Monday, July 11, 2016


John Wright is a State Farm insurance agent in Joliet, Illinois. His neighbor, Rick Papp, is also a State Farm insurance agent in Joliet, Illinois. They are competitors. If you watch Modern Family on ABC, just picture Phil Dunphy and his nemesis/arch-rival, Gil Thorpe, although they are realtors, not insurance agents, on that show. 

John Wright and Rick Papp are involved in one of the most ridiculous lawsuits that I have ever seen, and I've seen some good ones. According to the lawsuit, some unknown individual or individuals had been repeatedly ringing the doorbell at the Wright residence for several weeks prior to June 26, 2016. When Mr. Wright would answer the door, no one would be there. The lawsuit alleges that this practice is commonly known as a "ding, dong, ditch."

According to the lawsuit, the Shorewood Police Department subsequently questioned Rick Papp's minor son, who admitted that he ding, dong, ditched John Wright on June 26, 2016. The lawsuit alleges that the June 26, 2016 ding, dong, ditching occurred after curfew, at a time when the minor ought to have been in his own home. Therefore, Mr. Wright sued Mr. Papp for failure to exercise reasonable care so as to control his minor son and prevent him from intentionally harming others.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $50,000. The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Wright suffered severe emotional distress, severe anxiety, sleeplessness, extreme and rapid weight loss, and that he required medical treatment in order to function in his daily living, all as a direct result of the minor's alleged ding, dong, ditching. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Wright also failed to earn an employment incentive worth $30,000, which he had achieved in each of his last twenty years of employment, as a direct result of the minor's ding, dong, ditching. 

The lawsuit is ridiculous for several reasons. First, the lawsuit is about ding, dong, ditching (Ha!). Next, the lawsuit doesn't allege that Rick Papp's minor son committed the several weeks of ding, dong, ditching that occurred in early June. The lawsuit only alleges that the minor committed one ding, dong, ditching on June 26, 2016. All of the alleged injuries, including the $30,000 in lost income, resulted from a single ding, dong, ditching on June 26, 2016. Of course, the implication is that the kid was behind it all, but the lawsuit never says that, even on information and belief. Lastly, the lawsuit was filed on June 23, 2016. I know I'm nitpicking and it must just be a typo or clerical error, but the lawsuit uses the June 26th date in eight different paragraphs and the case was filed on June 23rd. Come on! If you're going to file a ding, dong, ditching lawsuit you must dot your I's and cross your T' know you're going to get huge media attention! 

Here is a copy of the complaint if you are interested: