Sometimes there's just no justice....
The "Stella" awards rank up there with the Darwin awards, EXCEPT the
individuals don't end up killing themselves.
Everyone knows of the 1994 case in which a New Mexico jury awarded $ 2.9
million U.S. in damages to 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who suffered
third-degree burns to her legs, groin and buttocks after spilling a cup
McDonald's coffee on herself. This case inspired an annual award - The
"Stella" Award - for the most frivolous lawsuit in the U.S. The ones
listed below are clear candidates. All these cases are
verging on the outright ridiculous and yet (in the good old USA) with
right attorney you could win anything!
1. January 2000:
Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000 by
a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who
running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were
understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving
bastard was Ms.Robertson's son.
2. June 1998:
A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical
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
was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.
3. October 1998:
A Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania was leaving a
house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was unable
get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was
malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door
the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on
vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days.
subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food.
sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue
mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars.
4. October 1999:
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded $14,500
and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door
neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in it's owner's fenced-in
The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have
just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who was shooting at
repeatedly with a pellet gun.
5. May 2000:
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of
Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a
soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because
Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
6. December 1997:
Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the
owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the
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
avoid the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental
And the winner is........
Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City. In November 2000 Mr.
Grazinski purchased a brand new 32 foot Winnebago motor home. On his
trip home, having joined the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70
and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a
of coffee. Not surprisingly the Winnie left the freeway, crashed and
overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the
handbook that he couldn't actually do this. He was awarded $1,750,000
(Winnebago actually changed their handbooks on the back of
this court case just in case there are any other complete morons buying