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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Just Can't Believe It!

While I was reading the following in my e-mail, I can't help but wonder how those US juries based their verdicts on those lawsuits. Are Americans dumb? It makes you think that way after reading it.

Oh my gosh, these are just nuts. What is this world coming to??? Every year these just get more and more ridiculous! It's even hard to imagine they are for real...


It is 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 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 Stella's for the past year:

7TH 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.

6TH 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.

Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.


5TH 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 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. Oh yes...there are more..


4TH 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.

Grrrrr ... Scratch, scratch.

3RD 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. What ever
happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Scratch, scratch, scratch. Hang in there; there are only
two more Stella's to go...

2ND 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. Go figure.


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 , OK , 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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