The Battle of the Bulge
Albert Freed, of Dog Track Road, Pensacola — no, this is not a Stan Freburg setup — was excited to win a “dream trip to Hawaii” after selling $20,000 in diet products. Mr. Freed, who weighs about 280 pounds — trust us, it’s relevant — had not indulged himself with a vacation for forty years, and the wife thought he could use a new complement of tighty whities for the occasion. But after sporting his Hanes for a few days, problems began to, um, emerge:
Plaintiff testified he believed sand that he picked up in his swim trunks while enjoying the Hawaiian surf had irritated his penis. Over the next few days he and his wife “walked all over the place” until his condition worsened to the point that he “could hardly walk.” Plaintiff testified his inability to walk was caused by defendant’s defective manufacturing of his underwear which caused his “fly” to gap open. The gap resulted in his penis protruding from his underwear, whereupon the edges of the opening abraded his penis like “sandpaper belts.”
Well, who among us (er, half of us) hasn’t been there? But Mr. Freed, rather than go commando, decided to sweat it out:
Under cross examination plaintiff admitted he never examined his penis to address the problem and/or treat the problem. He testified that he is a “belly-man” and his “weight” prevents him from looking down and seeing his penis. He further testified he declined to use the hotel mirror to view the “injury” because that is “not something he would do.” He also testified he did not ask his wife to examine his penis because he would never ask her to do such a thing, nor would he want to let her know about his pain because it would have “ruined her vacation” as well.
Defendant Hanes Brands Inc. was not, er, going down without a fight, however. They brought in an expert witness, who must have had the strangest meeting with his high-school guidance counselor:
The uncontroverted expert testimony was that once a man’s genitalia are adjusted in his briefs, “vertical tension” is far greater than horizontal tension and there is no tendency for the fly to “gap.” The only circumstance which would result in significant horizontal tension would be caused by attempting to don briefs with a waist too small for the attempted occupant.
Freed v. Hanes was decided for the defendant, saving the reputation of Hanes underwear from being soiled. Except for one thing:
Although defendant asked that the judgment … include a requirement that plaintiff remove any and all videos from the internet regarding the injury to his penis, the court does not have jurisdiction to address this request.
But hey, at least Mr. Freed collected his prize. Unlike the poor guy in Texas whose million-dollar lottery ticket was stolen by a convenience-store clerk.
Lawsuit of the Day: Defective Underwear Causes Penis Pain [Above the Law]
Freed v. Hanes [PDF]