Rumplestiltskin is a bizarre fairy tale that begins with a very difficult situation for a young woman. (Scholars have suggested that the tale is over 4,000 years old, which might explain how weird it is. Very old stories are often very weird.) The young woman’s father, a miller, boasted that his daughter could convert straw into gold. A powerful person (a king, in fact) decided to incarcerate the unfortunate young woman, threatening to kill her unless she converted straw into gold for him. She managed to do so with a little help (with strings attached, of course) from an ugly magical creature.
We will not recite the entire story (you can refresh your recollection here) but we were reminded of it in reviewing the recently filed lawsuit of Ameron Water Transmission Group v. Carstensen Contracting, et al.
Ameron’s complaint suggests that it was put in a tough spot like the miller’s daughter, being required to meet contract specifications that were “voluminous, repetitive, confusing, and contain many errors including misspellings, bad grammar, and incorrect references” (Compl. Para. 37) and being required to perform validation testing that was “highly vague, confusing, and defective” (Compl. Para. 47). Consequently, Ameron has brought a lawsuit seeking a judicial declaration that it cannot be bound by its adversaries’ impossible contractual terms.