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The "Stella" awards rank up there with the Darwin
Stella Liebeck is the 81 year old lady who spilled
coffee on herself and sued McDonalds, winning
millions of dollars. This case inspired an annual
award - The "Stella" Award - for the most frivolous
lawsuits in the U.S.
The following are this year's candidates:
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 was
running inside a furniture store. The owners of the
store were understandably surprised at the verdict,
considering the misbehaving little bastard was Ms.
2. June 1998: A 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 didn't notice there was someone at the
wheel of the car, when he was trying to steal his
3. October 1998: 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 couldn't
re-enter the house because the door connecting the
house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The
was on vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in
the garage for eight 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 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 its
owner's fenced-in yard. The award was less than
sought because the jury f elt the dog might have
been just a little provoked at the time by Mr.
Williams who was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet
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 Ms.
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 bathroom
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 room to avoid
paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000
and dental expenses.
7. 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
first trip home, having joined 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 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 plus a
new Winnie. (Winniebago actually changed their owners
manuals because of this court case, just in case
there are any other complete morons buying their
Note: Stella award lawsuits cannot be verified and might
not exist but are published for entertainment purposes.