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6 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

A dangerous package, an unloved child and four more of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

Mistaken Mail

A Massachusetts woman is suing FedEx after an unwelcome surprise delivery allegedly brought several drug dealers to her doorstep. Maryangela Tobin says that last October she signed for a FedEx package, believing it to be a birthday present for her daughter. Upon opening the box, however, Tobin allegedly found several bags of pot inside. She says she immediately notified FedEx and the police, who retrieved the drugs.

An hour later, however, the pot’s three intended recipients turned up at Tobin’s house to demand their package. Police later arrested the trio, but Tobin is now suing FedEx for allegedly endangering her and her children by giving her address to the drug dealers.

Lacking Love

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is a $200,000 lawsuit filed by your 32-year-old child. Bernard Anderson Bey is suing his parents, saying that he is now homeless because they failed to give him the emotional support and love that he needed as a child. According to Bey, he ran away from home at a young age after being subjected to both verbal and physical abuse.

He currently lives in a homeless shelter, and claims in his suit that his five siblings also live on public assistance. In additional to the cash, he is seeking to force his parents to mortgage their share of a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone in order to buy two franchises “like Domino’s Pizza” for the family.

Premarital Pregnancy

A San Diego woman is suing her former employer for firing her when she became pregnant out of wedlock—and then offering her job to a surprising candidate. When Teri James started working at San Diego Christian College, she signed a “community covenant” that asks employees and students to abstain from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography use, premarital sex and more. Just weeks after signing the pledge, however, James became pregnant and was subsequently fired for “[engaging] in activity…that does not build up the college’s mission.”

What differentiates this case from other, similar suits is James’ claim that the school subsequently offered her position to her now-husband, even though he presumably had something to do with her pregnancy. (He didn’t take the job).

 

Dangerous Device

Apple Inc. is facing a $75,000 lawsuit from a woman who claims that her iPod touch brought, not music to her ears, but burning to her eyes. According to Tina King, she was listening to her iPod in bed last February when she suddenly “felt a burning sensation on her eye.”

That burning was allegedly caused by an exploding iPod, which King says resulted in medical and mental conditions “which will cause her to suffer pain, mental distress, emotional distress, and otherwise for the rest of her life” and a $600 medical bill. She is suing Apple for acting negligently when designing the iPod touch.

Stolen Sperm

Talk about a surprise pregnancy. A Louisiana man is suing a Houston fertility clinic after an ex-girlfriend was allegedly inseminated with his sperm—and gave birth to a son—without his knowledge. Layne Hardin says that he deposited the sample at Texas Andrology Services in 2002, to ensure that he and his then-partner would still be able to have children following his vasectomy. In the event of a breakup, the sperm was allegedly to be discarded or given to his partner.

The pair split up in 2006, after which Hardin began a five-year, on-and-off relationship with Tobie Devall. According to Hardin’s lawsuit, Devall knew that he had sperm stored at the fertility clinic and, following their 2009 breakup, she had herself secretly inseminated. Hardin is now suing Devall, the clinic and its owner, Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates, for unspecified damages.

Perilous Patty

We’ve all heard of the dangers of drinking and driving, but one Florida bus rider sued Broward County after she got a first-hand look at the dangers of eating and driving. Bus driver Herton Reid was steering with one hand—and eating a Jamaican beef patty with the other—when he slammed on the brakes, causing his passengers to lurch forward. One of those riders, Ursila Wilson, fell to the ground, hitting her head on the fare box in the process. Reid, who had a history of accidents, simply looked down and resumed eating, surveillance video shows.

Wilson sued Broward County for $100,000, claiming she had to have surgery to fuse disks in her spine following the accident. County commissioners voted to settle the suit last week.

Contributing Author

Alanna Byrne

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