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The Stella Awards

posted 2/3/2008 5:16:51 PM |
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Got this from a friend on myspace:

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. So keep your head scratcher handy.

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 hub caps.

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, 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, 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.

Grrrrr ... Scratch, scratch.


Third place goes to 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?

Scratch, scratch, scratch. Hang in there; there are only two more Stellas to go...


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.

1ST PLACE: (May I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please?)

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 onto 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. Gazinski 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.
Are we, as a society, getting more stupid...???? ....speak for yourselves;

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post a comment!


Feb 3 @ 5:23PM  
Oh man, don't ya just hate stupid people suing over anything, even when it's their own fault and stupidity. We gotta ship these people to their own island somewhere in the Indian ocean.

Feb 3 @ 5:48PM  
Hell with the people that sue. We have to ship the people on the jury to an island.

Feb 3 @ 5:55PM  
I'mma sue somebody! We be richest by nes=xt near baby!

Feb 3 @ 6:10PM  
These are great Sunny!! Boy are some people clueless!!

Feb 3 @ 6:10PM  
I cannot confirm this 100 percent and will need to investigate it, but these are extremely familiar and have been around for several years as I have seen them every few months.

I will look into it tomorrow, but it is almost Super Bowl kick off and there are things to real life.

Feb 3 @ 6:12PM  
Why I hate working civil court!!! Criminal is so much more black and white, cut and dried!

Feb 3 @ 6:20PM  
Quickly, during a commercial, I had to know. The Stella Awards are real!

But the cases you cite go back to 1992. Obsolete Baby...I knew I had seen them for years. You can find the recent winners as it is still going on.

From Wikipedia...

The Stella Awards are awards given to people who file ridiculous lawsuits, named after a woman named Stella Liebeck who, in 1992, spilled a cup of McDonalds' coffee onto her lap, causing third degree burns. She sued McDonalds and was awarded USD$2.9 million in damages, subsequently reduced by the judge to $640,000. The "Stella Award" is given to people who file outrageous and frivolous lawsuits.[1]
There are a number of "bogus" Stella Awards circulating on the Internet.[2][3]
The awards are the subject of a 2005 book, The True Stella Awards: Honoring real cases of greedy opportunists, frivolous lawsuits, and the law run amok. Because of the number of fake Stella Awards circulating online, the author of the book, Randy Cassingham, created a website and newsletter discussing real cases of outrageous lawsuits. Now, both and are run by the author. Cassingham notes he did not coin the term "Stella Awards", nor does he think Stella Liebeck's lawsuit was frivolous. But he used the term, preceding it with "True", because it had already become well known from the bogus online items.
Cassingham used to write all the case write-ups himself. But in May of 2007, two attorneys started helping him. Jeffrey Anbinder, also a published New York author, made his debut in the May 2007 issue (issue #80) of the True Stella Awards newsletter.
In May of 2007 (issue #80), Cassingham awarded his first "Anti-Stella Award". The recipient is McNeil "Mac" Brown, who lost his wife to a runaway car emerging from a carwash. Brown was left to raise their 18 month old son alone. After winning a lawsuit for the wrongful death of his wife for an award of USD$7.5 million, Brown refused to move forward with punitive damages. He declared the original award "enough" and ended the proceedings. The jury said they were ready to give a punitive award in the "tens of millions", but Brown said his intent was never to destroy the defendant and that his case was never about the money, but only to honor the memory of his late wife, Brenda.

Feb 3 @ 6:40PM  
why don't they call any of us smart folks for jury duty...........

Feb 3 @ 8:34PM  
On my way to the doctors office the other day, I happened to hear this on the radio. There was a man who was suing a couple for damages to his car from hitting and killing the couples son by hitting him with said car.

Can you believe this shit, the lengths people will go to to get money. Makes me sick.

Feb 3 @ 9:58PM  
belle - got a topper for that one - Aug 2006 the Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, KY crash - the attorney for the co-pilot (only survivor of the crash) is claiming that the victims share in the blame of the crash.

I guess there are no lengths people won't go to.


Feb 3 @ 10:27PM  
WoW...I've already looked into the Stella's...since they started when the old lady sued McDonalds this has been going every year.

I may slip once in awhile, but I do check my own blogs for accuracy. Thanks for double checking though!

Feb 4 @ 12:31AM  
I'm gonna sue my gene pool cus I'm bald....

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The Stella Awards