Tim Gilmore
Recommend this article

The U.S. has been the undisputed lawsuit capital of the world for some time. And while the courts play a central role in resolving disputes and maintaining a civil society, that function isn’t easy when they are packed with frivolous suits.

Ridiculous lawsuits clog up our legal system’s dwindling resources, taking time away from legitimate grievances to devote to the vindictive, the hypocritical, the irresponsible, and the outright absurd.

With that in mind, FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org has compiled some of the most egregious examples of frivolous and abusive litigation from around the country and asked you to tell us which ones were the most ridiculous. These suits range from the comical and absurd to the disturbing, but they all underscore a real problem – lawsuits hurt businesses, families, and everyday Americans through lost time, money and job growth.

So which lawsuits are the doozies this past year? First, here's the lawsuit that you thought was the most ridiculous:

Convict sues couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police. A man who kidnapped a couple at knifepoint while he was running from the police is now suing the victims, claiming that they promised to hide him in exchange for an unspecified amount of money. The plaintiff, currently in jail, is seeking $235,000 for the alleged “breach of contract.”

And here’s the rest of the top ten as determined by you who voted at FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org:

• Man suing for age discrimination says judge in his case is too old. A 60-year-old musician who is suing for age discrimination wants the judge removed from the case – because he’s too old. Ironically, the plaintiff says his fight against age-based discrimination is too important to leave in the hands of the 88-year-old judge.

• Young adults sue mother for sending cards without gifts and playing favorites. The plaintiffs, now 20 and 23, claimed the mother “sometimes didn’t include gifts in cards sent to her children; played favorites with her children . . . did not send care packages until his sixth semester away at college . . . changed her surname, thus ‘causing attention’ at her daughter’s school events; and refused to buy her a homecoming dress.”

Recommend this article

Tim Gilmore

Tim Gilmore is an associate manager at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.