Law & Disorder
Ridiculous lawsuit or leather crusader? Houston lawyer rides his lost coattails
Once, while spending a typical Wednesday night at my favorite neighborhood bar in Barcelona, I got up from my corner perch to beat my friend at a game of billiards. It wasn't until closing when I walked outside, and the cold wind hit me, that I remembered I'd left my beloved camel suede coat behind.
It was, of course, nowhere to be found.
So when I heard the tale of Houston lawyer William Ogletree, I understood. Ogletree, when flying out from Bush Intercontinental airport to Las Vegas, stopped in the food court for a bite of pizza and accidentally left his $800 black leather Polo coat with plaid lining sitting at the table.
But the difference between Mr. Ogletree and myself is that after this happened, I didn't sue anyone.
In a litigation threat letter posted on The Smoking Gun, Ogletree says he wants his coat back and isn't afraid to sue the City of Houston, Westfield Concession Management and Continental Airlines to get it.
"Each of the above-addressed entities are pointing their fingers at the other entities and all deny that they have the coat. Regardless of whether they have the coat, they were responsible for securing it and keeping it in a safe place for a reasonable time for the owner .... I am looking forward to discovering how all of you deal with lost property in the airport. I suspect your record is dismal and employee theft runs rampant," the letter reads.
But Ogletree is more than willing to be reasonable. He gives the parties 10 days to refund him $800 for the coat before threatening that "the amount will continue to increase according to the court costs, attorneys fees, investigation, expert witnesses and other damages available by law."
Ogletree does not specify exactly what kind of expert witnesses might be called upon to testify about lost coats. Perhaps ones specializing in the forgetfulness of old men?