Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Stella Awards

Time once again to review the winners of the Annual 'Stella Lawsuit
Awards.' The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck,
who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in
New Mexico). That case inspired the Stella Lawsuit Awards for the most
frivolous, ridiculous, stupid, but successful lawsuits in the United

Here are this year's winners.......

5th Place (tie):

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 owner of the store was
understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving
little toddler was Ms. Robertson's own son.

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 the car'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. In my
opinion, this is so outrageous that it should have been 2nd place!

4th Place :

Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and
medical expenses after being bit on the buttocks by his next door
neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard.
The award was 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

3rd Place :

A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and
broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms.
Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an

2nd Place :

Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a
night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window
to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms.
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

1st Place :

This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor
home. On her first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, she set
the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the
back to 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 total morons around.


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