History has had its fair share of bizarre court cases, but within the last five years, we’ve seen several absurd lawsuits that leave us asking, “Is this for real?” If this world is coming to anything, it’s that you can be sued for being too pretty or too smart. Want to see what else you can be sued for? Take a look at these absurd lawsuits that have taken place in recent years.
1. University Sues Student for Being a Fast Learner
A 2012 report summarizes the case of a Germany university suing a student for studying too fast. Reportedly, the student completed 60 exams in 20 months and finished a course in three semesters that usually takes 11 semesters to complete. How did the student finish so fast? He did it by splitting up simultaneous lecture times with his friends and then sharing notes, a technique that the school approved beforehand.
The university argues that they didn’t get their money’s worth because he finished faster than most students do, and they wanted an extra €3,000 to make up for the costs–even though, oddly, that’s only a fraction of the 11-semester cost.
2. Woman Sues University for Not Finding a Job
When it comes to university disagreements, it goes both ways. Just three months after graduation, a Monroe College graduate, Trina Thompson, sued her college in 2009 for $72,000. The reason? She didn’t have a job.
She blamed the school officials in the Office of Career Advancement for not doing their job to help her find a career–even though she attended all her classes and had a 2.7 grade point average. According to the lawsuit, she wanted a $70,000 reimbursement for the money she spent on tuition and another $2,000 for the stress she experienced in her three-month job search.
3. Iowa Rules You Can Be Fired For Being “Too Pretty”
In this case, it’s not so much the lawsuit that leaves us shaking our heads but rather the result. After a woman sued her previous employer for gender discrimination, the Iowa supreme court ruled in late 2012 by a 7-0 vote that it’s okay to fire an employee who is too attractive when it’s “motivated by feelings and emotions” rather than by gender discrimination.
Reportedly, Dr. James Knight, a dentist, fired his dental assistant of 10 years, Melissa Nelson, after admitting that her tight-fitting clothing was distracting and was putting his marriage in jeopardy. Nelson says she had no intent of sleeping with her boss, who is 21 years her senior, but Knight admitted to Nelson’s husband that if he didn’t fire her, he was afraid he would try to start an affair with her.
Nelson’s attorney summed up the ruling well, saying, “These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don’t think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses’ sexual desires. If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it.”
4. Woman Sues Bar for Drunk Driving Accident
In 2011, a lawsuit surfaced in South Carolina where a young woman sued two organizations for her drunk driving accident. In 2009, Chelsea Hess reportedly met some friends at a sport grill and was served alcohol even though she was only 20, not the 21 legal drinking age in the state. Shortly after 1 a.m., she drove home intoxicated and without her seat belt on, resulting in an accident that rolled her car, threw her 20 feet, and caused her to become paraplegic.
In 2011, she sued the sports grill for negligence and not checking that she was of legal drinking age. She also sued the South Carolina Department of Transportation for not marking the shoulder, which she claims was a road defect that lead to her accident.
5. Man Opens Lawsuit to Marry His Computer
While no one is serious (as far as we know) about marrying an inanimate object, Marc Sevier sees gay marriage much the same way. As a protest to gay marriage, he opened a lawsuit to marry his computer. He claims that he “fell in love” with his computer through porn, reports Find Law in a 2014 overview of the case.
If this ridiculous case isn’t enough, the same man has opened several other absurd cases in the past, including one claiming that President Obama and A&E wanted to promote a pro-gay agenda when the channel fired Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for homophobic comments. His reasoning? Gay marriage is a sin. However, he had no problem suing Apple for fueling his porn addiction a few years back.
6. Woman Sues Attorney for Her Divorce
In a 2014 report by the Huffington Post, we learn of a UK woman who sued her attorney for not warning her that getting a divorce would terminate her marriage. As a Roman Catholic member, Jane Mulcahy’s divorce is looked down upon in the church. Even so, she didn’t realize that by getting divorced she would be…getting divorced. Instead, she argues that her lawyers should have suggested judicial separation. This would require a man and wife to stop living together, but it would not end their marriage.
7. Woman Sues Wal-Mart Over 2 Cents
After several transactions where a product rang up a few cents over the listed price, Marcy Bach decided she’d had enough. Although Wal-Mart had refunded her the difference in the past, she didn’t think that was going to cut it in the long-term. She wanted her two cents back, and she wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again, so she sued the store–and won.
She’s appeared to have made this a habit, saying in 2011 that, “This is the fifth lawsuit that I have now won against this store, this Delmont Wal-Mart for the same problem: practice of putting up a shelf tag that was lower than the price charged at the cash register,” reports the Huffington Post.
Clearly, there’s no stopping certain people who will open a lawsuit for anything–whether for the hope of making millions or for protesting a political issue. Although absurd, at least these cases give us–and most judges–a good laugh. Think these lawsuits are crazy? Then check out these other outrageous lawsuits.