If you've been following the news lately you'll know that the City of Houston and several churches are having a gay old time with a lawsuit revolving around a group of pastors who were unable to muster enough signatures to get the HERO initiative on this year's electoral ballot. Hard as it may be to believe, this isn't even in the top ten of the weirdest legal shenanigans that have gone on here in Houston. Let's prove it.
Man Sues for Custody After Sperm Theft In 2006 Joseph Pressil had moved to Houston ans was living the good life as a telecommunications manager with a house and an exotic dancer girlfriend here in Houston. Things turned sour and Pressil moved back to New York after they broke up, but three moths later his girlfriend announced she was pregnant with twins. A paternity test confirmed Pressil as the father, and once the children were born he paid $800 in child support a month to his ex, who had custody.
Then, he received a receipt in the mail from Omni-Med Laboratory regarding his frozen sperm. The problem was, Pressil said he had never frozen his sperm. According to his lawsuit, his girlfriend had apparently been collecting his sperm from condoms to deposit in the Advanced Fertility Center of Texas and had undergone in vitro fertilization there without Pressil's knowledge. The clinic said they had all the proper paperwork including signed consent from him, but Pressil said his signature had been forged by his ex for the purpose of impregnating herself. As a result of her alleged duplicity, he sued for full custody of the twins.
Students Sue Because a Test Was Too Hard A Houston lawsuit in 1999 made national news when a group of Southern Methodist University students sued the university because a Microsoft certification class was harder than expected. "They were told if you could point and click, you could handle the course. In fact, you needed more prerequisites than that,'' said attorney Jason Crowson. The students sought damages from lost wages, having quit their jobs to attend the five-month course.
BP Fights Lawsuit With SPAM In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Harris County and the city of Houston sued BP, Transocean, Halliburton Energy Services, and their related businesses for $23 million in damages from lost tax revenue as a result of the spill. Nothing weird about that, of course, but BP's response was... interesting.
Harnessing the power of SPAM the company employed a computer server in the United Arab Emirates to send thousands of emails to county and city officials supposedly from employees who wanted us to know that swell guys BP were and how hurt they were by the lawsuit. It was a move that a South Texas College of Law professor called "bizarre and ineffective", though it was not outright unethical or illegal. IT professionals confirmed that the email addresses and personal information were spoofed from the BP servers and sent en masse rather than being a legitimate email writing campaign.
Lawyer Dad Sues Mean Girls For Online Video Aspiring bullies, I have some advice for you. First, quit being shitheads, but second, if you can't, don't pick on someone whose dad is a lawyer. Three Riverwood Middle School girls learned that lesson the hard way in 2011 after posting insulting and mean videos online about their classmate, the daughter of attorney Jason Medley. Medley started small, sending a cease and dismiss letter and ordering the families to donate $5,000 each to the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use. Receiving no response, he filed a defamation of character lawsuit against the girls for the video. The families eventually settled out of court.
Mario Williams Sues Over an Engagement Ring Former Texan defensive lineman and current Bills star Mario Williams was engaged to Erin Marzouki, a former Texans employee herself, in 2013. However, Marzouki broke off their engagement citing emotional instability on behalf of Williams. Williams responded by suing her to recover the $785,000 engagement ring he had given Marzouki, accusing her of being a gold digger that never intended to marry him in the first place. Marzouki's lawyer released five pages of texts from Williams detailing such things as suicidal thoughts. The case was settled out of court in January.
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State Rep Sued to Get STD Test In 2008 our own Borris Miles found himself in some legal trouble. According to a lawsuit filed by Krysynthia Rido and her husband, Miles waved a gun at the couple at a holiday party then proceeded to forcibly kiss Krysynthia on the mouth. In addition to punitive damages the suit demanded that Miles undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases that he may have passed on through exposing Krysynthia to his body fluids from his open mouth.
Mabrie Memorial Mortuary Sued for Body Switch In August Donald Deason lost his mother and entrusted her body and funeral to Mabrie Memorial Mortuary. Upon coming to view his mom, he noticed that she looked very different. Asking an employee if they'd made a mistake and laid out the wrong person he was told that the funeral home did not make those kinds of mistakes.
Two days later Deason received a phone call from Mabrie Memorial Mortuary apologizing for making exactly those kinds of mistakes. They had buried another woman in Deason's mom's plot and later found her still in the funeral home. Deason and the family of the other unfortunate woman who was part of the mix-up are currently suing the home.
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Little League Sued For Altered Bat In 2013 Emmett Parsutt Jr.was pitching a game in the League City Little League when a line drive sent him to the hospital with a severe concussion. Carried off the field and admitted to the hospital, the boy was left with lingering eye twitches and headaches that forced him to sit out the rest of the season.
Parsutt's parents proceeded to sue the league for $1 million. Not because of the injury, exactly, but because they claimed the bat that hit the ball had been enhanced. The umpire of the game reportedly said the bat sounded different than normal, and according to the lawsuit the offending piece of equipment was spirited away and hidden in the trunk of a car after Parsutt was struck. A subsequent examination of the bat by the manufacturer and Little League International cleared it of any tampering, but the family contends that the bat examined may not be the actual one that put their son in the hospital.
Lawyer Sues a Psychic for Failed Love Spell And finally, there's Houston bankruptcy and family-law lawyer Michael Busby Jr. He asked fortune teller Melena Thorn in December of last year for a ritual that would reunite him with his wife. In addition to the $500 the ritual itself cost, the lawsuit (Officially, and I'm not making this up, titled Busby v. Psychic Love Spell Center) claims Thorn requested $2,700 cash in a box to cleanse as an ingredient in the spell. The money, Busby said, was not returned to be placed under his marital bed as indicated in the spell.
Thorn said that she had never received the $2,700, and would return the $500 once she had recouped some more capital, having spent the initial investment on candles. Busby responded by suing her for $1 million... because that is apparently the price of recovered dignity these days.