Bottom of the News… Friday, February 26, 2010
I thought I’d share a few recent Stella Award winners. These awards named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's. Awards recognize the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S.
5th Place: Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, PA 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 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.
4th Place: Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, AK 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.
3rd Place: Amber Carson of Lancaster, PA was paid $113,500 by Philadelphia restaurant 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. So much for being responsible for your own actions!
2nd Place: Kara Walton, of Claymont, DL 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 plus dental expenses. Go figure.
1st Place: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, OK was driving her new 32-foot Winnebago motor home from an OU football game. On the freeway she set the cruise control at 70 mph and left the driver's seat to make 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 $1.7 million 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.
Definitely outlandish and ridiculous! And this is the Bottom of the News on this Friday, February 27, 2010.