Two candidates for the 'most ridiculous lawsuit' of the month

By The SE Texas Record | Aug 8, 2011

The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform (which owns this newspaper) has an educational and entertaining website called on which visitors can vote for the "most ridiculous lawsuit" of the month.

It's a great way to show how absurd some lawsuits are and generate the outrage needed to effect changes in our legal system to discourage such abuses.

A recent slate of candidates for this dubious honor included a woman suing her Facebook "boyfriend" for ending their "relationship," an inmate suing to overturn a prison's ban on pornography, and a husband suing the state for the death of his wife – who killed herself and seven other people while driving drunk, in the wrong direction, on a state parkway.

With more than our share of ridiculous lawsuits here in Southeast Texas, we've been toying with the idea of having our own monthly contest and letting Record readers choose the "winners."

As a trial run, we'll summarize the facts of two recent cases and you can vote for your "favorite" in the "Reader's poll" box in the right-hand margin.

Case A involves a woman who chose to stand in front of a set of swinging doors.

On Sept. 8, 2009, Emma Clayton was standing in front of those swinging doors at the Groves Wal-Mart when a Coca-Cola employee pushed a cart through and accidentally knocked her down.

Clayton is suing Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola in Jefferson County District Court for failure to warn her about the obvious danger of standing in front of swinging doors.

Case B involves a private nurse who blames her non-ambulatory patient for not being able to walk.

On March 26, Andrea Berry tried to help her patient – Paul Tinsley of Beaumont -- out of his car and into a wheelchair. Tinsley fell on her, and Berry allegedly was injured as a result.

Berry is suing Tinsley, also in Jefferson County District Court, for "negligence."

Which suit seems more ridiculous? You decide!

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