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6 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines

Dating site disasters, a real life soap opera and four more strange suits in the news

A Broken Heart... or Wrist

A Broken Heart… or Wrist

When first hearing about litigation against Ashley Madison, the online dating site specifically geared towards married people, most people would assume a jilted lover seeking revenge. But one Toronto woman claims Ashley Madison injured her in a much different way — a physical one. Doriana Silva claims that Ashley Madison hired her to create fake profiles for the Brazilian portion of the website, over 1,000 profiles in all. Silva claims the hard work led to hurt wrists and that she should be entitled to worker’s compensation. When Ashley Madison refused, she sued.

Ashley Madison, however, says that all is not as it seems. In a statement to Business Insider, the dating site says that Silva was photographed riding a jet ski just days after her employment ended, and her wrist seemed to be in good shape. In addition, the statement says, “Ms. Silva’s allegations are without merit, and we consider this to be a frivolous claim brought by an opportunistic Plaintiff.”

Real Life Soap Opera

Real Life Soap Opera

ABC’s long-running soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children have had their fair share of drama during a combined 80+ years on the air. But their most recent drama hasn’t come from the show at all; it’s from the court battle surrounding the show’s airing. Prospect Park, which licensed the soaps from ABC for a planned web-only series, filed suit in April against ABC, claiming the network sabotaged the web series by, among other things, killing off key characters.

On Nov. 13, Prospect Park stepped up its claims a notch, filing an amended suit that seeks $95 million in damages from ABC’s actions. The latest court papers claim ABC hired former longtime OLTL executive producer, Frank Valentini, and head writer, Ron Carlivati, in December 2011 with the ambition of undermining the web series through the creation of a “mega-soap” in the still-running General Hospital. Prospect Park also claims that ABC dissuaded third parties, such as Hulu, from providing services that would help the struggling soaps out.


Correction: ABC's hiring of Valentini and Carlivati was previously unclear; they were approached for contracts with Prospect Park but were never full-time employees.

Worked to Death


Worked to Death

There are times here at InsideCounsel where I feel like I’m being worked to death (hi, editors!) But that’s silly; “worked to death” is just a phrase… until it isn’t, and one Ohio man is headed to court to prove it. Jim Jasper’s wife Beth worked at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, where Jim says his wife’s unit was understaffed. Especially since his wife was one of the few employees qualified to operate the dialysis machines, she worked long hours. Jim says those long hours were a determining factor in a car accident which took her life on the way home from work on March 16, 2013.

Jim is seeking damages from the hospital, as well as a change in the way hospital workers are staffed. “It needs to change. These nurses cannot be treated this way,” Jim Jasper told CNN affiliate WCPO. “They can't continue to work these nurses and expect them to pick up the slack because they don't want to staff the hospitals.” Mercy Health Group, the hospital’s parent company, has not commented on the suit.

Baring It All


Baring It All

Sometimes, it seems like partiers can do a little bit of everything in Miami… except that at a closer look, those partiers will find that any fully nude establishments in the city are not allowed to serve alcohol. The owner of Club Madonna, the only fully nude strip club in the city that falls under these regulations, has been fighting against these rules for years. Recently, owner Leroy Griffith filed his fourth suit against the city looking to overturn the ban, but his suit was dismissed due to a failure to respond to city notices.

However, the city of Miami may be fighting back. According to the Miami Herald, the city attorney’s office is beginning to get fed up with the constant litigation, especially in light of the fact that Griffith is preparing to file an amended complaint. In an email, Miami Beach City Attorney Jose Smith called the lawsuit “bogus.” He also wrote that he plans to hit Club Madonna back, saying, “We will be seeking sanctions against Leroy Griffith and his publicity-seeking attorney for what we all know was clearly a ‘publicity stunt.’”

Do the Litigious Thing


Do the Litigious Thing

When movie director Spike Lee tweeted out what he believed to be George Zimmerman’s address in early 2012, he believed he was getting vigilante justice in the name of Treyvon Martin. What he actually got, though, was a lawsuit. The address did not belong to Zimmerman at all, but rather Florida couple Elaine and David McClain.

The couple originally settled with Lee for $10,000 over negligence, but according to attorneys, the couple is still seeking damages over “mental anguish and distress.” The McClains’ lawyer said that the couple received death threats, was forced to move out of their home, and “suffered and continue to suffer anxiety and fear.”  Lee’s attorneys, meanwhile, believe the court should throw out the case due to the earlier settlement. Although court filings do not say the amount the McClains are seeking, Lee’s attorneys say the figure is near $1.2 million.

Gyno Nightmares


Gyno Nightmares

When one Ohio woman went to her local gynecologist, she was expecting to have a routine checkup. Instead, she received an appointment from hell. The woman, who asked WKYC-TV to be identified only as Laura, says her doctor went to clean her vaginal canal with diluted vinegar, a common procedure. But instead of vinegar, as the bottle was labeled, Laura says the Dr. John Black instead used potassium hydroxide on her cervix and surrounding areas. Potassium hydroxide, by the way, is the primary chemical used in drain cleaner.

After feeling a burning sensation, Black tested the liquid and immediately realized something was wrong. The suit says he then proceeded to irrigate the burn area with saline solution and applied a cream to numb the pain using his bare hands. In her suit, Laura says that she still has daily pain and a burning sensation from the chemical, and a later hospital visit informed her that the chemical used was more powerful than Black’s office had claimed. For his part, Black believed the liquid was vinegar but denies all other parts of the suit.


For more oddballs and oddities, check out 6 more of the strangest lawsuits making headlines!

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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