Most lawsuits are so ordinary and mundane that their existence outside a courtroom isn’t exactly newsworthy. Although frivolous claim stories seem to be a winner among the general public, who enjoy the feeling of superiority they provide, with 15 million civil cases filed annually in the U.S., it’s almost impossible to keep up.
Naturally, the sports world sees its share of interesting and strange lawsuits. With billions of dollars in play and the ever-present potential of personal injury looming large, it’s a fertile ground for the most litigious among us. You know the type—those who love nothing more than getting something for nothing.
Add to that the emotional investment people have in their teams and there’s the very real (imagined) threat of inflicting long-term emotional distress. Violate their right to be happy, healthy and comfortable at all times, and a team or league could easily find itself on the business end of a very strange lawsuit.
And it goes both ways. Fans get a lot of flak for this sort of thing, but fans have, on occasion, found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by a sports league or team. The major difference is that they often don’t have the kind of money required to fight it out in court.
That’s not to say all strange sports lawsuits are frivolous, or all frivolous lawsuits are strange—they’re not. But the ones that meet at that entertaining cross section tend to make the most headlines.
Here are some of the strangest sports lawsuits yet.