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Christmas-themed lawsuits that would put a smile on the Grinch’s face

Christmas-themed lawsuits that would put a smile on the Grinch’s face

Christmastime brings good cheer, the birth of Christ, overplayed Christmas songs, and leftover turkey all in a pretty gift basket. They’re all yours if you wish to accept them.

Obviously, there’s plenty to celebrate during the holidays; people should not be thinking about bleak things like lawsuits. However, not everyone is in the mood for Christmastime festivities. Here are some of those Grinches.

The school that preferred their sweets secular

If there’s any reason why candy canes exist, it is to deliver sweetness to the lips of children. They’re made for that reason only. Otherwise, they become the subject of a lawsuit.

That’s sadly what the parents of first grader Isaiah Martinez had to contend with one holiday season. In 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Martinez sued Merced Elementary School in West Covina, California over the school’s decision to prohibit little Isaiah from giving his classmates candy canes bearing the message that the sweet treats were invented to celebrate Jesus Christ’s life and ministry.

The Martinezes alleged that the school violated their son Isaiah’s First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit seems silly on account of candy canes are involved. What’s really remarkable is the revelation that candy canes are more than just diabetes in hook form and serve the far nobler purpose of spreading Jesus’s word.

In a nutshell, the school officials are of the persuasion that there should be a rigid separation of religion and confection. We legal experts think that the school should’ve just allowed Isaiah to distribute the candies and let the kids eat them so that everyone could get on with their lives — even if, for some of them, it’s a life without Jesus.

The mean boss who wouldn’t let her employee take Christmas Eve off

Watching sentimental seasonal movies while getting sloshed on eggnog are Christmas traditions worth keeping. “Traditions” like making Christmas Eve a nonworking holiday require debate, preferably by a committee of Santa’s overworked elves and reindeer.

All longtime driver Pedro Quezada wanted for Christmas was to observe a self-imposed tradition to take the day off Christmas Eve so he could attend mass with his family. Unfortunately, his boss Jane Friedman identifies more with the Grinch than the generous Saint Nick.

In his lawsuit, in which he was able to claim $4 million in damages, Mr. Quezada essentially accused Ms. Friedman of heartlessness for firing him after he chose to attend Catholic Christmas Eve mass rather than work a full shift.

Arguably, Mr. Quezada and Ms. Friedman should have just hashed out work shift arrangements that would have left them both in a joyful spirit.

This case makes you wonder what could possibly be so important that it needs to be delivered on Christmas Eve of all days? We’re guessing it wasn’t candy canes containing the ministry of Jesus.

The Grinches that dimmed the “Osborne lights”

Jennings Osborne is decidedly not a Grinch. After all, he decorated his six-acre ranch in Little Rock, Arkansas with 3.5 million lights “to make people happy.” People from across town went to see the show, like moths to a flame.

His neighbors, however, were understandably not thrilled with the droves of onlookers who wanted to capture the eye-popping display of lights (and wealth). They brought suit to the magnanimous Mr. Osborne for causing traffic congestion in their blindingly bright borough.

To appease the neighbors, the county court ordered Mr. Osborne to limit the light show’s hours. Ultimately, Mr. Osborne’s light spectacle was shut down and bought by fellow lights enthusiasts, Walt Disney World.

The neighbors that “negged” the nativity

Some families put on dazzling light shows for Christmas. Others stage five-day nativity plays featuring an actual camel, like Idaho’s Jeremy and Kristy Morris. Their neighbors, sadly, were not fans of the pageantry.

Offended by their homeowners association’s attempt to stop their annual nativity extravaganza, the Morrises filed a lawsuit against the West Hayden States First Addition Homeowners Association. They won $75,000 in damages for being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

Clearly, drama inevitably ensues when families decide to stage Christmas-themed productions that some neighbors do not find joyous. Also becoming very clear: Jesus works overtime even during the holidays.

Legal troubles during Christmastime? Let Washington family law and personal injury attorneys Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams stuff your Christmas stockings with legal advice. Call us.