2011 Stella Awards


>> 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 year — 2011:

>> 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.

>> If you think the court system is out of control, be sure to pass this>> one on.


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