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LEGOs, Beer, Bounty Hunters, And Other Lawsuit Lunacy

February 15, 2013

Welcome to another edition of Loopy Lawsuits.

As mentioned in previous posts, I do a cartoon illustration every month for Inside Counsel Magazine’s humor feature about unusual lawsuits. They send me short summaries of four cases, I sketch out an idea for each, they pick the one they like best.

Here’s the winner for the February 2013 issue. A master LEGO builder (who constructs large museum displays using LEGO toy bricks) sued Toys “R” Us for allegedly shortchanging him. He claims they promised him some free sets with his purchase, but then substituted sets of lesser value. I asked myself how a master LEGO builder might aggressively pursue his lawsuit.

cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit involving master LEGO builder who sued Toys R Us for giving him cheaper than advertised bonus sets when he made major purchase; plaintiff is crashing into courtroom in tank made of LEGOs; judge pounding gavel made of LEGOs; jury building jury box made of LEGOs

And for the upcoming March 2013 issue: Five prison inmates are suing several beer, wine, and liquor companies for failing to warn them that their products are addictive and can lead to poor life choices. Here they are being duped again…cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit involving prison inmates who are suing beer and liquor companies because failed to warn inmates that alcohol was addictive which led them to poor choices and life of crime; judge dispensing beer from bench, inmates, lawyer, and jury all drinking excessively

Here are some of the rough sketches that weren’t chosen:BlankVertSpace.8pixels

A couple is suing Ford Motor Company because they don’t like their replacement vehicle. Their original Ford Escape XLT was red with stone-colored interior. Unfortunately, it had recurring transmission problems. Ford replaced it with an Escape that was steel blue with charcoal interior. The couple sued because it didn’t match the original colors.

cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit involving couple suing Ford Motor Company because replacement for defective car was unsatisfactory; judge's bench serving as hydraulic lift, judge working on car like mechanic, auto parts raining down on lawyer and witnesses, jury members dressed as auto mechanics

A man is suing Spike TV and its “reality” show Big Easy Justice, which features a ruthless tattooed bounty hunter who wears a baseball cap, bluetooth headset, and a microphone clip. The plaintiff claims the show falsely accused him of grand theft auto
and ruined his reputation. cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit about man who sued Spike TV and its Big Easy Justice reality show for falsely accusing him of auto theft; poor witness being held up by ruthless bounty hunter Tat-2; jury dressed like Tat-2 with microphones, blu-tooth communication devices, baseball caps and tattoos on arms

Shoe designer Charles Philip sued retailer Gap for copying his trademark luxury loafers. Philip claims Gap is selling a knockoff shoe that costs 80% less than the original.cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit shoe designer Charles Philip sued Gap for selling cheap knockoff of his trademark luxury loafers; lawyers pointing to shoe which is hurting his foot; judge shining his shoes; jury holding up shoes with shoe size signs; clown holding up long shoe with size 38

A steel salesman sued his former employer, Superior Supply and Steel. The plaintiff claims he was fired because he refused orders to take customers to strip clubs and help them obtain sexual favors. cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit steel salesman sued his employer steel supply company for firing him for refusing to take prospective customers to strip clubs; witness describing situation steel I-beam morphing into stripper with bikini bottom

The former manager of an American Apparel store is suing the retailer’s CEO for verbal and physical abuse, wrongful termination, and for shoving dirt in his face.cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit American Apparel store manager sued company CEO for verbally abusing him and shoving dirt in his face; lawyer offering wash basin and towel to witness with dirty face and clothes; judge banging gavel that is bar of soap; jury members popping resulting soap bubbles

A customer sued the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain over the actions of a waitress. The plaintiff alleges the waitress accused her boyfriend of not paying for the salad bar, snatched away his plate and threw a napkin dispenser at him, and then attacked the plaintiff with a knife.  cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit Chuck E. Cheese being sued by customer because waitress accused customer of not paying, snatched away his plate, and stabbed another customer with knife; judge's bench as plastic ball compartment with kids playing in it; woman in witness box with mouse ears throwing napkin dispenser at lawyer; jury members hiding behind pizzas used as shields

What do you think? Ever had someone bean you with a napkin dispenser, or had a bounty hunter break down your door? (Please say no.) Is a growing lack of civility driving some of these lawsuits? Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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Can’t Get Enough Of Crazy Lawsuits? You Can Find More In These Posts:BlankVertSpace.4pixels

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2013 11:26 AM

    Hilarious., crazy lawsuits! The illustrations were superb!! Good job Mark.


