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5 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

A colorful headstone, an emotionally supportive pet and lawsuits against two TV personalities

Prohibited Pet

Guinea pigs: oversized rodents or woman’s best friend? The answer is apparently the latter, if a recent lawsuit from a Michigan student is any indication. Kendra Velzen, who suffers from severe depression, sued Grand Valley State University after it refused to let her carry her pet guinea pig around campus. The university allowed Velzen to keep the animal in a pet-free dorm, since it was an assistance animal that provided her with “emotional support and attachment.”

Cruise Catastrophe

Carnival Corp. isn’t having the best year, and a disgruntled passenger is adding to the cruise line’s legal troubles with accusations that its staff got her drunk and then refused to turn the ship around when she subsequently fell overboard. Sarah Alexandra Badley Kirby claims that bartenders on a 2012 Miami-to-Jamaica cruise “kept pushing” Long Island iced teas at her and her friends.

Photo credit: David Shankbone

Torturous Treatment

Taboo Tombstone

You can rest in peace at Indiana’s St. Joseph Catholic Church, as long as you don’t do it under a couch-shaped headstone. Shannon Carr says that she spent $9,600 on a headstone for her husband Jason’s grave, following his death in a car accident. But this wasn’t your standard grave marker: Besides being shaped like a sofa, it also featured pictures of a dog, a deer and the logos of both NASCAR and the Indianapolis Colts.

Photo credit: Susan Roberts

Cheap China

Of all the courtroom opponents to go up against, Judge Judy Sheindlin isn’t the one most people would pick. But that’s just what Patric Jones, the judge’s ex-TV producer, did, when she sued the fiery jurist for allegedly buying a set of fine china for an artificially low price.

Alanna Byrne

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