The Most Bizarre Lawsuit You Might Ever See

from the someone-please-explain dept

Eric Goldman knows I sure do love wacky and ridiculous lawsuits against various tech and media companies, but the latest case he sent over may set a new standard. At least in the past, those lawsuits were something close to understandable -- if totally unbelievable. But the latest lawsuit, Barboza et al v. Fox-32 WFLD-TV et al is simply incomprehensible. The plaintiff, which seems to be an individual, a film company, an advertising company and a psychic reading company (or perhaps all a single entity wrapped into one) is suing a whole bunch of tech and media companies, including News Corp., Google, MSNBC and a bunch of radio and TV affiliates of CBS, ABC and others. For what? I have absolutely no clue and would appreciate some help trying to decipher it. There's something about sexual harassment. Some other stuff about copyright or potentially patent infringement, and then a whole bunch of gibberish. Oh yeah, and something about human brain telepathy.

You can basically pick your spot at random to get a sense of the utter oddity of the lawsuit. There are words there, but they're sorta thrown out at random:
For this, he's demanding $450 million. The lawsuit will, of course, be thrown out in no time flat (if it hasn't already been tossed), but it's posted here for your enjoyment (or bewilderment).
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Filed Under: lawsuit


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  • identicon
    LBD, 13 Nov 2008 @ 10:58am

    Wait...

    He's accusing them of psycicaly stealing his ideas from his mind?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:06am

    This party is not a lawyer who has chosen to proceed "pro se", i.e., representing himself. It is a rare occurrence when complaints such as this actually make any sense. Doubtless it will be dismissed based solely upon the contents of the complaint he filed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:10am

    Wilson Men's Hotel

    Wilson Men's Hotel in Chicago (the plaintiff) has 3 stars from Yahoo Travel. Must be a nice place to stay

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ron (profile), 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:25am

    And ...

    ... he apparently either lays claim to the EEG, bluetooth, broadcaster's headsets, advertising, a cellular phone number, text messaging, his autobiography, the concept of freedom for all, and an incomprehensible style of writing, or maybe just to improvements on them. I note he also quotes from the Constitution and Bill of Rights (although his inclusion of the 5th ammendment is puzzling unless he feels that answering to the court for any of his accusations would constitute self incrimination). Can we get a video of him explaining his lawsuit? That should be entertaining.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mortimer, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:31am

    Huh?

    I read the first few sentences and was amused. By the 3rd sentence I was laughing. By the 4th sentence, I had a bunch of people around my cube. I was laughing so hard when I got to the human brain telepathy part, I got the hiccups.

    You have to warn a person when you post funny stuff like this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:32am

    5 word response from most judges.

    "Hire an Attorney, Case dismissed."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yakko Warner, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:33am

    That hurt.

    And I think the attempt may have "mentally damaged [my] brain". Ow.

    I think in paragraph 30, he just said the accused saw something was about to happen that they didn't want to happen, but they didn't stop it, and in the process, it hurt this guy.

    I think, in paragraph 31, a Blackberry might've been involved.

    The next two paragraphs might have something to do with broadcasting his life story on TV, where someone can record it with a VCR, which apparently violates the DMCA.

    That's as far as I got before my brain went on strike, protesting something about oppressive working conditions...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:36am

    Looks like this guy has a bit of the Jonathan Lee Riches in him
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Lee_Riches

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:38am

    Thanks for the headache

    I can't think vary well any more after reading that but it seems as if the plaintiff is suing fox (and others) for stealing source code for a thought powered operating system, a blue tooth EEG cochlea implant, something about a phone to brain converter, and even sexual harassment. Shouldn't the sexual harassment part be another suit in itself?

    I think my head is about to explode.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      thomas, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:44am

      Re: Thanks for the headache

      Maybe the 'sexual harassment' part is people THINKING about having sex with the plaintiff? Novel idea. If successful, any good looking male or female could sue anyone else for it. sheesh

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      sean, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Thanks for the headache

      "something about a phone to brain converter"

      I think that would be one's ears and vocal chords

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:38am

    I was going to mention Riches also...the latest one about Blizzard is very entertaining.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:38am

    The door is ajar on the loonie bin...

    Claim 81: (excerpt)
    "Your honor, the brain chip reads the plaintiff's mind sends a radio frequency signal to the cochlea implants left ear and right ear."

    OK....Mind reading brain chips passing data to his PC which forwards that on to some AI software on a website somewhere that is designed to create voices and arguments designed to torture him which is sent back through to his brain chips.

    Helpful link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

    Now...we just need to get this guy on George Noory's show.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:49am

    Does the Wilson Men's Hotel in Chicago offer rooms with rubber wallpaper?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael B, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:52am

    Let Us Go Forth

    This guy ain't no brain surgeon... he talks about the "forth [sic] item" rather than "fourth". Probably can't differentiate between to, too and two, either!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:53am

    The heart of it

    The story really starts at item 70. He believes a local new anchor stole his brain-computer interface and sold the details to all sorts of people, with the result that big corporations are not only controlling his mind, but infringing on his intellectual property while doing it.