    • February 18, 2013 9:48 AM

      What a lovely comment– thank you, Seyi! I shall be walking on air for the rest of the day– and that will save a lot of wear and tear on my socks! : )


  2. February 15, 2013 4:45 PM

    re: Superior Supply & Steel: oh good Lord, only in Texas. I can actually believe an employer would be that blatantly idiotic. I’m actually surprised there isn’t a chain of other lawsuits on it, including harassment.

    Now, my vote is on the Ford Motor Company lawsuit. I mean, if it was me, I’d figure a color difference would be an exciting change of pace, and that I was grateful the vehicle had been replaced. Ahh, I got a rhyme just in time, was a poet and I didn’t even know it. It’s practically a rap parody or something like it, just waiting to happen, y’know?


    • February 21, 2013 4:26 PM

      Ha! Thanks, Jak. Yes, I think management at that steel company must have some metal rivets where their brains are supposed to be. Talk about shady dealings and asking for trouble… : P

      Hey, that was a pretty elaborate rhyming couplet. You could take rap music to a new level– you’re a star waiting to happen! : )


      • February 22, 2013 3:42 AM

        I dunno about star– but I might actually have a possibility in voice acting. I’ll have to work on the audio recordings again to demonstrate.


  3. February 15, 2013 11:10 PM

    This old proverb for those inmates: I’ll drink to your health and ruin my own. Some of the lawsuits you mentioned make you just scratch your head and go, “huh!” At some point, common sense should kick in … along with the Blue Suede (knock-off) shoes. 🙂


    • February 21, 2013 4:30 PM

      “I’ll drink to your health and ruin my own…” Hey, that’s a new one for me! Yes, I’ve led a sheltered life. It’s what comes of growing up in Upstate New York. I’m sure you can understand… : )

      Blue Suede Knock-Off Shoes?? Poor Carl Perkins– he must be rolling over in his blue suede casket!! Thanks for your support, Madam Punster!! : )


  4. February 16, 2013 12:59 PM

    Hi Mark,
    Once again you make us aware that real life lawsuits are stranger than fiction.Love the cartoons. My favorite cartoon this time is the lego guy who sued Toys “R” Us one. I hope you have a great weekend. Psssst … stay clear of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants just in case there’s a waitress on the rampage as she could take out innocent bystanders when she goes at her boyfriend.


    • February 22, 2013 3:21 PM

      Ha! That sounds like good advice, TT– thanks! Yes, that was quite a tale. I think my favorite part of that cartoon was the jurors trying using pizzas as shields– I’m not sure how effective they’d be against a napkin dispenser!!

      No Chuck E. Cheese restaurants around here, but I did get to see one years ago when I visited my sister and her family. I especially remember the big tent-like bin filled with little plastic balls where kids could climb in and roll around. So in I went with my niece and nephews. Good thing that waitress wasn’t around, or I’da been a goner!!

      Thanks as always for your jolly support! : )


  5. February 16, 2013 7:40 PM

    I hate to think how much it cost some these folks in legal fees for um…frivolous law cases..


    • February 22, 2013 3:28 PM

      Ha! Hi, Jean, great to see you. I seem to recall you once worked in the legal field– research, wasn’t it? as a law librarian, perhaps? I know these weird lawsuit posts always strike a chord with you, since you’ve seen your share of courtroom shenanigans! Always good to see Canada’s preeminent bicyclist here! : )


  6. SingingTuna permalink
    February 17, 2013 1:14 PM

    Lady Justice must be LOL’ing hysterically! Mark, these are wonderful! Wow!
    I love the ones you ended up with, esp.
    Genius. GENIUS!!!!!!

    And btw, that’s a dream-job, I think. Art+law+humor? PERFECTISSIMO!!!

    Oh…this is Robin. I’m using another account. “Robpixaday” is just too crowded right now so I’m scaled back, posting as the SingingTuna and visiting only a few peeps.

    And: our society certainly is litigious. Bad enough there’s too much arguing in court. People do it in the street, too. And bad things happen. People shoot each other over parking places after a snowfall. Someone did that a few years ago. Incredible.

    Awwww…..civility. What a great concept. I miss it!


    • February 22, 2013 3:36 PM

      Singing Tuna… that sounds like a rock group circa 1969!!

