10 Times People Sued Big Corporations

by Heer Khant6 years ago

6 After claiming to have found a mouse in his can of Mountain Dew, a man tried to sue Pepsi. The lawyers for Pepsi defended the case by proving that a mouse would dissolve in the can after a few months, and so the claim was false.
Ronald Ball sued Mountain Dew
Image credit: Pixabay

Ronald Ball from Illinois sued PepsiCo for 50,000 dollars after he claimed to have found a mouse in his can of Mountain Dew. PepsiCo defended themselves by stating that the mouse would have dissolved turning into a jelly-like substance in 30 days, which meant that the man could not have found the mouse after 78 days of the sealing the can as it was scientifically impossible. The plaintiff questioned PepsiCo’s tests.

There is evidence that citrus soda can eat away bones and teeth in a matter of months, so it was possible that what PepsiCo said about the rodent was true as these drinks had a very low pH value of three which meant it was very acidic. Even though the 2009 suit was settled out of court in 2012, PepsiCo had a mark on its reputation as the dangers of consuming such sodas that came to light since it was accepted by PepsiCo itself through its defense in this case. (1, 2, 3)

7 A couple had already paid for the house they bought but Bank of America erroneously foreclosed on their house. They sued them and won, but when they didn’t get reimbursed for the court battle, they foreclosed on the bank.

Warren and Maureen Nyerges
Image credit: Naples Daily News, Coolcaesar/Wikimedia

When Warren and Maureen Nyerges bought a 2,700-square-foot foreclosed home in Naples, California in 2009, they had no idea that legal troubles would come their way.

They paid Bank of America 165,000 dollars in cash when they bought the house, but four months later they received a notice from the bank of foreclosure. Warren then told the server, “You must have the wrong house. We bought a foreclosure and don’t have a mortgage.”

Warren, a 46-year-old retired police officer. called over 25 law firms and all of them refused to take his case until he found a lawyer named Todd Allen. Whenever he called the bank. all they told him was to come up to date with the payments.

They won the case and the court ordered the Bank of America to pay the couple 2,534 dollars as costs in September 2010. But when in June 2011, Nyerges had not been paid, he sought permission from a judge to seize the assets of the bank. In the apology the bank made to the couple after paying up, they misspelled Warren’s name. (source)


8 Stella Liebeck sued McDonald’s after she spilled hot coffee onto her lap that left her with third-degree burns in 1994. She sued for 20,000 dollars, but the jury awarded her 2.7 million dollars as punitive damages which was reduced to 640,000 dollars by the judge.

Stella Liebeck sued McDonald’s
Image credit: Gruberlawgroup.com, NNECAPA Photo Library

Known as “the hot coffee lawsuit,” Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman, was awarded 2.7 million dollars (she received only 640,000 dollars later after the trial judge reduced the amount) in punitive damages from a New Mexico jury after she spilled hot coffee on her pelvic region.

The coffee was purchased for 49 cents from McDonald’s, and she suffered third-degree burns on February 27, 1992. She had to be hospitalized for eight days as she underwent skin grafting and had to have two more years of medical treatment. Later on, the parties settled for an amount that was undisclosed to the public.

Liebeck’s lawyers argued that the coffee that was served by McDonald’s Albuquerque, New Mexico branch was too hot at 88-89°C, and was more highly likely to cause serious injury than the coffee that was served at other establishments.

Many term this case as an example of frivolous litigation as it was Liebeck who held the coffee cup between her knees and pulled the lid off to add sugar and cream while she was sitting in her car. It was this that lead to the spilling of the coffee and the third-degree burns. (source)

9 A man was sent a letter with an offer of a credit card. He altered the terms of the credit card to include unlimited credit at 0% interest which the bank accepted without reading. When they tried to void his card, he sued the bank for not sticking to the terms of the contract and won.

Dmitry Argarkov
Image credit: riavrn.ru

Remember those emails you get with offers for a credit card you never asked for? Dmitry Argarkov got a letter with an offer like that in Russia from Tinkoff Credit Systems. But Argarkov did not like the terms.

So he scanned the paper, altered the terms to include unlimited credit and 0% interest and sent it back to Tinkoff who did not read the amendments and signed the contract, sending him a credit card.


But then the bank sued Argarkov for 45,000 rubles for fees and charges for overdue payments that were not in Argarkov’s version of the contract. The judge of a Russian court found in Argarkov’s favor and asked him to pay only the actual amount he had spent which was 19,000 rubles.

Argarkov went a step further and sued Tinkoff for breach of contract demanding 24 million rubles, but Tinkoff said that instead, he could be serving a prison sentence for fraud as it was a matter of principle. (source)

10 Hooters, a restaurant company offered its employees a chance to win a Toyota. The waitress who won was given a “toy Yoda” action figure instead as a prank. She sued and won enough money to chose whatever kind of Toyota she wanted.

Jode Berry
Image source: oppositelock.kinja.com

Jode Berry was a 27-year-old when she was working as a waitress at the Panama City Beach Hooters and took part in a  sales contest which had a Toyota as its prize in 2002. She was happy and believed that she had won the contest as she was escorted to the parking lot of the restaurant, blindfolded.

Excited to have a look at her new car, Berry instead saw a toy Yoda action figure from Star Wars when her blindfold was taken off. It was meant to be an April Fool’s joke.

Infuriated, she sued Hooters and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Her lawyer, David Noll, said that the amount was enough for her to go to a “local car dealership and pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants.” (source)

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