Saturday, September 28, 2013

Unusual Cases

Compliments of the Disciplinary Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania:

Two come out of Portland, Oregon. The Portland Loo, a street toilet developed by the City of Portland, is such a successful design that the city has registered a trademark and markets the
design to other cities. However, a Southern Oregon company, Romtec, offered for sale a competing product, the Sidewalk Restroom, at about half the price. Portland has filed a lawsuit, alleging that the “strikingly similar” design of the Sidewalk Restroom infringes its trademark. Portland seeks to have all existing Sidewalk Restrooms destroyed and all proceeds paid as damages.

Also in Portland, lawyer Charley Gee offered a romantic gesture to his wife – he
bought her a tiger lily. They didn’t think about their cat, Boogaloo, who chewed on the leaves. Within 24 hours, Gee and his wife had to rush Bogaloo to a veterinary hospital, where
he spent four days and was placed on kidney dialysis. Although a label on the flower warned that it was not for human consumption, it did not mention that, like all lilies, it is highly toxic to cats. Gee has filed suit against the grocery store where he bought the flowers and its floral contractor, alleging that the lily is an ‘unreasonably dangerous” product.

For owners concerned about the safety of their furry friends, here is a (long) list of plants toxic for cats. Hint: plants dangerous to our feline friends include most of the plants associated with Easter – lilies, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, azaleas – and with Christmas, including poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe.

Not all our strange lawsuits come out of Oregon. From Altoona in our own commonwealth comes the story of the suit filed by James Weyant against the Altoona Police Department and an officer who shot and wounded Weyant in a 4 a.m. confrontation in a dark alley. The officer said he thought Weyant was holding a weapon and told him to drop it, but the “weapon” turned out to be a pair of black Guitar Hero boxer shorts. Weyant had been wearing them, until the elastic gave out while he was walking home. Weyant recovered, but states he still has “shooting” pains in his arm.

Finally, a California man is suing the Blue Man Group (BMG), the troupe of wordless, face-painted comics/acrobats/musicians/mimes whose antics have amused audiences around the world for more than 25 years. Most attendees at BMG shows know what to expect (i.e., just about anything). But Stan Michelman contends that during a show in San Francisco, “a large blue plastic or rubber-like ball was thrown into the audience without warning to [Michelman],” which caused him "shock and injury to his nervous system" when he extended his arm to block the incoming missile. The lawsuit suggests the Blue Men should have warned the audience that objects would be thrown into the audience. A video of a BMG aerial assault is here.


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