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By Shaer Reaz

The following can only happen in America. The land of the brave (and free) is full of instances where lawsuits have been filed on hilarious circumstances, when the majority of these would've been thrown out of any other court in any other part of the world.

Stella Libeck once got a cup of coffee from a McDonalds drive in and then did something stupid. She forgot all about her car's built in cup-holders, and proceeded to place her scalding hot cup of coffee on her lap. She ended up with third degree burns and McDonald's ended up with a 2.7 million dollar lawsuit. She managed to get $640,000 as damages out of the lawsuit and the whole affair opened up debates on whether McDonald's serves its coffee too hot. Third degree burns, first world problems.

Fast food companies are bound to face lawsuits than any other large corporation in the US it seems; possibly because of the obesity epidemic. A man in New York is suing Subway for baking a knife into his sandwich and giving him “severe stomach problems” when he bit into the thing. Sounds quite serious? He didn't cut himself or anything, just bit into the plastic handle of “filthy knife”. He's asking for $1,000,000.

Another real life Homer Simpson from Michigan sued beer brewers Budweiser for misleading advertising, claiming beautiful women weren't attracted to him when he drank their brew, nor did anyone materialise out of thin air, as shown in the commercial. The compensation demanded 250 dollars for every day Anheuser-Busch, owners of Budweiser, continues to air these ads. He also claimed the whole thing caused him a great deal of stress and physical injury, although what injuries he received were missing in the file. It also cost him over $10,000, which is a pretty high sum; unless he's talking about the lawyer's charges he had to pay for while pursuing such frivolity.

Lauren Rosenberg sued Google for misleading maps that caused her to walk down a major thoroughfare when all she wanted to do was walk to a nearby location that was nowhere near the highway. She ignored common sense and relied on a slightly misaligned map, walking down a busy highway until she got hit by a car. She sued Google for giving her unsafe directions. Although her claim had some legitimacy to it, we have to ask, what has the world come to? If Google tells you to walk down the middle of the highway, how does your common sense let you follow the instructions precisely?

We go outside the US for this next one, but we don't have to stray far: Canada. Jerry Rose filed a two billion dollar lawsuit against a host of massive corporations like Microsoft and Walmart, claiming they were dabbling in witchcraft and mind control to bolster profits. He claimed to be severely traumatised by all the brain controlling gadgets some of these corporations were putting out on the market. Surprisingly, the judge allowed the trial to go forward, but Jerry eventually lost.

Occasionally, however, some of these massive corporations have blonde moments which lead them to do stupid stuff like sue other companies for rounded edges. Apple recently sued Samsung for design infringement, saying the rounded corners of their iPhone were a registered patent and that Samsung is in violation for using it on their Galaxy series of phones. But everyone knows about that. Apple filed similar lawsuits in every other major market for their smartphone, losing almost all of them before the trial ended up in an American court with American jurors and judges, who for some reason agreed with Apple. Bam. $1.5 billion.

The justice system is a big joke apparently.


This submissions made sense, was well written and for its story, stood out from the other entries. For next week we have 'Baby Pictures'. All submissions need to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.


By Nabil Rahaman

These days, a good night's sleep has become something of a rarity. After having tried everything (and failing) at my disposal, I decided to try out the oldest trick in the book; counting sheep.

One, two, three…
I pulled the blanket over my neck.
I fell asleep. I was having a dream where those sheep continued their journey over the fence. They gradually started walking like us, humans.

The flock began talking among themselves. Something about a speech and a shepherd. Soon, they gathered at a field. A stage was set. A dark figure made appearance and everything fell silent. He made promises, made an ostentatious donation and left asking for votes. The sheep were to elect a shepherd. The crowd was talking about how the shepherds never fulfil their promises but get elected anyhow, that there was a cycle, a vicious never ending cycle.

I left for the city nearby. I could see every sheep following a shepherd one way or the other. School going sheep were following the smartest sheep in their class. The smartest one set the norms. They were to follow in its footsteps. Any failure would not be tolerated. I saw a sheep reading a magazine by the park; what's hot and what's not. She seemed pretty interested in the article where they explained why black tops don't match blue earrings. It was apparently a fashion crime. She followed the writer. The writer was a shepherd for her.

The office going sheep were no exception. They all had their individual shepherd leading them, someone rich, powerful and what not? They followed blindly, till their death, achieving nothing. Few wanted to break out of it. But the ones who wanted to deviate from the usual path, the ones who tried to be different, were called the black sheep.

Creativity was criticised. Nothing different was accepted. Those sheep were too bound by expectations, too burdened by what they should do. Fear of the unknown. They black sheep were outcast. Novelty was banished.

Prejudice everywhere. Everyone was afraid of the new, without even experiencing it. After waking up, I post the dream as my blog on the net. The comments I got include, 'lol', 'tl;dr', 'okay?', 'hmm', 'your point is?' and such.

I sigh. The dream seems relevant somehow.


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