpes after having unprotected sex with a 69-year-old retired dentist she met on eHarmony.

Alanna Byrne

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