    The basic story of government, corporations, or celebrities remote-controlling a person's brain is non uncommon among paranoid delusions. The narrative of IP infringement is a new one on me, but you can see how someone would get the impression that throwing that in would make it easy to get a big-money award.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:55am

    If by "unregister" he means "unregistered", I think that he's suing for a lot of ideas he had and never had the chance to actually submit... and also that he thinks that google is reading his brain via some sort of EEG to get search results?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Poobah, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:56am

    More fun from the same guy.

    "Hello everybody my name is Juan Louis Barboza, I am not an attorney, but, I will try my best to explain my grievances. These events are the truth, and are the facts without a doubt to prove that my software package is being used, (At the local radio stations,) and (At the local television stations,) in Chicago Illinois."

    and it goes on and on...

    http://74.125.45.104/search?q=cache:abJjEs21wQwJ:anchorbabes.blogspot.com/2008/04/tamron-ha ll-teaser.html+%22human+rights+for+all%22+tamron&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael B, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:57am

    Eating Funny Mushrooms

    Back in the 60's, people tripping on LSD would write prose like this... now, you can eat a certain variety of mushrooms and do the same thing.

    I downloaded this as a PDF just to keep a copy to show others who won't believe me if I tell them.

    This guy probably wears an aluminum foil hat!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    another mike, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:57am

    trade secret

    mr barboza seems to be suing over (mostly) copyright infringement on his telepathically or maybe bluetooth operated operating system, called human rights for all, and his software AI, called the karaoke man. the defendants are every media outlet in the greater chicago metro area plus google.

    in looking for claims to sue over, it looks like he threw darts at a law textbook and just wrote down all the words that a dart landed on. i think he used the same dart trick on a stack of consumer electronics spec sheets when he was describing his OS.

    interesting that he didn't name microsoft, except as msnbc, since he's suing over an operating system.

    definitely schizophrenic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:03pm

    Hilarious!

    I'm suing Bill Gates, He stole windows idea from my head!

    LMAO

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    My Brain, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:04pm

    Hold it right there....

    I'm suing TechDirt for taking novel lawsuit and patent novel Chicago hotel story from my brain with novel patent computer brain telepathy.

    For alternate TV show endings contact me at Mens Hotel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    comboman, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:09pm

    Oprah!!!

    Check out paragraph 96. Oprah Winfrey was trying to "mentally impair the plaintiff's brain" via her talk show. Hard to argue against that one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ray, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Believe this, if he can get the judge to listen to his gibberish, he's gonna win. After a half hour of reading, I find this to be exactly what courts like to have presented to them, they can't figure it out, so it must be right. Award this guy a couple million to get rid of him, out of court would be nice. But, get rid of him.
    At the very least, the publicity will get him a room in a very nice, comfortable sanitarium.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Not only should the case be thrown out of court this man should be fined for wasting tax payers money through the time spent by court employees and the judge involved. I'm sure he was just hoping to settle out of court for a quick extortion payoff. The courts need to fine these people who are abusing the court system, if enough of them are made examples of it might curb the number of ridiculous lawsuits that are filed. If lawyers can be disbarred for these kinds of suits there needs to be some type of punishment for stupid individuals too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon2, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:24pm

    not uncommon

    Sadly, complaints such as this get filed in federal and state courts around the country all the time. Obviously the plaintiff suffers from a serious mental illness. People like this ought to be treated with compassion, rather than derision. (And trust me, Mike, this is far from the most bizarre).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dmitriy Plaks, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:27pm

    red blinking tower lights

    In paragraph 56, this goof suggests that he invented the red blinking lights on top of radio and cell phone towers. He might be a few hundred years too late on this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AZMos, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:53pm

    IP

    On the specific issue of alleged intellectual property violations in this suit:
    Perhaps I am being too generous, but I think this person believes that the contents of his mind are his intellectual property. By reading his thoughts, the companies are stealing this intellectual property.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Guy with melting brain, 13 Nov 2008 @ 12:53pm

    As a testament to the amazing level of weird here, IE7 initially crashed when I tried to read all of this. It appears that the plaintiff's thoughts are being beamed to my computer in order to stop my expected derision of his lawsuit, thus mentally damaging my brain.

    This guy should date that Miss Teen South Carolina (dated reference, I know), imagine the dinner conversations:

    "My unregister EEG bluetooth media player, video player, Life Story has been stolen and I want a half-billion dollars."

