The Stella Awards

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by LEAPup, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. LEAPup



    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 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. So keep your head scratcher handy.

    Here are the Stellas for this past year -- 2009:


    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

    Start scratching!


    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.

    Scratch some more...


    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 and survive 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 Keep scratching. There are more...

    Double hand scratching after this one..


    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.

    Pick a new spot to scratch, you're getting a bald spot..


    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?

    Only two more so ease up on the scratching...


    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..

    Ok. Here we go!!


    This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased 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. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

    Amazing World...:eek:
  2. TraDaToR


    The justice system totally lacks common sense, and not just in the US. The outcome is purely random. It's only good to intent a trial when you have a ridiculous claim and nothing to lose. If you have a valid one, You'd better litigate.
  3. You realize, of course, that the above list is bogus, right?
  4. I saw it on snopes but couldn't find out whether it was bogus or not.
  5. TraDaToR


    No. I have seen so much stupidities in court that I didn't even realize it was a joke.
  6. LEAPup


    I didn't know it was bogus. My Secretary forwarded it. Her hubby is an attorney, and we thought since it came from him, it was legit.

    Gotta love the silly internet! Grrrr!
  7. Pekelo


    Probably because it is not that hard to believe. There are plenty of real cases when you just have to wonder what the law was thinking. Specially with home invasion cases, the burglar can be awarded with a decent amount if he gets hurt during the burglary...

    Just a quick find:

    "A convicted burglar says the man he victimized actually committed battery while performing an unnecessarily rough citizen's arrest.
    Michael Dupree is serving a 12-year sentence for cocaine possession and burglary after being found guilty of shattering Anthony McKoy's car window and stealing a bicycle from inside his vehicle in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2007.
    But Dupree is seeking $500,000 and punitive damages for injuries he says he sustained when McKoy and two other men detained him until police arrived,"


    A better one with A NICE AWARD FOR STUPIDITY:

    "the Bodine lawsuit, we learn: Ricky Bodine was a 19-year-old high-school graduate who, with three other friends (one of whom had a criminal record), decided the night of March 1, 1982, to steal a floodlight from the roof of the Enterprise High School gymnasium. Ricky climbed the roof, removed the floodlight, lowered it to the ground to his friends, and, as he was walking across the roof (perhaps to steal a second floodlight), he fell through the skylight. Bodine suffered terrible injuries to be sure, though one questions the relevance: if the school is legally responsible for burglars’ safety, it doesn’t matter whether Bodine stubbed a toe or, as actually happened, became a spastic quadriplegic. But I fail to see what it is that reformers are supposedly misrepresenting. A burglar fell through a skylight, and sued the owner of the skylight for his injuries. Bodine sued for $8 million (in 1984 dollars, about $16 million today) and settled for the nuisance sum of $260,000 plus $1200/month for life, about the equivalent of a million dollars in conservatively-estimated 2006 present value."