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 2008 Stella Awards

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Posts : 325
Join date : 2009-01-18
Age : 106

Post2008 Stella Awards

What can I can't make this stuff up...

Quote :
2008 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 Stellas for 2008:


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 hubcaps.


Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who 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.


Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stellas 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.


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?


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.

king 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. Grazinski 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.
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2008 Stella Awards :: Comments

Re: 2008 Stella Awards
Post on Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:44 pm  seek2mend
I hate to be a killjoy. But from what I remember, this elderly woman,Stella, did indeed suffer severe burns. I think elderly skin is similar to baby skin in sensitivety. In fact, I think McDonald's and others did lower the temperature of the coffee. The argument for having such a dangerous temperature was companies theorize most people wait until they get to work to indulge. It was indeed a painful lesson. For Stella and McDonalds.

True story. A friend's child works at a local coffee shop. A drive through customer ordered some sort of very hot beverage for her toddler. Rather than testing it herself, the customer turned around and handed it directly to her toddler. The toddler spilled it on himself and the mother went Bull Sh*t and swore she would have this young workers head.

The moral is that there are three sides to every story. His side, her side and then there is the truth.
Re: 2008 Stella Awards
Post on Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:26 pm  Dave
seek2mend wrote:

The moral is that there are three sides to every story. His side, her side and then there is the truth.

Ahem....and the Winnebago??? Shocked
Re: 2008 Stella Awards
Post on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:55 pm  seek2mend
I don't know all of the facts. And it certainly sounds like the woman was at fault. But I think you really would have to read the verdict or opinion to get at the truth.

I know there are frivolous lawsuits and I also know what it is like to go against the "big guys".

But my biggest problem is with the award itself being named after someone who suffered for wanting a reasonably hot cup of coffee and was severely scalded. Or at least that is what I understand actually happened.
Re: 2008 Stella Awards
Post on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:18 am  mkreyssig
Well if she really popped the lid off while she was driving....well...I don't think she should be all that surprised...
Re: 2008 Stella Awards
Post on Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:43 pm  seek2mend
mkreyssig wrote:
Well if she really popped the lid off while she was driving....well...I don't think she should be all that surprised...

I did a little bit of research on this case a few years ago. I did not do any indepth reseach. I don't think this 80+ year old woman was driving and I do not think the car was moving. I think her daughter was driving?

In any event, Wikipedia has a short article that should debunk the urban myth.

I think I read somewhere that the fact that the woman was wearing polyester pants aggravated the situation. I suppose we could all blame the fashion police for dereliciton of duty Wink
Re: 2008 Stella Awards
Post on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:24 pm  Dave
Hey wait a minute...if it's in print it must be the truth...right???

Actually some of the law suits in Wendy's source are just as good as these fake incidents. Darn....that Winnebego made for such a good read.

Lesson learned...

Re: 2008 Stella Awards
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