Dating Damages: The New Frontier of Family Law?
We’ve all been there: a date that initially had promise has descended into awkward silence and one or both parties are frantically looking for an “out”. But what about those REALLY epic fails, where one party actually does harm to the other, either purposely or negligently? Can you sue someone for being a bad date?
Recently, a Texas man filed a lawsuit against his date for $17.31 – the cost of the movie and food – because she refused to stop texting during the movie, despite his repeated requests. The man claimed that the texting was a “direct violation” of the cinema’s policy and she “adversely affected” his and other movie goers’ viewing experience. He also stated that “[w]hile damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behaviour is a threat to civilized society.”
While this may seem like an appropriate reaction to some, and the man did get his money back before dropping his suit, most lawyers would agree that this is not a case you want to get in front of a judge. Given the scarce judicial resources in most courts, cases like this which take up the court’s time are not looked upon favourably by judges. Not only does the Defendant in this case plan to take out a protective order against the Plaintiff, it is almost certain that a frivolous case such as this would be thrown out by a judge with costs awarded against the Plaintiff for wasting the court’s time. So next time you have a terrible date, chalk up any sunk costs to a horror story to share with friends and move on.