Sunday, July 31, 2011

Are the Kardashian Sisters “Atrocious and Utterly Intolerable?”

From the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court:

Our favorite among the goofy lawsuits we came across this month comes from the Third Circuit, in the case of Goodson v. Kardashian, No. 10-3976 (1/6/2011). This was a complaint by a Federal prisoner against the Kardashian sisters of reality TV fame. The complaint alleged a federal claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law claims of intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, stating that the defendants’ antics on their reality television programs caused the plaintiff intense emotional and psychological strain. After finding that the Section 1983 claim failed because the defendants were not state actors, the Court dismissed the state claims on the ground that liability for intentional or negligent infliction of mental distress lies “only where the conduct at issue has been atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community." The decision could thus be interpreted as an adjudication that Keeping Up with the Kardashians is not atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community. The plaintiff did not help his case by requesting in his complaint the following apology: "D.J., we are sorry for emotionally stressing you out & we love you!" We are pleased to note that no lawyer had anything to do with the filing of this lawsuit.

It’s been a good year for the Sisters K, legally speaking. In June, a judge dismissed a $75 million suit against them based on their withdrawal of an endorsement for a prepaid debit card. The Court noted the “apparently universal condemnation of the product's profit making features.” Be careful the company


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