It's time once again to review the winners of the annual "Stella Awards."
The Stella's are named after 81-year old Stella Liebeck... who spilled
coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's. That case inspired
the Stella awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United
States. Here are this year's winners.
5th Place (tie):
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of
her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running
inside a furniture store. The owners of the store we! re understandably
surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was
Ms Robertson's son.
5th Place (tie):
19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses
when his neighbour 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 neighbour's
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.
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical
expenses! after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbour'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 gun.
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 argument.
Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night
club in a neighbouring 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 expenses.
This year's run away winner was Mrs Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago
motorhome.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
drivers 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.
San Nakji for President!