News & Opinion


Anton Purisima Files the Largest Lawsuit Ever Over a Rabid Dog, and It Could Bankrupt the World

The Daily Beast

May 19, 2014

If Anton Purisima is successful in his two undecillion-dollar lawsuit against Au Bon Pain bakery and a collection of other businesses and individuals in New York, we will all be in a lot of trouble.

If he wins in what is the largest lawsuit ever filed (an undecillion comes with 36 zeroes after it), Purisima, 62, stands to be awarded more money than there is in the world. So, before the world deals with global warming, it must deal with Purisima’s lawsuit.

There will be no after-work margaritas if Purisima wins, no wages, no curve-screen TVs, and no global aid for the less fortunate. Rich and poor, currencies, financial markets, food production, electricity, everything: up in smoke, screwed, done with. Netflix—kaput. No more wondering why Gap jeans seem to have their own sizing logic. There will be no more Gap jeans.

If Purisima wins, with no money, the world will have to reconfigure its economic and trade coordinates completely. No bad thing, a radical anti-capitalist might say. But even Marx must have had the odd bit of change in his pocket, if only to indulge his love of pickled beets and Hollandaise, his favorite dish.

If Purisima wins, he will have a lot of money, with everything—and nothing—to buy. He could hold the world to ransom. Let’s hope he has a giant white cat to stroke.

Purisima, says the New York Post, filed his 22-page handwritten complaint filed in Manhattan federal court on April 11.

A picture shows a bulbous white bandage encasing Purisima’s middle finger, which he claims was bitten off by a rabid dog. In announcing his intention to sue two local hospitals, Kmart, a “Latina” dog owner, as well as Au Bon Pain—its croissants are dreary, for sure, but not that bad—Purisima writes of having his middle finger infected and bloodied after being bitten by a “rabies-infected” dog on a city bus and then having a “Chinese couple” taking unauthorized photos of him while he was being treated at a local hospital.

He goes on to cite “civil-rights violations, personal injury, discrimination in national origin, retaliation, harassment, fraud, attempted murder, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy to defraud.” No amount of money could meet his demands, making the damages for his suit “priceless”—hence the astronomical sum. Alongside Au Bon Pain, also listed as defendants in the case are Carepoint Health, Hoboken University Medical Center, Kmart Store 7749, St. Luke’s Emergency Dept., New York City Transit Authority, City of New York, NYC MTA, and LaGuardia Airport Administration (Purisima claims he is regularly overcharged for coffee at the airport). In a previous lawsuit, Purisima listed his address as 390 9th Avenue, a “General Delivery” postal address many homeless people use at Penn Station.

The Daily Mail reports that in the last four years Purisima has filed lawsuits against the People’s Republic of China, several major banks (including Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, and Wachovia), the Commissioner of Social Security, Lang Lang International Music Foundation, and others.

In this latest case, Purisima wants more money than there is in the world. It is, commentators agree, a frivolous lawsuit. But this is taking place in the nutty, high-sums petri dish of New York’s legal system, so who knows? Hold on to the those Gap jeans. They may soon be museum pieces.