Monday, January 22, 2007


Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards." The Stella Awards are named after 81year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspiredthe Stella Awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States. Here are this year's winners:

5th Place (tie):
19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

5th Place (tie):
Terrence Dickson of Bristol , Pennsylvania , was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish . The jury agreed, to the tune of $500,000.

4th Place:
Jerry Williams of Little Rock , Arkansas , was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on thebuttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The awardwas less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

3rd Place:
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster , Pennsylvania , $113,500. aftershe slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor becauseMs. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

2nd Place:Kara Walton of Claymont , Delaware , successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city whenshe fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred whileMs. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

1st Place:
This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Mrs. Grazinski purchased abrand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, (from an OU football game), having drivenonto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the back& make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons around.


Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Are these for real?!? If they are, maybe, just maybe, juries should be removed from civil suits. People are just awarding money because that's what they would want if they were in the same situation. Let a judge decide instead. Ridiculous and disgusting.

January 23, 2007 12:48 PM  
Blogger Noahdaddy said...

These are all bogus. Insurance companies push these type of "awards" in order to convince gullible people that juries are running amuck.

January 23, 2007 1:37 PM  
Blogger The Zwicker said...

Damn those insurance companies and their lawyers!

January 23, 2007 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assure you that not one of these awards are true. Even an Ins. Co. mouth piece like the Piano Man over there says so.

What I can tell you is that the McDonalds verdict gets a lot of bad press. First of all I think that the Judge reduced it down to only 500K.

What you don't hear is that in the discovery portion of the trial, a memo was found that said that because McDonalds had a free refill- the hotter the coffee- the slower it would be drunk, and the less refills- so even though they determined that the appropriate temp. for a cup of coffee should be something like 125 degreess, these clowns boiled it up to 150 degrees- making it so boiling and so scalding that people will refill less times- thereby saving the company something like 40K a year.

What they ended up doing was putting a dangerous product into the stream of commerce, and severely injuring a lady all throughout her thighs with 1st, 2nd and 3rd degeee burns. That means the that the tissue was burned irrepairbly.

So I ask you- was that suit really so "frivolous and ridiculous"?? I assure you that if something like that happened to you or a loved one, and you found out the back story- that this multi billion dollar company wanted to save a few dollars and not care how dangerous their product was- you'd be singing a different tune.

Go Cardinals!!

January 23, 2007 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

spoken like Stella Liebeck's lawyer

January 24, 2007 5:18 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Hope y'all noticed who posted this. Thanks for the explanation of the McDonald's coffee case, STL, but just because a company wants to save some money by overheating its coffee doesn't mean someone who spills it on herself should be entitled to a settlement.

January 24, 2007 7:05 AM  
Blogger macabee said...

The 2005 True Stella Awards Winners
by Randy Cassingham
Issued 31 January 2006

The awards veev listed are all fake according to a website

#7: Bob Dougherty. A prankster smeared glue on the toilet seat at the Home Depot store in Louisville, Colo., causing Dougherty to stick to it when he sat down. "This is not Home Depot's fault," he proclaimed, yet the store graciously offered him $2,000 anyway. Dougherty complained the offer is "insulting" and filed suit demanding $3 million.

#6: Barbara Connors of Medfield, Mass. Connors was riding in a car driven by her 70-year-old(!) son-in-law when they crashed into the Connecticut River, and Connors sank with the car. Rescue divers arrived within minutes and got her out alive, but Connors suffered brain damage from her near-drowning. Sue the driver? Sure, we guess that's reasonable. But she also sued the brave rescue workers who risked their lives to save hers.

#5: Michelle Knepper of Vancouver, Wash. Knepper picked a doctor out of the phone book to do her liposuction, and went ahead with the procedure even though the doctor was only a dermatologist, not a plastic surgeon. After having complications, she complained she never would have chosen that doctor had she known he wasn't Board Certified in the procedure. (She relied on the phonebook listing over asking the doctor, or looking for a certificate on his wall?!) So she sued ...the phone company! She won $1.2 million plus $375,000 for her husband for "loss of spousal services and companionship."

#4: Rhonda Nichols. She says a wild bird "attacked" her outside a home improvement store in Fairview Heights, Ill., causing head injuries. That's right: outside the store. Yet Nichols still held the Lowe's store responsible for "allowing" wild birds to fly around free in the air. She never reported the incident to the store, but still sued for "at least" $100,000 in damages. In January 2006, the case was thrown out of court.

#3: Barnard Lorence of Stuart, Fla. Lorence managed to overdraw his own bank account. When the bank charged him a service fee for the overdraft, he filed suit over his "stress and pain" and loss of sleep over the fee. A few hundred thousand bucks, he says, will only amount to a "slap on the wrist", whereas the $2 million he's suing for is more like being "paddled". Kinky!

#2: Wanita "Renea" Young of Durango, Colo. Two neighborhood teens baked cookies for their neighbors as an anonymous gesture of good will, but Young got scared when she heard them on her front porch. They apologized, in writing, but Young sued them anyway for causing her distress, demanding $3,000. When she won(!!) $900, she crowed about it in the newspaper and on national TV. Now, she's shocked (shocked!) that everyone in town hates her for her spite, and is afraid she may have to move. But hey: she won.

And the winner of the 2005 True Stella Award: Christopher Roller of Burnsville, Minn. Roller is mystified by professional magicians, so he sued David Blaine and David Copperfield to demand they reveal their secrets to him -- or else pay him 10 percent of their lifelong earnings, which he figures amounts to $50 million for Copperfield and $2 million for Blaine. The basis for his suit: Roller claims that the magicians defy the laws of physics, and thus must be using "godly powers" -- and since Roller is god (according to him), they're "somehow" stealing that power from him.

January 24, 2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because a car company wants to save some money by putting in a shotty brake system, doesn't mean that a person who gets hurt by that car deserves any compensation?????

Go Blues!!!

January 24, 2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Big difference between putting a faulty brake system in your car and overheating your coffee

January 24, 2007 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one said anything about a faulty brake system, I said a shoddy (as in substandard- not necc. faulty.)

You say "big difference between brakes and coffee". Its only a big difference to the people that don't get hurt.

Go Rams!

January 24, 2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I do believe your out of sports teams right now.

January 24, 2007 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do believe there is something called college sports.

January 24, 2007 6:01 PM  

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