Sue or get sued
The Stella Awards UNBELIEVABLE
It's time again for the annual "Stella Awards!" For those unfamiliar
with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who
spilled hot coffee on herself, and successfully sued McDonald's in New
Mexico where she purchased the coffee. Remember, she took the lid off
the coffee, and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who
would ever think one could get burned doing that - Right!
That's right! these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and
verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch
So keep your head scratcher handy.
Here are The Stella Awards for the past year:
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of
her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was
running inside a furniture store.
The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict,
considering the running toddler was her own son!
Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California, won $74,000 plus medical
expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord.
Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the
car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.
Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.
Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had
just burglarized by way of the garage.
Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener
malfunctioned, and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he
couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to
the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut.
Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and
a large bag of dry dog food, b ecause the homeowner was out of town, he
sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish.
Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson
$500,000 for his anguish.
We should all have this kind of anguish.
Keep scratching. There are more...
Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garners 4th Place in the
Stella Awards when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after
being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even
though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard.
Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed
the beagle 'might' have been provoked at the time of the butt bite
because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and
repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.
Grrrrr...too bad the beagle didn't have a pellet gun!
Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is bestowed 3rd place because
a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she
slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone.
The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at
her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?
Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a night club in a
nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, and
knocked out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to
sneak into the night club through the ladies room window to avoid
paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay
her $12,000...oh, yeah, plus her dental expenses.
1ST PLACE: (Trumpets Phlueeze...)
This year, the runaway First Place Stella A ward winner is Mrs. Merv
Grazinski of Oklahoma City who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor
On her first trip home from an Oklahoma football game, she drove onto
the freeway, and she set the cruise control at 70 mph.
Then she calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the
Winnebago to make herself a sandwich.
Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and
Also - not surprisingly - Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting
in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's
seat while the cruise control was set.
The Oklahoma jury awarded here, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a
new motor home.
Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit just
in case Mrs. Grazinski has relative who might also buy a motor home.