... Only in America


It's once again time to review the winners of the annual Stella awards.
The Stella's are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee
on herself and successfully sued Macdonald's. That case inspired the
Stella Awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United
States. Unfortunately the most recent lawsuit implicating Macdonald's,
the teens who allege that eating at Macdonald's has made them fat, was
filed after the 2003 award voting was closed. This suit will top the
2004 awards list without question.

5th place (Tie). Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded
$780000 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 (Tie). 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74000 and
medical expenses when his neighbour 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(tie). 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 were 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
house owner's Insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental
anguish. The Jury agreed to the tune of $500000

4th place. Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas was awarded $14500
and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next
door neighbours 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 pellet gun.

3rd place. A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson
of Lancaster Pennsylvania $113500 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 neighbouring 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 out of the window in the Ladies Room to avoid paying
the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12000 and dental expenses.

1st Place. This year's runaway winner was Mr Merv Grazinski of
Oklahoma City Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new Winnebago Motor
Home. 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 drivers 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 that in the owner's manual that he could not
actually do this. The jury awarded him $1750000 plus a new Winnebago Motor Home. The
company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit just
in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreation vehicles.

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