A Santa Monica resident’s legal claim won a dubious sign of notoriety Thursday when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed it as one of the top 10 most ridiculous lawsuits of 2012.
In August, resident Denise Barton filed a claim against City Hall for $1.7 billion asserting that new parking meters, which communicate wirelessly with nearby sensors and centralized computers, were making her sick.
Visitors of FacesofLawAbuse.org, an arm of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, were none too impressed with the claim, ranking it the ninth most ridiculous lawsuit of the year in poll results.
The suits on the list were chosen out of lists featured in monthly polls on the site.
Barton’s claim, which has not gone to court, ranked below a Colorado man who won $7 million for a disease he said was caused by inhaling microwave popcorn fumes, but beat out a suit by two Bay Area parents whose son was kicked out of an honors class for cheating.
This year’s winner is a macabre use of the judicial system — an intoxicated Florida driver who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and then sued the victim who died in the crash.
“Abuse of our legal system is no joke, and these examples range from the outrageous to the absurd,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard.