Tim Gilmore

Irony. It’s defined as a result that is the opposite of what is or might be expected or considered appropriate. Like when somebody who is fighting against ageism wants to remove a judge from his case for being too old. That lawsuit is one of the nominees in this month’s most ridiculous lawsuit poll.

A 60-year-old musician is suing the group that ran the Young Concert Artists competition (entrants must be between 19 and 26) for age discrimination. The organizers made an exception – after he threatened to sue – and allowed him to play in the opening auditions but cut him after a “'less than stellar” performance.

So he filed suit saying that he was discriminated against based on his age. Then he discovered that the judge assigned to his case was 88 years old. In a ploy oozing with hypocrisy, the plaintiff moved to have the judge dismissed because he was too old. The fight against age-based discrimination is too important to leave in the hands of the elderly judge said the plaintiff, although he did add that the judge “may have been a very learned jurist in his day” (emphasis added). Geez, thanks for the compliment.

Another nominee for this month’s poll is also going to court over her age. An unnamed 40-year-old actress is suing the website IMDB, saying the site seriously damaged her career prospects when it (accurately) published her age. She says she looks younger than she is, so she has traditionally been cast in younger roles. The defendant responds that the “plaintiff's attempt to manipulate the federal court system so she can censor IMDb.com’s display of her birthdate and pretend to the world that she is not 40 years old is selfish, contrary to the public interest and a frivolous abuse of this court’s resources.”

The plaintiff is suing for $1 million for the future work she will lose now that producers know her real age. Incidentally, she credits her profile on IMDB for helping her land jobs when she was an unknown actress trying to break into the business. Ironic.

Are either of these suits the most ridiculous lawsuit from the past month? Or is it one of these?

Woman sues over movie trailer; says not enough driving in ‘Drive’
Suit claims placebo containing no medication caused rash
Lawsuit says SeaWorld “enslaves” whales

Vote at FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org.


Tim Gilmore

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