It's once again time to review the winners of the annual Stella Awards.
The Stellas are named after 81 year old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee
on herself and successfully sued McDonald's. That case inspired the
Stella Awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United
Unfortunately, the most recent lawsuit implicating McDonald's, the teens
who allege that eating at McDonald's has made them fat, was filed after
the 2003 award voting was closed. This suit will top the 2004 awards list
THIS YEAR'S AWARDS GO TO:
5th place (Tied). - Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded
$780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a
toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store
were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving
toddler was Ms. Robertson's Son.
5th place (Tied). - 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000
and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda
Accord. Mr. Truman apparently did not notice there was someone at the
wheel of the car when he was trying to steal the hubcaps!
5th place (Tied). - Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania was
leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was
not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener
was malfunctioning. He could not re-enter the house because the door
connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family
was on vacation and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for 8
days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found and a large bag of dry dog
food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him
undue mental anguish. The Jury agreed to the tune of $500,000.
4th place. - 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 dog. 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 have been a little provoked at the time as Mr. Williams, who had
climbed over the fence into the yard, was shooting it repeatedly with a
3rd place. - 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 (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms.
Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier, during an
2nd place. - Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a
Night Club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to
the floor and knocked out two of her front teeth. This occurred whilst Ms.
Walton was trying to sneak in the window of the Ladies Room to avoid
paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental
1st Place. - This year's runaway winner was Mr. Merv Grazinski of
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new Winnebago Motorhome. On his trip
home from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, he set the
cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the
back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly the RV left the
freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr.Grazinski sued Winnebago for not
advising him in the owner's manual that he could not actually do this. The
jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new Winnebago Motorhome. The company
actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit just in case
there were any other complete morons buying their recreational vehicles.
(ONLY IN AMERICA!)