Lindsay Lohan’s E-trade lawsuit absurd

What do Lindsay Lohan and the E-Trade babies have in common? They’re both babies.

The 23-year-old actress filed a $100 million lawsuit against the financial services company, claiming that an ad aired during the Super Bowl and Olympics pokes fun at her substance abuse.

The ad features three talking babies, one of whom is referred to as a “milkaholic,” a crack that Lohan says was a shot at her alcoholism.

In order to win the lawsuit, she would have to prove that the ad was a misappropriation, meaning that E-Trade used Lohan as an endorsement without her permission.

Seeing as Lohan is not a talking infant, this could be difficult to prove.

Even if her lawyer can prove the ad was referencing Lohan, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled the parodies of public figures to be protected speech in 1988 in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

Falwell, a public figure, was featured in a parody interview in Hustler that suggested that he lost his virginity to his mother in an outhouse. The court ruled that a reasonable person would not have taken the parody as fact and reversed a lower court’s decision to reward Falwell damages as compensation for emotional distress.

Assuming Lohan’s lawyer could prove that the ad was defamatory and would be perceived as fact by an average person, Lohan would have no shot at winning compensatory damages.

Lohan is suing for $50 million in exemplary damages and $50 million in compensatory damages, according to the New York Post.

In order to win compensatory damages, Lohan would have to prove that the ad harmed her reputation in such a way that she lost $50 million. It’s taken Lohan 23 years to gain a net worth of $7 million, according to the Internet Movie Database. Assuming her career doesn’t make a 180 in the near future and she continues to earn money at the same rate, it would take her more than 160 years to rack up $50 million dollars.

Lohan’s lawyer was quoted in the New York Post saying that everyone who’s seen the ad knows it’s referring to Lohan.

Nobody made the connection before Lohan brought it to the public’s attention by filing a mind-boggling lawsuit over it. She’s digging her own grave and needs no help from E-Trade or a parody in doing so.

Her lawyer claims that Lohan has the same first-name recognition as celebrities such as Oprah and Madonna. By that justification, using the name “Lindsay” in any context would refer to Lohan and only Lohan.

Oprah and Madonna are known by their first names alone because they are unique. (They are also a tad more famous for things a touch more successful.)

The year Lohan was born, 1986, the names “Lindsey” and “Lindsay” both were in the top 50 most popular names for baby girls, according to the Social Security Administration’s Web site. The ad could have used any common name for women, like Amanda or Jessica. Would the handful of Amanda and Jessica celebrities have gotten their panties in a bunch and then sued for 14 times their net worth? No. Intelligent people don’t do that.

There is no way your average person would have associated the commercial’s “millkaholic” with this particular Lindsay.

Whether you’re a milkaholic or not, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. Lindsay, it’s time to grow up and get over it.

Paige McArdle is a junior news-editorial journalism and psychology major from Omaha, Neb.