      Hi, Robin! Great to see you no matter what fishy disguise you’re wearing! Yes, I miss civility, too. Kind of the glue that holds so much of society together– or used to, I should say. Its decline seems to have coincided with a sharp increase in litigation. I can’t believe that’s a coincidence…

      Well, at least you and I have remained civilized. Of course, if we ever run into each other at a 50% off post-holiday candy sale, it’ll be every chocoholic for himself!! : P

      Glad you liked the post, and thanks so much for that lovely comment!! : )


  7. February 17, 2013 2:12 PM

    Loved them all, Mark! What a wonderful gig. I suppose they pay you, but they are fortunate to have your talent in their magazine! I especially like the one with a “Bounty Hunter.” 🙂


    • February 18, 2013 12:09 PM

      Ha! Of course!– you liked the one involving a Hunter… : P

      Thanks, Maddie! If only there were a bounty on all the things that need mocking, I’d be rich!! Why, then I’d be able to afford autographed copies of all the Susan Hunter Mysteries by a certain world-famous author!! Oh, what a lucky guy I’d be… : )


  8. February 18, 2013 7:12 AM

    Your posts never fail to make my face grow wider and wider; I think it’s called a ‘smile’… Mind you, Mark, it’s a smile that lasts for a looooonnnnnnngggggg time….! 🙂

    I can definitely say ‘NO’… I’ve not had a waitress throw anything at me, nor has there been a bounty hunter at my door… Thank goodness…!

    All of your submissions are worthy of publishing, Mark, however the March ‘pick’ really touched me, as well as tickled my fancy…! It highlights the fact that we are each responsible for our actions. I like that. The manufacturers of substances (be they food, drink, toys, etc.,) need to be held accountable for their impact upon society, just as we ‘personally’ need to be aware of the footprint we leave…

    Your ‘footprint’ is a joyous one, Mark. Regardless of the seriousness of a situation your humour allows us to view it with greater candour and clarity… A valuable asset to possess; to be sure…


    • February 21, 2013 4:21 PM

      What?? My posts put a smile on your face?? But I always picture you with a smile on your face, dear Carolyn– you are Radiance itself! At least that’s what my spectrometer readings tell me… : )

      So happy you enjoyed the post, and thank you for your lovely comment, especially re my footprint. As soon as I can secure some plaster of paris, I shall send you a copy… : P


  9. February 21, 2013 1:21 AM

    I love them, very good.


  10. February 23, 2013 8:17 AM

    Gawd, the crazy things that people sue for…. madness! But – if not for them, your career could have gone in an entirely different direction! 😉 Love the boozy 2nd one down! (And the lego tank!)


    • February 27, 2013 11:02 AM

      Ha! Thanks, Val. Awful to think that I must hope these insane lawsuits continue– I mean, they’re part of my livelihood!! : (

      Glad you got a chuckle or two, and thanks for your kind comment! : )


  11. February 25, 2013 10:21 AM

    Lawsuits like those drive me crazy. Thank God your illustrations are even crazier — it keeps me sane. The Lego with the tanks and gavel — brilliant! 🙂


    • February 27, 2013 11:06 AM

      So true: crazy illustrations help keep one sane! I’ve been preaching that gospel for years, and it’s nice to hear an “Amen!” A clear case of great and slightly warped minds thinking alike… : )

      Great to see you here, Ned, and thanks so much for your kind comment!


  12. February 26, 2013 4:03 PM

    As always Mark, another lot of very amusing monthly lawsuits! How these things even go to the courts really makes you scratch your head in wonder..

    The LEGO one is fantastic! Even the cannonballs coming out of the tank would be made of LEGO. And the March issue is great! Seems you got ahead of your schedule making up the next one in advance : p


    • March 9, 2013 12:05 PM

      Thanks, Sabine! Yes, it’s so good to know that our court system is addressing these very pressing matters… : P

      Every so often, I see these elaborate constructions that people have made from LEGOs: airplanes or dinosaurs or entire cities. It seems incredible– I’d be lucky if I could build a box! But drawing something elaborate made of LEGOs– now that I can do!! : )

      Many thanks for your very kind support!! : )


  13. Margie permalink
    March 1, 2013 11:04 PM

    These Loopy Lawsuit posts are so much fun – it’s true that fact is much stranger than fiction!


    • March 9, 2013 12:06 PM

      Yes, indeed– fact is stranger than fiction– and here I am to prove it!! : P

      Thanks, Margie! : )


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