    "In my opinion, such as, the Iraq toaster hemisphere colitis spackle dumptruck, such as, some people don't HAVE unregister, Quaalude ergonomic turkey stuffing. Thank you."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lucretious, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:04pm

    ****blink****blink*********

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Willton, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:14pm

    Unfortunately, this is not the most bizarre complaint I've seen. As a judicial intern, I had to deal with a complaint where the guy was suing a hotel room (not the hotel itself; just the room), and another where the guy sued many different agencies in New Jersey while also claiming each one as a co-plaintiff. The latter was the worst, as it went on for over 50 pages making claims of conspiracy, fraud, and other weird allegations. The worst part of it was that the text of the complaint varied erratically in font, style, and size. I felt like taking a nap after reading 3 pages of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DS78, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:15pm

    I tried...

    I really did try to read it. I need a nap...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    EEJ (profile), 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:20pm

    Oh

    For a bit there, I got confused with his liberal use of the word "novel", and thought that maybe he wrote a book that included (as part of the plot or setting) these inventions, and now wants to be paid for companies who went out and made them into products.

    Alas, it's much worse than that....

    You would think with a $450,000,000 payout, at least a few lawyers around the country would be willing to represent him, but of course, he would have to be able to explain the lawsuit in english, which it doesn't appear he is able to do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hex, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:23pm

    Wilson Men's Hotel

    I used to live right by that place and walked by it every day. Let's just say that this is the kind of thing that you would expect to come from a resident there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gracey, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:26pm

    um, I found his website (Website?)...maybe, it reads about as weirdly as this lawsuit.

    Like everyone else reading the suit...I couldn't stop the laughter from rolling out when I realized what he really was complaining about...

    ...so why isn't he suing Nasa (he mentions them on his website), Microsoft, Apple, and just about anyone else who has ever had a hand in this stuff. I also wonder why he isn't suing every parapsychologist he can....mmm perhaps even the world of health...cochlear implants actually do exist and are used to correct some forms of deafness.

    ...brain chips, I don't know about.

    hahahahaha, oh sorry...but I needed a good and entertaining read today.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:35pm

    It sounds like a classic case of delusional accusations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:35pm

    I feel sorry for this guy. He's obviously mentally ill and in dire need of medical intervention. Hopefully the courts will place him into custody for his own protection.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Doug, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:35pm

    The man without a life

    Maybe this man needs to see a parapsychologist, because this lawsuit makes no sense and it is a waste of time and money. If the person involved wants to make a difference, why doesn't he donate the money he is spending on said nonsense on something like charity or research (or will he sue the charities because they stole his ideas of medical research?). Anyway, it was an entertaining read that did not make much sense to me logically, but it did show how much a person can wander away from sanity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greg, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:46pm

    That.. is...hilaaaaaaarious

    I've only read a few paragraphs of this and I'm getting weird looks from co-workers while I sit here and laugh my ass off.

    I can't take it.. it'll take me forever to read this, and even longer to try and comprehend any fine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    vidiot (profile), 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:47pm

    Make it stop...

    I can't stop reading the court filing... help...
    It's like being unable to turn away from a car crash.
    I believe he's using the software package HRFA, the cellular telephone number (IFB) trade secrets and Bluetooth EEG to suck me in to his universe...

    Glad I'm not Tamron Hall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grae, 13 Nov 2008 @ 1:55pm

    The only way that this lawsuit could be any better is if it were hand-written.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 2:32pm

    WOW this reminds me of one of those gigantic equations that math teachers give you to simplify. This one simplifies down a simple "this guy is nuts"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2008 @ 3:04pm

    Just think. When they commit this guy, there won't be any paperwork necessary. Just hand them this!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CoJeff, 13 Nov 2008 @ 3:35pm

    hahaha

    Wow what a website! I can hardly even understand his site because of his grammar and font changes.

    "The software is my to keep and do with as i please, currently, i have owner ship, 3-30-2003 it was stolen from me with the broad of eduction number 99 when I was in the cartoon Author on WTTW 11 PBS"

    What the heck is this guy talking about?? I almost laughed out loud when I read his software was stolen from his brain while in a cartoon. I didn't know we had the technology to put a person in a cartoon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    aldux, 13 Nov 2008 @ 3:41pm

    So that's why...

    Circuit City (see page 7) went Chapter 11 - they were worried about the $450m....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CoJeff, 13 Nov 2008 @ 3:42pm

    Here is another quote that says it all...
    "When I past away, my family my wife, my children, and my great grand children can talk to me from the dead through virtual reality web system network."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wes, 13 Nov 2008 @ 5:24pm

    Thanks Mike

    The guy is obviously mentally ill.

    Perhaps for your next post you can direct us to videos of babbling homeless schizophrenics and we can all have another good laugh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2008 @ 1:22am

      Re: Thanks Mike

      The first thing that came to mind was that some spamming software had become self-aware and started sending out C&D letters made up of randomly chosen words...

      But reading on it became clear to me that the guy is obviously ill. In which case let's just all move on, shall we? It's not in good taste to make fun of the mentally challenged like this...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mike allen, 13 Nov 2008 @ 11:23pm

    when

    I stopped laughing perhaps he can use his telepathy to swing the judge to his way of thinking. or maybe he invented teleportation or..................

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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