There are plenty of ways to make a fortune these days.
You can work hard, really hard, for a really long time.
Sounds tiring, you say?
You can fall ass-backwards into an inheritance.
But that's a long-shot, and there's a good chance you don't have any rich relatives.
You can steal.
Too risky. Plus, you shouldn't break the law.
Next dream, please.
I guess that leaves filing a lawsuit.
Ahhh yes, the good ol' lawsuit.
Coffee burned you? Sue 'em.
Slip on the sidewalk in front of a hardware store? Sue 'em.
Someone named their kid your name? Are you kidding? Sue 'em.
Someone squeeze too hard while shaking your hand? Sue. Him. Now.
Remember the hot-coffee-on-the-lap suit filed against McDonald's by a woman in 1992? Sure you do. Remember the outcome? Mickey Ds refused to settle out of court and the woman, Stella Liebeck, was awarded $200,000 (she was originally going after just 20 grand in damages). The $200K was reduced to $160K since she was found to be 20 percent at fault.
Oh, and she was awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages.
But not even Stella can hold a candle to our next Litigious Larry.
His name is Andrew Rector. He's a baseball fan who - while attending a Red Sox-Yankees game in April - fell asleep. He's certainly not the first fan to fall asleep at a game, but he might be the first to sue for being made fun of by TV commentators.
Yep, Andrew is suing ESPN and Major League Baseball for - you better sit down - $10 million for defamation.
The lawsuit was posted on the website "The Smoking Gun." A snippet:
"In the course of watching the game plaintiff napped and this opened unending verbal crusade against the napping plaintiff. ESPN cameras focused on the plaintiff, announcers like Dan Shulman and John Kruck [sic] unleased avalanche of disparaging words against the person of and concerning the plaintiff. These words, include but not limited to 'stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid' knowing and intending the same to be heard and listened to by millions of people all over the world, including people that know the plaintiff in person or interacted with the plaintiff."
I'd say something about how poorly written that is, but I'd probably get sued myself!
Does Andrew have a case? Heck no, but it doesn't matter if you, I or even he thinks he does. If history is any indicator this guy might end up laughing all the way to the bank. Remember Stella? How ridiculous did we think it was for her to sue over spilled coffee?
You go, Andrew. This could be the break you've been waiting for. You go try to get your millions. Do you deserve it? Not at all. You fell asleep at a ballgame and got made fun of. But remember, you live in America, where we waste billions on lawyers, spend money we don't have, value fantasy football more than our own family and record ourselves doing embarrassing things for the world to see and then wonder why people mock us.
I just hope if this dude does somehow manage to win and strike it rich he'll be able to stay awake long enough to enjoy his fortune.