I just couldn't help it . . .

        It's 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. These are also the people that vote in this country!

        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 , 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. 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:

        Third place goes to 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 Stellas 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 , Oklahoma , 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.

        Are we, as a society, getting more stupid...or what?


thats just painful to ...

thats just painful to comprehend!! WTF is wrong with people?! i just dont get it!

I used to think that woman ...

I used to think that woman was a complete ass just looking for deep pockets after her own stupidity. But I have a brother who is a lawyer and he knows what we, the public were never told in the news which is terribly right wing driven these days, has been for a long time.

It seems that internal memos at McDonald's corporate offices proved without any hint of a doubt that McDonald's knew perfectly well that their coffee could burn people and burn them badly at the temperature they were heating it to. They knew this for years. They also knew that it HAD burned people and burned them badly and that they risked being held liable. The memos also proved that they considered the profit differenct between the cost of keeping the coffee less hot and simply leaving it at a dangerously hot temperature and settling a few lawsuits here and there. They chose to leave it dangerously hot.

The injuries to that woman were also not what we were told in the right wing news. They were EXTREMELY more devastating. She suffered third degree burns to her genital region which causes pain of the worst type you can imagine including months and months of skin grafting and peeling and grafting and peeling of her genital region!!!

Yes, I thought originally it was a gold digger bitch just out looking to scam because she was stupid. But given the actual facts, those we the public were all deprived of due to the right wing press, which is ultra skewed towards big business, the picture was more than just a little different. The truth is not always what you see, especially since the right wing took over the media a few decades ago and yet they STILL go around harping about the so-called "left wing media" when that is the furthest thing from the truth. The results are EXTREMELY Dangerous. People actually believe that what they hear is skewed left when it is in fact skewed EXTREMELY to the right.

Tie for number one Stella ...

Tie for number one Stella above! Every **cking subject has to be twisted back to politics. Got an idea--- TGIX--- you are so smart--- why don't you bring charges against Bush for eveything you have accused him of?

LOL, chubby....and my ...

LOL, chubby....and my mouth is still dropped from reading those lawsuits!!!

TGIX, is right about the ...

TGIX, is right about the McDonalds lady. I had to take a business law course in college, I was assigned to make a report regarding this case. It came out in court that McDonalds had INDEED been warned about overheating the coffee. McDonalds had been resetting the coffee machines to higher temps which was burning the machines out. McDonald was repeatedly warned to keep the machines at lower temperatures but refused to comply.

I'm not a woman but i am sure if my "little lady" was burned by scalding coffee I'd want some compensation too. I think under the circumstances that lady deserved to win her case.

See this is why I tell all ...

See this is why I tell all my friends to sue over dumb stuff. They can forever have insane amounts of money for something stupid, and their name mentioned all the time in the "Did you hear about the dipshit that...." stories!

McDonalds had over 900 ...

McDonalds had over 900 official complaints from customers, some hurt snd some not hurt, about the temp of their coffee. And they ignored the complaints as TGIX stated above. A friend of the family is a corp attorney and he gave us all the juice on that lawsuit when it happened. One of his partners was connected to the case somehow. But I totally agree with the verdict on that one.

Other than that TGIX is, once again, on the pipe if he thinks the media has EVER been right wing. Dude, you're losin it again. Time for your monthly reality injection at the shrinks office. I'll take care of your co-pay so you'll at least start sounding intelligent again.

Regardless of McDonalds ...

Regardless of McDonalds error, Stella on her on volition (1) chose to remove the coffee cups lid. (2) chose to stragetically position a hot liquid [she was intelligent, was she not ?] between her legs. (3) If a vehicle doesn't have OEM cup holders, they are easily obtainable at any business carrying aftermarket automotive supplies.

Lawyers/Insurance companies should have their licenses revoked for handling these actions. IE- The Buddist Monk who pours gasoline upon himself, then lights it, and survives, shouldn't be able to sue the petroleum company, the service station owner & the delivery truck driver. He should summarily be arrested , made to reimburse for damages caused to anyone/anything, be incarcerated in a mental instutition until declared mentally stable. Same thing, for the guy who decides to 'FlagPole Sit' If he uses the flags rope to climb the pole, and it breaks; he should pay for a new rope and to have it professionally installed, pay his own medical expenses, not be given workmans disability.

lol, paying for their ...

lol, paying for their stupidity, huh? lol.

i totally agree, AZK. that ...

i totally agree, AZK. that makes perfect sense. regardless of how hot the coffee was, she KNEW coffee is HOT and she removed the lid AND placed the cup between her legs. all the while, knowing that coffee is scolding hot. while i could totally see why she won the case, i see it being her fault even MORE.

Anyone who takes the lid ...

Anyone who takes the lid off a hot drink, put the container between their legs and then starts their vehicle moving doesn't deserve a penny even if the company made their coffee too hot. She was stupid.
We have people here in Canada who try to file lawsuits for such things, (they watch too much American television) but two things happen in the majority of cases, either the judge takes one look and throws the case out usually making the person filing the ridiculous suit pay the legal expenses for both sides or if for some reason they do suceed in getting a damage award, it is usually a fairly small amount, sometimes not enough to even cover their legal costs.

It doesn't matter what ...

It doesn't matter what anything thinks about Stella or what she did. SHE WON THE SUIT and that's all that matters. If you want to call someone an idiot in the situation, call the fuckers that let her win idiots. Call her stupid all day long but you know what? She won, and it wasn't her that decided she deserved all that money!

I tell all my friends in stupid situations to sue - you never know what a jury might be willing to decide you deserve!! Shit, look at ALL these people that made a decent amount of money - what did they do? Stupid things, and they MADE MONEY doing them.

Really though, it's not these people that are stupid, it's the jury that awarded them money that's stupid. So in fact 1 person winning a frivolous lawsuit means 12 stupid people.

We need more Judge Judys. ...

We need more Judge Judys. There was a case where a woman was at a flea maket-type place and a man was selling broken jewelry. The bags were clearly labelled as such and instead of pouring the contents out of the bag to check them out she put her hand in the bag. She got a scratch which led to a staph infection.
She sued for medical bills and when she was done presenting her case Judge Judy called her an idiot for putting her hand in bag marked "broken jewelry" and after lecturing her about being responsible for your own actions she dismissed her case. The woman didn't understand why she was at fault.
(In case anyone is wondering, the man sold broken jewelry because people used the parts to make their own jewelry).

AZK, nice points ...

AZK, nice points but.....

As was pointed out in court Its very common for people to drive with cups between their legs, we've all done it. Lets not forget that McDonalds has extensively researched consumer habits, they know how people are using thier products including coffee cups.

If memory serves me it wasn't clear if Stella removed the lid herself or if the lid wasn't properly secured to begin with. I've had a few times where a lid on coke or cup of coffee came off, thankfully I've not been burned.

Cup holders are usually at hip level so if a hot liquid were to spill then it is possible that it could spill all over a driver or passenger. Also cup holders aren't always a uniform size, cups can be too small or too large to fit into a cup holder.

Stella probably shouldn't have driven with the drink in her lap, but again she didn't anything that a thousand people didn't do that day. No McDonalds was wrong here, they should have known better.
Lawsuits sometimes on the surface do seem trival but when you start to look at some of the facts them its clear that things aren't always so clear cut.