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The smallest lawsuit - 75 cents


Watching the original series, from what I recall the smallest lawsuit was for 75 cents. The episode was telecast sometime in 1985. What happened was, a customer ordered a soft drink for 75 cents at a convenience store and he discovered that the bottle was already open and tampered with so he brought it back but the owner refuse to refund the money or give him a new bottle. So the customer brought the store owner to court.

Eventually, Judge Wapner stated that since it was such as small amount he would grant the plaintiff $0.75.

Do you remember that trial? I sure do.

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Could have been. I also recall Wapner mentioning another one of the smallest cases he had was for a couple of goldfish, I think that was less than a dollar.

"I'm not a doctor...I'm a funeral director" - Hiram Baker

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I remember watching another episode in the 80's where the plaintiff sued for and was awarded a tiny amount. A guy was thrown out of a roller rink so he sued for his $3.25 admission price. He admitted that he had been at the rink for 1 hour and 30 minutes before he was thrown out. Judge Wapner found in favor of the plaintiff. Just for some added humor he deducted $1.30 from the judgement since the plaintiff had been at the roller rink for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The grand total of the judgement was $1.95. I remember the plaintiff had a smile on his face when he walked out of the courtroom.

Wasn't there also a case where someone ordered a pizza and sued for a tiny amount because the restaurant got the toppings wrong?

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Yes, I saw and remember the case in which the plaintiff sued for $3.25 after being thrown out of the a rollerskating rink. From what I recall, the plaintiff demanded a cup of water at the concession stand because the water fountain was out of order. Either the staff at the concession stand wouldn't give him free water or would only give him one cup and that caused a disturbance and in the end the staff asked him to leave.

Going back to the original case regarding $0.75, I also remember very well the elder man who managed the grocery store didn't speak English so a younger Asian woman (likely Japanese and who his daughter) served as an interpreter.

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