Indiana’s Month of Bizarre Lawsuits

Every month in America, plenty of bizarre lawsuits get filed (like suing Jessica Simpson for baby snatching) but Indiana has had one strange May, with three ‘unique’ cases making national headlines.

Funny Fuzz

The ACLU is stepping up to represent a Greenfield, Indiana police corporal attempting to exercise his constitutional right of speech. The police officer was attempting to exercise this freedom on his license plate through a vanity plate. Corporal Rodney Vawter had a sense of humor when he bought the vanity license plate “0ink” with the obvious humorous self-referencing slang “pig” for police officers. Vawter actually had acquired the license plate years ago, but only was recently denied renewal under a statute referencing Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ (BMV) right to refuse vanity license plates for “offensive or misleading content”.

The suit beginning with Vawter has developed into a full class action suit against the BMV. The vague content restriction is not constitutional, according to Vawter’s attorney. In furtherance of confusion and unfair enforcement, Vawter’s choice to use a zero for the “o” in oink was as a result of “oink” already have been taken by another Indiana driver.

Archaic Law’s Last CallNot all lawsuits in themselves are bizarre; rather, some attempt to take down the bizarre status quo. One does not need to live in Indiana for long to become familiar with the rather odd way the state of Indiana micro-manages beer sales. The temperature of beer to be sold has long been regulated by Indiana, with cold beer being banned to consumers. However, chilled wines, containing higher levels of alcohol could be sold cold. This archaic unnecessary statute has recently been modified to permit liquor stores to sell beer cold. With this one-sided exception, the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association has initiated a lawsuit to be treated equally.

Currently, alcohol ranks third for items purchased at convenient stores. However, according to store owners, if they are allowed to sell beer cold, the item would leap to the number two spot. This would lead to great gains for convenience stores, simplicity for consumers, constitutional fairness, and simply the abolishment of an outdated, silly law (Oklahoma is the only other US state which puts any sort of regulation on the temperature of beer).

A Canine Herbalist
Last in Indiana’s month of weird lawsuits is a suit being brought by a woman for something most people do not even know exists. Emily Kysel, a former employee of the Department of Code Enforcement, has filed a suit against her former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act for having been denied the ability to bring her paprika-sniffing dog to work.

The 27-year-old Ms. Kysel has had a severe food allergy to paprika and, according to Ms. Kysel, was told she would be allowed to bring her $10,000+ paprika-sniffing dog to work with her. One day, however, a coworker suffered an asthma attack due to the dog’s presence and Ms. Kysel was asked not to bring the dog in any longer. When Ms. Kysel refused to come into the office without the dog, she was informed she would need to be taking unpaid-leave. This initiated a lawsuit that was only just settled for a recently disclosed $85,000 for Ms. Kysel.

Here at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse, our team of Indiana personal injury attorneys can provide you with knowledgable and experienced insight into your complicated legal quandries. Whether you have been hurt physically or fiscally, whether it was the result of negligence, recklessness, or malpractice, whether your damages are apparent or difficult to calculate, our attorneys are here to help. If you or a loved one have suffered, please contact our office for a free confidential consultation by calling (888) 532-7766 or contact us online.

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