Grrr! Sue You, Sue Me

We are going Sue Crazy!

It seems every day I'm reading about another lawsuit that has me scratching my head in disbelief.

One New York couple is suing an animal shelter because the shelter euthanized their dog. According to published reports, the couple gave the dog back to the shelter because the wife became pregnant and decided that since the dog had some behavior problems, it had to go.

The couple started e-mailing friends looking for a home for their dog. One e-mail was forwarded to the shelter where the couple first obtained the dog, and — under shelter policy — employees there informed the couple that if they did not want the animal, they had to return it to the shelter.

But on the day the dog was returned to the shelter, it lunged at a veterinary technician. The dog was then euthanized.

"We cannot place dangerous animals back in the community," the shelter's executive director told New York Newsday.

Now the couple is suing the shelter for damages stemming from "guilt," including marital strife and, according to the New York Post, "resentment toward their unborn child."

Huh? Resentment toward their unborn child? You've got to be kidding.

This is definitely a sad situation, but it would have been a lot sadder if the couple kept the dog and it attacked and killed their baby. Would they then sue the shelter because they felt "guilt" and "resentment toward the shelter for putting dangerous animals in the community?"

I feel bad for the dog, but I feel even worse for the legal professionals and the courts that have to deal with this lawsuit.


In another misuse of our justice system, a New Jersey woman is suing the Screen Actors Guild and Grant Wilfley Casting, a firm that casts extras in New York television and film productions, for allegedly taking bribes from her in exchange for uncredited roles in movies and television shows.

Let's get this straight. The woman said she willingly purchased elaborate gifts for casting directors, and now she's claiming those associates made her bribe them?

I don't get it.

Anyway, the "actress" says she bought several hundred dollars worth of gifts over the years, including a gift of $200 in cash for a casting associate who was celebrating an anniversary, and up to four $260 portable DVD players for casting staffers.

What's ironic about all of this is that being an extra pays a little over $100 a day, so you can imagine the amount of work Grant Wilfley Casting must have been giving the actress for her to be able to afford such gifts.

Wilfley casts extras in "Law and Order: SVU," "The Sopranos," and films like "Analyze That."

Here's my question: how desperate does one have to be to be famous, that you would bribe people for nameless, faceless roles that pay very little — and never, ever get any lines out of it?

If you're going to bribe someone, at least make it someone who can advance your career more than a "Juror #1."

Wilfley told the New York Post that the woman's claims are "unfounded allegations by a disgruntled actress," and that staffers are not allowed to accept gifts over $25.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have worked with Wilfley in the past when I was acting full time, but in all of my dealings with him and his office, there was nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly no hint that I would get more work if I purchased elaborate gifts for people.

Besides, being an extra in New York City (as opposed to Hollywood, where there is a union for extras and it's an actual industry) is honestly one of the most humiliating experiences in the life of an actor.

If I were going to bribe someone, it would be to never be an extra again!

Go figure!

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on