More On

8 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

A teacher afraid of children, an airborne ballpark frank and five more strange lawsuits in the news

Terrified Teacher

Maria Waltherr-Willard taught high school French and Spanish in a Cincinnati school district for more than 35 years, until the high school eliminated its French program in 2009. At that time, Waltherr-Willard says, the school district transferred her to its junior high school, even though it had previously promised her that it would not do so, in consideration of her pedophobia, which causes her severe anxiety when she is around young children.

Benched Basketballers

By many standards, the Nov. 29 San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat game was a thrilling basketball game, in which the Heat edged out their opponents for a 105-100 victory, despite the absence of four of the Spurs’ five starters. But one fan was so disappointed by the game that he’s suing the Spurs, arguing that head coach Gregg Popovich cheated fans by resting the star players simultaneously.

Flying Frank

Few things in life are better than eating a hot dog at a baseball game. Few things are worse than being hit in the eye with a flying hot dog. The latter allegedly befell unfortunate Kansas City Royals fan John Coomer in 2009, when an errant throw by team mascot Sluggerrr sent a hot dog straight into the fan’s eye.

Revolting Rodent

Light Litigation

The holiday spirit didn’t last long for two Ohio neighbors who are sparring over one’s extravagant Christmas light display. Strongsville resident Dan Hoag is known for his annual holiday show, which typically begins with a fireworks display on Thanksgiving.

Problematic Prediction

A former New York City police officer is suing the city for allegedly firing him—not because of any wrongdoing—but because of its belief that he would one day become an alcoholic. Timothy Silo claims his bosses ordered him, along with five fellow probationary officers, to see department psychologists after they were attacked by a group of miscreants outside a bar in December 2009. Even though Silo had never entered the bar—and had only had two drinks at a holiday party earlier that evening—he says that psychologist Casey Stewart interviewed him about his drinking habits for more than eight hours and asked questions about Silo’s alcoholic father.

Waiters’ Woes

A popular Philadelphia sports bar is facing an unfair labor practices lawsuit, courtesy of 15 employees who say that the bar’s owners took a portion of their tips, refused to pay them for overtime and forced them to buy their own cleaning supplies. Employees at several Chickie & Pete’s locations say that the restaurant engaged in tip-skimming, in which employees had to pay back two to four percent of gross sales back to the restaurant as part of a “Pete Tax” (in reference to bar owner Pete Ciarrocchi).

Wayward Wine

A California vineyard may have thrown several great parties at a rented home during the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Co., but the house’s owner evidently wasn’t having any fun when he returned home. Aspen resident Larry Saliterman is suing the Jordan Vineyard and its national sales director for allegedly throwing three large parties that resulted in damages to his home. According to Saliterman, he agreed to rent his five-bedroom house to the company, which told him that no more than 35 people would attend any one of its parties.

Alanna Byrne

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.