New Lawsuit: Michael Vick is Going to Need a Bigger Contract

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Spotted on The Corner, the most interesting news story of the day. Reprinted in full:

An offbeat South Carolina prison inmate has filed a handwritten lawsuit seeking $63 quintillion from Michael Vick.

That’s $63,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Or as Jonathan Lee Riches put it in his handwritten lawsuit, “$63,000,000,000 billion.” The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond on July 23.

Riches — who has developed an Internet cult following for his propensity to file strange lawsuits naming multiple diverse defendants — claims that Vick stole his pit bulls and sold them on eBay to “use the proceeds to purchase missiles from the Iran government.”

In the complaint, Riches scrawls that “Michael Vick has to stop physically hurting my feelings and dashing my hopes.”

If he wins the lawsuit, Riches says he wants the $63 quintillion delivered in gold and silver to the front gate of the Williamsburg Federal Correctional Facility in South Carolina, where he is housed as he serves a conviction for wire fraud.

In his previous lawsuits — which have never actually made it to court — Riches has sued politicians, entertainers, dead people, corporations and occasionally abstract concepts.

One week before he filed suit against Vick, Riches had filed a suit against three entities — the Jewish Mossad, the Central Intelligence Agency and “Larry King Live.” It was unclear why he was suing them.

In his most noteworthy suit, Riches submitted a 57-page list of defendants that included President Bush, Pope Benedict, actor Tony Danza, Fruit of the Loom, NASCAR, the Ming Dynasty, Skittles candy, the Philadelphia Eagles (2005 roster), the Doobie Brothers, the Congolese Army, the Magna Carta, “WKRP in Cincinnati,” the King’s Dominion amusement park in Virginia, the philosopher Plato, and the Liberty Bell.

He claimed they collectively owed him money.

First of all, shame on the news media for using a man who is clearly mentally disturbed to entertain their readers. Second of all, what could anyone have against the Magna Carta? Or Skittles?

Update: Found the pdf of Riches v. Bush, et al. The list of defendants is pure comic genius.

UPDATE Update: Found the handwritten Riches v. Vick.

TOO MANY UPDATES: Just a few days ago, Riches sued Barry Bonds, Bud Selig, and “Hank Aaron’s Bat”! And look who’s mixed up in their nefarious business [pdf]:

Mr. Selig has been secretly giving Barry Bonds steroids for over 9 years under the supervision of Sammy Sosa. Mr. Selig on 2 occations [sic] (Dec. 10th 2001, Feb 6th, 2003) met Mr. Bonds at the I-70 Steak N Shake, Booth #11, made an under the table cream exchange, needles, HGH, as Mr. Bonds provided Mr. Selig 22 thousand for his services. I planted a bug in booth #10, Robert Novak and Judith Miller have copies of the transcripts.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest