5 Baffling Dick Moves That Won Actual Lawsuits
In movies, a shady lawyer will not only get his murderous client off scot-free -- he'll win them an obscene settlement because the victim utterly ruined the murderer's favorite knife with her viscera. That sort of thing has to be the stuff of fiction, though. Even if somebody were crazy enough to file a case like that, the court would never validate it. Except for all of these times:
A Teen Gets Away With Manslaughter Because He Was "Too Wealthy"
One summer night in 2013, 16-year-old Ethan Couch and his friends stole two cases of beer from a Texas Walmart, used said beer to get irrevocably drunk, then went out driving. Meanwhile, somewhere down the road, 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell was changing a flat tire with the help of good Samaritans Hollie Boyles, her daughter Shelby, and Brian Jennings, a youth pastor.
Jesus, that's such an overblown setup that you'd roll your eyes if you saw it in a MADD commercial.
"They kill off Brian, a dad of three, on Father's Day? Waaayyy too on the nose, guys."
Exactly what you think would happen happened. Couch's truck slammed into Boyles's party, flinging all four of them nearly 200 feet through the air and killing them instantly. Couch found himself in court pretty much as soon as he was sober enough to stand trial.
And that's when his gold-plated lawyer reached up his own ass and pulled out the most ridiculous defense possible: Couch's family was so very rich, and his parents were so very indulgent of his dickish behavior, that he was never properly taught that actions have consequences.
"I call this affliction 'affluenza.'"
No, seriously. That's what he called it.
Somehow everyone in the courtroom stifled their laughter long enough for the defense to call Dr. G. Dick Miller, who recalled a time in 2012 when Couch's parents completely neglected to punish him after he was discovered by police in the back of his pickup truck with an unconscious (and naked) 14-year-old girl.
The prosecution wouldn't even need to present a case against this kid, they'd just need to stand up and go "what he said."
"We'd like to enter this as Exhibit Are You Fucking Kidding Me."
Impossibly, the argument worked. Rather than the 20-year prison sentence that prosecutors were shooting for, Couch landed a cushy 10-year probation in a fancy, rich-folks-only rehab center. Because what better way to teach a young man that his actions have serious consequences than to prove to him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his actions do not have serious consequences?
A Man Sues The New York City Transit Authority After He Jumps In Front Of A Train
In 1977, 19-year-old New Yorker Milo Stephens decided that life was not worth living. So he went to the 86th Street station and tossed himself into the path of a southbound train. Amazingly, the train managed to stop!
Though not in time to keep from running Milo over.
Just 'cause you can break the MTA's laws doesn't mean you can break Newton's.
He survived, but he did so short one leg and one arm. Nearly seven years later, the New York City Transit Authority received a letter from Stephens's attorney, Aaron Broder. Stephens was suing the Transit Authority on grounds of negligence because, according to New York law, a person who is injured as a result of his or her own negligence can sue another party involved in the incident if they too were negligent. In this case, while Stephens demonstrated incalculable negligence by intentionally jumping in front of a speeding train, his lawyer argued that the operator was also negligent by not anticipating people hurling themselves in front of said train.
The court apparently agreed that all train operators should also be psychics, and awarded Stephens 650 thousand goddamn dollars.
The MTA paid for it by firing the janitor for the next 40 years.
A Woman Sues Two Teenagers For Giving Her Cookies
Instead of going to a high school dance, teenagers Taylor Ostergaard and Lindsey Jo Zellitti decided to bake cookies for several of their neighbors. According to Zellitti, "We just wanted to do something nice for other people, [to] let them know other people care about them even though they didn't know who it was." The care packages even came complete with a paper heart that read "Have a great night. From the T and L Club."
Okay okay, stop laughing and shouting "neeeerds!" They're sweet kids.
C'mon ... we can wait ...
Sweet kids who got their butts sued off for it. One of the care package recipients, Wanita Renea Young, had once been robbed (and presumably had recurring nightmares featuring the Cookie Monster as a child), so she was incredibly distraught by the "shadowy figures" in her yard. She had an anxiety attack, and checked herself into the hospital.
Ostergaard and Zellitti's parents apologized and offered to pay for her medical bills, but Young rejected their offer and took them straight to court where she ... sued them for the cost of her medical expenses.
Maybe she really likes the atmosphere of court?
"Criminals, arguments, tears ... and not a cookie in sight. Lovely!"
Young won, and the girl's families were forced to cough up nearly a grand. Hopefully she used that money to build a panic room for the next time she gets trick-or-treaters.
A Woman Sues The Family Of A Dead Man Because Part Of His Corpse Hit Her
In 2008, 18-year-old Hiroyuki Joho was dashing across the tracks at a Chicago station while late for his inbound train, when he was struck by an Amtrak traveling at more than 70 miles per hour. Based on our last train entry, you probably think this is going to be about his family suing the train driver.
Ho ho! Guess AGAIN, motherfucker!
A " large portion" of Joho flew to the opposite side of the tracks, where it struck fellow passenger Gayane Zokhrabov, knocking her to the ground and injuring her. Normally, we'd use words to paint a picture here. We're going to go ahead and leave this one a crude crayon drawing, if you don't mind.
Mostly one color.
Zokhrabov filed a lawsuit against Joho's estate (read: his grieving family), claiming negligence on Joho's behalf. The judge initially dismissed the lawsuit, because judges are also human beings. But Zokhrabov's lawyer appealed, claiming that it was "reasonably foreseeable" that part of Joho's mangled body could careen across the platform to not only strike but also injure another passenger. Dude didn't even foresee the train, much less foresee his corpse becoming a projectile. But the court ruled in Zokhrabov's favor anyway. So the next time you die, try not to get any of you on anybody else, or your family might get sued for the dry cleaning bills.
A Woman Sues A Man For Child Support After Stealing His Sperm
Dr. Richard O. Phillips was slapped with a paternity lawsuit by Dr. Sharon Irons, with whom he'd once had a quick and lurid affair. A paternity test revealed that Phillips was the father of Irons' child. And yet Phillips was still somewhat skeptical of Irons's claim ... because the only sex they had was of the oral variety.
"You don't expect this court to swallow this load, do you?"
No, Dr. Phillips didn't have sperm with a serious "can-do" attitude -- after performing oral sex on him, Irons squirreled away the man's ejaculate and later used it to impregnate herself. And since Phillips was undeniably the father, the court ruled that he was on the hook for $800 a month in child support, making for possibly the first case of a man paying for a blowjob on installments.
Phillips counter sued for emotional damages, claiming that Irons had made him an unwilling father in probably the least expected manner possible. Irons' lawyer, Enrico Mirabelli, was fully prepared for that circumstance, however -- he simply argued that the sperm was a gift. And the court agreed, stating that "She asserts that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift -- an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee. There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request."
"The plaintiff may not have accepted the return even had one been offered."
So ... the law now considers semen a "gift."
We're sure that won't have any terrifying consequences later.
For more zany legal stories, check out 7 Ridiculous Cases Where Animals Were Put On Trial and 5 Stupid Juries That Prove the Justice System Is Broken.
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