15 Strange Lawsuits That Happened In America

Jordan Claes
Harvey and Mike on Suits
Netflix | Netflix

America has long been hailed as a champion of democracy. It's the land of the free where everyone is entitled to have their day in court — regardless of how outrageous their claims might be.

Over the course of America's history, its courts have seen some highly questionable and downright perplexing cases. Have a look below and check out these 15 strange (but true) lawsuits that happened in America.

I thought I'd heard it all...

Empty courtroom.
Unsplash | Hansjörg Keller

Fugitive Jesse Dimmick forcefully entered the home of Jared and Lindsay Rowley, holding them up at knifepoint. The couple escaped while Jesse was asleep and he was eventually charged with kidnapping. Later, Jesse attempted to sue the Rowleys — claiming they'd violated an oral agreement not to turn him into the police.

I don't think that qualifies.

Fireman at burn site.
Unsplash | Randy Fath

Houston Fire Captain, Shayn Proler, wound up developing such an intense fear of fire that it actively prevented him from entering burning buildings. After he was transferred to a training assignment in 2004, he alleged that the city was discriminating against him for what he called his "disability."

The Dark Passenger strikes again!

Intro to 'Dexter'.
Giphy | Dexter

Back in 2014, Ajanaffy Njewadda was walking down the steps in New York City's Grand Central Terminal, fell, and broke her ankle. She tried unsuccessfully to sue Showtime's Dexter, claiming that a "scary poster" was responsible for her fall.

I think you've had one too many.

Can of beer.
Unsplash | Christophe Dion

A man by the name of Richard Overton once tried to sue Anheuser-Busch for $10,000. He claimed that the beer ads depicting tropical settings and galavanting women were flagrant examples of false advertising.

Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint?

Junior Mint scene 'Seinfeld'.

Both Biola Daniel and Abel Duran attempted to sue the Tootsie Roll company for defrauding their customers. They claimed that anywhere from 35-45% of all Junior Mint boxes contained nothing but air. The 44-page decision, handed down by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, stated that any reasonable customer should expect some empty space.

RedBull does not give you wings.

Floating can of RedBull.
Unsplash | Douglas Bagg

In October of 2014, RedBull settled a $13 million false-advertising class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs claimed, among other things, that at no point in their history of drinking RedBull, had it ever actually given them wings.

Talk about a Tinder swindler.

Tinder app on phone.
Unsplash | Mika Baumeister

Back in 2018, a man by the name of Emile Ratelband petitioned the courts so that he could legally change his date of birth (by 20 years) in an attempt to better his chances of success on Tinder. The judge heard his argument, but Emile lost the case.

Have you ever heard of a "Pyrrhic Victory"?

Trevor Lawrence in a Subway Commercial.
Giphy | SUBWAY

In 2013, a teen dining at a Subway restaurant measured his sandwich and discovered it was only 11-inches long. This spawned a class-action lawsuit which resulted in Subway settling for roughly $500,000 — almost all of which went to pay the plaintiff's lawyer costs.

I'm lovin' it.

McDonald's hamburger.
Unsplash | Christian Wiediger

South Florida couple, Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner, once tried to sue McDonald's restaurant for $5 million over cheese. They thought it criminal that McDonald's would charge the same amount for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese as they do for a Quarter Pounder, sans fromage.

What's the difference between evaporated cane juice and sugar?

Jelly Bellys candy.
Unsplash | Cole Freeman

In short, absolutely nothing. Still, a California woman sued the Jelly Belly Candy Company in 2017, claiming that they had duped her into believing that she was eating performance-enhancing "Sport Beans" instead of just regular sugar-filled candies. The case was eventually dismissed.

Love that chicken from Popeye's.

Popeye's chicken commercial.
Giphy | Popeyes Chicken

I love fried chicken but I don't think anyone loves it even half as much as Tennessee man, Craig Barr. When his local Popeye's ran out of its famous fried chicken, Barr attempted to sue for $5000 in damages.

Kiss your integrity goodbye.

Tube of lip balm.
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

The U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Angela Ebner's claim that Fresh Inc. was attempting to con its customers. Angela claimed that consumers could only use 75% of the lip balm, while the remaining 25% would always get stuck in the tube.

Just another reason why you should turn off your phone in the theater.

Woman texting.
Unsplash | Pradamas Gifarry

No one on earth loves the MCU more than Texas-born, Brandon Vezmar. In 2017, after an unsuccessful first date, he tried to sue a woman for texting during The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. She agreed to reimburse him the cost of the movie ticket and the case was dropped.

I saw that playing out differently in my mind.

baby smiling
Unsplash | Christian Bowen

Jian Feng of China was disappointed by his baby's ugly appearance. Upon prodding his wife to reveal whether or not she'd cheated before becoming pregnant, she revealed she'd had upwards of $100,000 worth of plastic surgery. He sued her for $120,000 worth of damages, and won!

Be like Mike.

Michael Jordan laughing.
Giphy | ESPN

A man named Allen Ray Heckard once tried to sue Michael Jordan for over $800 million for likeness infringement. Heckard claimed that he'd been mistaken for MJ multiple times over a 15-year period, and sought to reclaim $416 million from Jordan/Nike brands, $52 million in damages, and $362 million in punitive.