A little late, maybe, but I hadn't seen these yet. Pretty unbelievable.
2005 Stella Awards!
Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards."
The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who
spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM).
That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits
in the United States.
Here are the winners for 2005:
5th Place (tie):
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000.00 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 were
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 $74,000.00 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 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 $500,000.00.
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500.00 and
medical expenses after being bitten 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 the dog
repeatedly with a pellet gun.
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500.00 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 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 $12,000.00 and dental expenses.
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, (driving home from an OU football game), having
driven onto t he 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 $1,750,000.00 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.