Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stella Awards

I got this in an e-mail. I don't think half of this stuff is true, but it is funny.

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 the McDonald's in New Mexico where she
purchased the coffee. You 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 your head.
> Here are the Stella's 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.
> Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who 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, 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.
> Jerry Williams, of Little Rock , Arkansas , garnered 4th Place in the Stella's
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.
> Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania 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, knocking out her
two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak 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 dental expenses. Go figure.
> This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski,
of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On
her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway,
she set the cruise control at 70 mph and 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 overturned. 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 her, 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. Gra zinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.