Overlawyered reports, via the Provo Daily Herald, that a Las Vegas man is demanding 38 quadrillion dollars in a lawsuit that has something to do with a Utah mine. John Theodore Anderson, who also refers to himself more impressively as "John-Theodore: Anderson," apparently began by claiming he was owed $63,500 for consulting work but has ended up claiming more money that exists in the entire world.
It was not entirely clear how he came up with the larger figure. According to the Daily Herald, Anderson claimed in his first complaint that he had a consulting contract with the original owner of the property, located in southern Utah, but that he was never paid. The owner defaulted and an investment group took it over, but when they tried to sell it Anderson showed up and put a $918 billion lien on the property. He said that the property was worth $36 billion – which is already ridiculous – and that for some reason he was entitled to 12.5 percent of that, or $4.5 billion. He then added treble damages, maybe as a penalty, for a total of $18 billion, and then tacked on $900 billion in punitive damages, because why not?
But that was only the first complaint.
The investors countersued to get the lien removed, and then John-Theodore: Anderson got really mad. According to the report, "he filed a second complaint for $38 quadrillion, having multiplied the $918 billion complaint by 204 two times." The Rule of 204 strikes again (two times).
It probably seems like that should be a record for stupid lawsuit demands, and it almost is. It is more than ten times the third-place demand, a claim for three quadrillion and change filed by someone against the federal government after Hurricane Katrina. Had that been paid, and paid in quarters, the stack of quarters would have reached to about the orbit of Neptune, more or less (I'm not doing that math again). Of course that couldn't have happened, because there is only about $24 trillion in circulation in the entire world, and most of that is not in quarters. So it is even less likely that Anderson could ever collect his $38 quadrillion.
But that demand only puts him in second place, the leader still being Dalton Chiscolm, who sued Bank of America last year for 1.7 septillion dollars, or almost two thousand billion trillion dollars. That is something like 44 million times Anderson's lame demand, so maybe there is another amended complaint on the way.
Anderson himself refused to comment, saying that his views were made clear in his filings (which seems doubtful). "I'm not going to try this thing in the paper," he said.