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Author Topic: Definitely an Art!  (Read 6480 times)
Rob C
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« on: November 10, 2010, 08:52:18 AM »
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The following requires no comment from me!   

Stella Awards
It's time again for the annual 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 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 and say WTF.  So keep your head scratcher handy. 


Here are the Stellas for the past year:   

* SEVENTH PLACE * 

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.

Start scratching!

* SIXTH PLACE  * 

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.

Scratch some more...

* FIFTH PLACE * 

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 and survive 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.  Keep scratching .. There are more......

Double hand scratching after this one.....

* FOURTH PLACE * 

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's 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.

Pick a new spot to scratch, you're getting a bald spot..

* THIRD PLACE *

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.

Only two more so ease up on the scratching....

*SECOND PLACE* 

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.     

OK.  Here we go!!

* FIRST PLACE * 

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was:  Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home.  On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to 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.

No wonder it's hard to get into the States without a return ticket away!

Disclaimer: I assume this circular is based on fact...



 









 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 



 

 
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kikashi
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 11:02:10 AM »
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Disclaimer: I assume this circular is based on fact...
Not necessarily a safe assumption: the last in particular has been doing the rounds for a good few years. They perhaps demonstrate why in England we haven't used juries in civil trials (with a few exceptions) for a long time.

Jeremy
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 11:15:30 AM »
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More ars than technica, it seems : Wink
http://www.stellaawards.com/bogus.html

But as goes the french Coluche saying about jokes : "can we joke about anything? If it makes laugh, yes we can."
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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langier
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 12:01:57 PM »
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I think this one's still busted...

Here's where to get lowdown on the legend:

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/cruise.asp

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Larry Angier
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 12:17:39 PM »
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http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.asp

Almost 10 year-old bullshyte ...

However ... this is real:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 12:19:24 PM by Jeremy Payne » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 01:05:21 PM »
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Just when I thought I'd been handed something new...

Oh well, back to Enid Blyton.

Rob C
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tom b
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 04:27:19 PM »
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The Darwin Awards are real and are of a similar bent. That is, you have to scratch your head as to how people manage to kill themselves such as setting off fireworks on top of a disused gas tank.

The Darwin Awards can be found here:

http://www.darwinawards.com

Cheers,
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Justinr
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 04:39:17 PM »
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To be honest I find the Darwin awards a little distasteful as I am sure Charles Darwin himself would. It is part of human nature to do things that are outside the norm of expected behaviour which sometimes brings benefits and other times disaster. To sit back and sneer at such transgressions from the comfort of a sofa of conceit is hardly clever.
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sailronin
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 06:47:28 AM »
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I actually enjoy the "Darwin Awards", especially as I seem to come across serious contenders on a semi-regular basis. Thy are a constant reminder that there is a reason my home state is called Flori-duh!  Grin
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Thank you for looking, comments and critiques are always welcome.
Dave

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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 05:14:54 PM »
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Sigh.
So, you're repeating the corporate slander used to try discrediting Stella Liebeck?
The restaurant in question had a 'free refills on coffee' promotion in progress at the time. Internal corporate documents disclosed at trial revealed that coffee was as a matter of policy intentionally served scalding hot to discourage requests for refills (because if it's so hot you can't drink it right away.....). And that the restaurant had received repeated complaints from customers that their coffee was too hot. And that such complaints were ignored, self-evidently for the reason above.

FYI, Stella Liebeck was burned so severely that she required skin grafting and rehabilitation.
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