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Stella Awards

Posted on Sep-27-2007· by

It’s time once again to consider the candidates for the annual StellaAwards. The Stella’s are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck whospilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonalds. That caseinspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits inthe United States.

The following are this year’s candidates:

1. Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of anightclub in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window tothe 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 avoidpaying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dentalexpenses.

2. Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 andmedical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next-doorneighbor’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 havebeen just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who was shootingit repeatedly with a pellet gun.

3. A 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medicalexpenses 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 carwhen he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hub caps.

4. A. Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson ofLancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 a! after she slipped on a soft drinkspill and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floorbecause Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlierduring an argument.

5. Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he hadjust finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get thegarage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning.He couldn’t reenter the house because the door connecting the house andgarage 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 ona case of Pepsi he found and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued thehomeowner’s insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mentalanguish. The jury agreed to the tune of $500,000.

6. A jury of her peers awarded Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas,$780,000 after breaking her ankle by tripping over a toddler who wasrunning inside a furniture store. The owners of the store wereunderstandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehavinglittle toddler was Ms. Robertson’s son.

7. This year’s favorite could easily be Mr. Merv Grazinski of OklahomaCity, Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebagomotor home. On his first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, he setthe cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go intothe back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the R.V. leftthe freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for notadvising him in the owner’s manual that he couldn’t actually do this. Thejury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actuallychanged their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there wereany other complete morons buying their recreation vehicles.

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