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Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month – The ‘Snow More Sledding’ Edition

Institute for Legal Reform, February 8, 2011


By Tim Gilmore

Most of the country is still digging out from the massive snowstorms this winter that have closed schools, redirected flights, and turned some simple commutes into truly horrific ordeals (it must be bad when even Chicago is having a rough time).  It might be a headache, but who can forget the simple joy of waking up to a blanket of snow, huddling around the radio (or TV or internet) waiting for the announcement that school has been cancelled, then running outside for a day of skating, sledding, and snowball fights?

Unfortunately those days could be numbered for some as liability fears are forcing more and more once-cherished winter outdoor activities to cease. 

Case in point: Brian Donohue at the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger went on a search for the best sledding spots in the Garden State only to find snow-covered hills – once swarming with laughing, playing, active children – that are now empty.

Why?  Lawsuits.  One township has banned sledding at a park after a sledder hit a fence post, then sued for $1 million (eventually settling for $25,000); another county had to close its golf courses to winter sports.

No sledding, removed swing sets, what’s next?  I guess it will be better to park the kids in front of the TV or X-Box.  Nobody ever sued over a video game, right?  Then again maybe not, judging from the recent Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month nominee who sued a software manufacturer after he got addicted to one of their games.

How absurd is this?  Bad enough to be named The Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month?  Or is one of these more deserving?

• American Idol sued for third time by former contestant
• Collegian wants $1.8 million from prostitute for leaving early 
• Congressman sues cafeteria over olive pit in sandwich
• DEA agent that accidently shot himself sues agency after video mocked on TV