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Prego

Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards."

Here are this year's winners:

5th Place (tie): 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 owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

5th Place (tie): 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 neighbor's 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 couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and 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 $500,000.

4th Place: 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 yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been provoked at the time by Mr. Williams, who had climbed into the yard, over the fence, and was shooting the dog repeatedly with a pellet gun.

3rd Place: 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 (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her
boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

2nd Place: 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.

1st Place: This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand 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 drivers seat to go into the back & make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs.Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000
lus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons around.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
stephaniekaye
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC)
No NO No No No No Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.


delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
no?
did this cause winnebago flashbacks?
stephaniekaye
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: no?
Inconceivable!

These things are so mind boggling I can't even laugh.

WHAT. IS. THE. WORLD. COMING. TO?
delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
dija click the link?
the fact that these things are believeable is what is unbelieveable.
stephaniekaye
Mar. 21st, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Re: dija click the link?
Exactly!

You can only read it and think NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
What??? Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!
HAHAHAHHAHA! No! too funny. okay. yeah, okay...

(then you try to come up with your own ridiculous scheme too)
el__guapo
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
I'm confused. you know those are all fake stories, right? As in, those verdicts never happened???
delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
yeah
that is why the snopes link - i got this in a forward. the funny thing is, i might have believed it had i not read the snopes. some of this stuff seems pretty "reasonable" when you consider how the press blows up the facts.

given our recent conversations about McD's, I couldn't resist.
el__guapo
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
Touché, salesman...
It sad that so many people really believe that stuff. The myth of "rampant frivolous lawsuits" has done some real harm, as evidence by the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act in 1995 which fundamentally strips inmates of the ability to bring legitimate lawsuits. A few folks created a similar list of "Top Ten Frivolous Lawsuits by Inmates" that circulated through legislative offices and created a mass hysteria and total "oh my god we have to do something about this runaway litigation!" freakout. Turns out most of the lawsuits were legit.

For example, the poster-child of these suits was an inmate who allegedly sued the prison after he was given smooth peanutbutter instead of chunky peanutbutter. It turns out, however, that the suit was really about the inmate demanding his $3.00 back from the prison commissary after they filled his order with the wrong type of PB then refused to exchange it. Sure sure, it's only $3.00, but when you are an indigent inmate and can make at most a nickel an hour making license plates, $3.00 is a lot of money. Also, think of the ansolute shit-fit we'd *all* throw if the checkout girl at Gristedes refused to give us our $3.00 change.

Point is, it sucks how misinformed people are about this shit because it often leads to poor legilsation. There are most def frivolous lawsuits, but most of them get dismissed rather quickly. The answer shouldn't be a ban on lawsuits, rather the judge should have more power to punish those who *do* file a frivolous lawsuit. Things like the PLRA, however, nip most lawsuits in the bud before a judge even sees them.

The best way to get rid of litigation? Get rid of insurance companies.
delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
insurance companies and a sense of entitlement
i think bringing back dueling will help a lot too.
el__guapo
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
We should also have caning. I really am a proponent of this. No joke.
delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
yeah
i agree, for a lot of the stupid "punk crime" stuff. however, "civil" punishment only includes killing alleged killers, not taking a clip at someone who deserves one for doing something stupid.
lengjade
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
speaking of frivolous lawsuits
let's get rid of habeas corpus. have you ever clerked? i got two 2255s from cousins who submitted the exact same 2255 and just changed the type font. i was like, hey listen, buddy(ies), i passed the 5th grade, you can't catch me with these tricks.
el__guapo
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: speaking of frivolous lawsuits
Yeah, I clerked for a federal district judge in the MDTN (Nashville). I actually really like Habeas and did a shitload. I don't think more reform is required. AEDPA did enough to trim the fat, IMHO, and is actually excessive. Besides, most district judges don't even see most Habeas petitions as a magistrate judge's clerk acts as a filter. My judge had our interns screen them as well. I assume you are interning.
lengjade
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: speaking of frivolous lawsuits
i was interning last summer (jones, SDNY, the bernie ebbers case was hers), and that convinced me that i never ever ever ever wanted to clerk. i fell asleep in court all the time. boring.

no, serious, let's get rid of habeas. i think we need to amend the constitution to do so...? who can tell nowadays.
el__guapo
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
Re: speaking of frivolous lawsuits
I disagree. I did death penalty appeals for 2 years and I think too many exonerations occur during federal habeas review to get rid of habeas. Besides, AEDPA already set up so many roadblocks. You want less habeas? Put fewer people in prison.
lengjade
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
new rule
let's not take anything i say seriously. see below.
el__guapo
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Re: new rule
new rule: comments cannot be dependant on other comments in different threads.
lengjade
Mar. 21st, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: new rule
one day, you'll think i'm hilarious. one day. one day.
delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
heh
you still care though - i bet there are folks out there who would never have connected the two.
lengjade
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
shhhh
i'm doing my best to be heartless here--don't give me away!!
delascabezas
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
heh
your zeal gives you away every time m'dear
lengjade
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
grrr
when i'm a prosecutor, i'm going to ALWAYS ask for the death penalty. yeah!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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delascabezas
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
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