7 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

A mock sword fight goes awry, two superheroes join forces and five more strange lawsuits in the news

Radiation Rumble

They say good fences make good neighbors. Unfortunately for Arthur Firstenberg, fences can’t keep out electromagnetic radiation. In 2010, Firstenberg sued his neighbor, Raphaela Monribot, for $1 million, claiming that her use of electronic equipment such as cellphones and wireless routers had caused him to suffer a disorder called electromagnetic stimulus (EMS) and forced him to leave his home. “Whenever I returned home, even for a few minutes, I felt the same sickness in my chest and my health was set back for days,” he claimed in court documents.

© Nottage Design

Tarnished Table

Scratching is never a good thing in billiards, especially when what you’re scratching isn’t the cue ball, but your $73,000 glass pool table. The owner of such a table is suing the maker, Nottage Design of Australia, claiming that his pricey purchase was “scuffed, scratched, damaged—essentially destroyed” after he played on it with standard pool balls.

Sword Shard

A quest for some Middle Ages flavor turned unexpectedly authentic for two South Dakota newlyweds, when a mock sword fight at a Medieval Times dinner theater allegedly left one of them blind. Dustin Wiseman and his wife Melissa, who were on their honeymoon at the time, say they were watching the fight from the front row at the company’s Buena Park, Calif. location when a shard of metal from a titanium sword flew into Dustin’s eye.

© Chris Litherland

Prohibited Preaching

When you think of Bourbon Street, preaching isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, probably because a New Orleans city law restricts religious or political speech on the infamous avenue after dark. The year-old ordinance specifically bans anyone from spreading “any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise” and is ostensibly intended to help with crowd control and deter con artists.

Cartoon Conflict

Over the years, Batman and Spiderman have taken on a pantheon of adversaries, from the Joker and Bane to Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin. But now the companies behind the two superheroes are teaming up to battle the “Kippa Man,” an Israeli vendor known for his yarmulkes, also called kippot. Avi Binyamin’s Jerusalem store attracts crowds of tourists looking to buy his colorful head coverings, but DC Comics and Marvel aren’t too pleased about skullcaps featuring the images of Batman and Spiderman.

Sickening Sewage

On the list of things that can drag down property values, raw sewage has to be near the top. So perhaps it’s not surprising that residents of two Utah towns are suing a local sewer district over its production of “humanure,” hundreds of tons of human waste mixed with wood and grass clippings and left in piles to compost.  Although the Timpanagos Special Services Sewer District uses a special tarp designed to eliminate the offending smells, when the piles are uncovered, they release “substantial, noxious and foul odors through several miles of surrounding commercial and residential areas,” according to the lawsuit.

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Alanna Byrne

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