Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stella Awards for 2012

by Dianne

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 kind of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy

THE Stella’s for this past year -- 2012

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!

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...

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 head scratching after this one..

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..

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?

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

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.


Ok. Here we go!! Drum roll ...
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 owners 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.


Mary/MI said...

And I worked all those years for a fraction of those law suits?
Scratching head lol!! Where on earth did they get those jurors, Walmart???

Just_Lin said...

Mary I guess the ones who sued had really good lawyers and lucked out with gullible jurors. Of course, it could be that these cases are made up. :)

Just_Lin said...

Dianne Thank you for the blog today. Not sure I believe these but it is true that we have a very litigious society. I don't know if it's because too many people don't take responsibility for themselves or if it's more about greed and wanting to get money without working for it.

sacBarb said...

I don't think I believe these, either. Especially about the burglary ones. But it was entertaining to read them. Thanks Dianne.

sacBarb said...

Waving to Mary and J/L. Hope you are having a good day.

I just got home from seeing Beauty and the Beast. This is the first time I have seen it on the stage and it was excellent. The sets and special affects were amazing. I was very surprised.

Time to go find something to eat. BBL

Mary/MI said...

Hi Gals! It was a beautiful day in Mich. It is cold, but I can handle that with spring peeking around the corner!
I went to visit my late Brother's gr Grandson today. He is 1 1/2 yrs old. He now lives in Tenn. with his Mom, so whenever he visits Mich I never mind driving a ways to see him. I don't want him to forget me lol!
DDS appmt tomorrow, just cleaning. The only thing I hate is having to take 4 antibiotic pills an hr before I go. Just a precaution because of my knee replacement. Infection can enter through your gums if you bleed. My neighbor got a horrific infection a few months ago after getting teeth cleaned. Not fun stuff!


sacBarb said...

Mary, I had the same thing done on Monday and I have to take the pre-meds because of my knee replacements too. The time before I forgot and they gave them to me when I got there, then I had to wait. I remembered on Monday. I guess we will have to do that for life.

Just_Lin said...

Back in the days when I still had teeth (LOL) I used to have to take antibiotics before teeth cleaning due to my heart murmer. They worry that bacteria can enter the blood stream and stick on the edge of the heart valve which is not closing as tightly as it should.

Dianne/Denver said...

Hi All....busy working today. It was another beautiful day out. Predicting 6-12" of snow tomorrow and Saturday then back up to 70!!!! I could due without the snow.

Met a friend for dinner and had a lot of grilled asparagus...very yummy.

I don't know if I believe all these lawsuits either ...some seem pretty out there.