Yes, people write that sort of headline all the time. But in this case, I know. In my novel BMOC, I pondered for quite a while trying to make up outrageously lame torts that ignored the true guilty parties and instead targeted deep pockets only tangentially connected to the harm or loss. But nothing I made up, which I thought to be over the top, beats this one from reality. Via Walter Olson, of course:
Prison inmate orders attack on guard at guard’s home in Bishopville, South Carolina. Surviving guard Robert Johnson and wife “did not, however, sue the typical defendants – i.e., the shooter or any prison inmate or employee. Rather, the Johnsons sued several cellular phone service providers and owners of cell phone towers.
Why? Because they have the most money of anyone involved. Of course, that is not the logic in the legal briefs. Apparently, gasp, the criminals made use of cell phones to plan the crime and for some odd reason the cell phone companies were not monitoring every second of every single call on their networks and failed to prevent the crime.