June 13th, 2005

Talk To The Hand Smurf [jennymalfoy]

Legal stuff

Russian "astrologist" Marina Bai has filed a lawsuit in the Presnensky district court in Moscow against the U.S. government's NASA, claiming that her business will be ruined if the agency is allowed, as planned, to crash a rocket into the Tempel 1 comet on July 4 to see what can be learned from the experience. Bai said the collision will "interfere with the natural life of the universe," which will in turn harm her "system of spiritual values," and she seeks 8.7 billion rubles (about US$311 million, which is the reported cost of the entire mission). [Moscow News, 4-19-05]

Rhonda Nichols, 40, filed a lawsuit in April against a Lowe's Home Center in Alton, Ill., seeking a minimum of $50,000 for injuries she says she suffered when a bird about the size of a pigeon flew against the back of her head while she was shopping in the store's outdoor gardening department. According to the lawsuit, the bird caused injuries to her head, brain, neck, muscles, bones, nerves, discs and ligaments, and led to the loss of neurological functions and cognitive skills. Said a Lowe's assistant manager, "It's an outside garden area. What are we supposed to do?" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4-13-05]

The courts of Madison County, Ill. (near St. Louis), have a reputation in the legal community as friendly to plaintiffs who sue companies, and thus attorneys are eager to find lawsuits to file there. (Rhonda Nichols' lawsuit against Lowe's, above, is an example.) In 2002, lawyer Emert Wyss conceived a Madison County lawsuit on behalf of a client against a mortgage company for collecting what he thought were bogus fees on real estate transactions. Wyss' litigation stimulus (he received a referral fee and was part of the lawsuit) proved too clever: The litigation team strategically added a local title company as co-defendant, only to discover that the title company is owned by Emert Wyss. Thus, in a rush to litigate in Madison County, Wyss had actually sparked a lawsuit against himself. (He eventually withdrew from the team.) [Madison County Record, 3-8-05]

And gacked from gianna24:

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