“The penalty for laughing in court is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.”
– H. L. Mencken
Indeed, there have been some laughable lawsuits. It seems every year something more frivolous than the last makes the headlines. Lawyers seem bent on sticking themselves in every crevice that they can possibly squeeze into and then drumming up crazy claims. Over the years these types of lawsuits have been on the rise and have certainly spilled into the tech world. Here is a list of 5 lawsuits that are just too frivolous not to write about:
Lauren Rosenberg is suing Google after claiming that Google Maps gave her directions that caused her harm. Apparently after Rosenberg used Google Maps for directions, the application indicated that she should walk down Deer Valley Dr. in Park City, Utah. Well, that would have been all fine and good except Deer Valley Dr. was also a highway and didn’t include any sidewalks. As she was walking along the highway, she was struck by a car and sustained permanent injury. She is holding Google responsible for being negligent and leading her into a dangerous situation. Did she not notice there wasn’t a sidewalk when she was walking on the highway?
If it weren’t so depressing, it would almost be funny to watch the impotent rage of a few Internet gamers who didn’t quite get enough of the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxy. In this class actions lawsuit, players of the online game bonded together to keep the game going despite the fact that Lucas Arts and Sony Online Entertainment decided to throw in the towel. Apparently interest in the game had fallen significantly and Sony was poised to introduce Star Wars: The Old Republic, which would have been in direct competition with SWG. It’s time to upgrade fellas, there’s plenty of MMO for everyone.
Talk about some moolah! The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wasn’t kidding around when they asked Limewire what would amount to just about all the money in the world. RIAA justified their $72 trillion claim to damages by stating that they should be paid $150,000 for each time a certain song (out of 11,000) was downloaded. They argued that by adding up all the times songs were illegally downloaded and figuring $150,000 for each violation, the total would come out to about 4.5 times the U.S. debt. Surprise, surprise the judge didn’t go for it and called the claim “absurd.”
Watch out for those processors, they cause a mighty itch – at least that’s what a Dutch woman claimed a few years ago. In 2002 a Dutch woman filed a complaint against Intel that stated that an Intel Pentium processor had given off certain radiation and made her break out in hives. Exactly how that works is anyone’s guess. She wanted to clarify, however, and point out that the 486 processor didn’t give her any problems. Ah, good, at least we don’t have that to worry about.
It’s always fun to mix tech news and celebrity news when one can. Perhaps it’s possible to remember back to when Lindsay Lohan was relevant, perhaps it is not. However, there was a time when comedians and late night entertainers referenced her quite frequently, and it was hard to go a day without hearing her name. This lawsuit occurred during that era. Here, Lohan sued Etrade because the baby they used in their ads made reference to “that milkaholic Lindsay” and, it seems, it hit a little too close to home. She flew into a rage (presumably) and tried to get damages out of the whole ordeal. The suit didn’t go to trial, but they did settle. So, either she did have something to her case, or they didn’t want to deal with the milkah– er, Ms. Lohan.
Life’s not all fun and games in the tech world. With such affordable access these days to learning how to program software and apps, anyone can be a tech giant. But with that power comes responsibility, or at least the fear of getting stuck with a lawsuit at the end of the day.