Stella Awards

I received the following in an email and it was too good not to post. I haven’t verified that it is entirely true, but as a people, we are becoming so stupid, that I will assume it is.

Obviously all Republican voters!

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?

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.

Here are the Stella’s for the past year:


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.


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 hub caps.

Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.


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.


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.


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?


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…????

10 thoughts on “Stella Awards

  1. I have been on two juries in Texas. Had I been on any of these juries none of the awards would have been awarded.

    I knew of a deal of a truck dealership. The customer purchased a truck on credit. The dealer used the standard contact provided by the truck manufacturer. The dealer tried to repo the truck because the customer was not paying. The case went to court and the customer won because the fine print was too fine. The letters that were printed on the contract were a case size too small. Go figure.

  2. Hi Billie. I am glad someone checked them out. I normally do, but I thought they were too funny and with the way the world is today – believable. Besides I was just lazy. Thanks for verifying that they were bogus.

  3. Hey Don and Billie,
    Although these are false, they are funny. However, how many will actually believe ther lies even though they were individually investigated and debunked? does an excellent job at uncovering the truth. But alas, we (collectively) chose to believe the lie rather that the truth. Note that a very large percentage of the U.S. American voters still believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

  4. Hi Don,

    Never mind Obama’s religion…Can someone go over to and find out how much his entitlement/welfare/Socialist programs are going to cost me as a taxpayer?? I only need enough of my savings left to buy airfare to Panama, but that’s looking “iffy.

  5. Here’s a real case that occured at the World Bank, my wife’s former employer.

    In the late 80s the Bank decided to emulate the US government by cutting through a lot of procurement red tape in all sorts of expenditures by issuing employees credit cards to be used to pay for hotels, stationary, etc.

    There were clear rules about the nature and categories of legitimate purchases, how to submit bills for payment, etc., etc., etc.

    These cards became a prestige item to have since they had “American Express World Bank Corporate Card” boldly stamped on their face and rather than deal with complaints about “discrimination” in determining who exactly should have them, Procurement just handed them out like candy to almost anyone who demanded one. THOUSANDS of this cards were issued..

    Well sure enough, one mid-level clerical employee went on a rampage running up about $150,000 in personal expenses before auditing caught up with her.

    Did she go to jail? No.

    Did she even pay it back? No.


    The Bank took a look at the over all situation and decided that while her excuse was total BS and that she didn’t have any legal leg to stand on, to just pay the bill and revoke her card.

    The publicity involved in taking her to court, as well as the uncertainty of relying on a DC jury in a city with a long history of acquiting the obviously guilty, was just not worth it. Oddly enough, however, very shortly after this there was a decision to reorg her office and her job was eliminated without a separation package.

    And yes, she kept all the stuff she’d bought..

    The Bank then “recalled” all the cards to “reissue” them with a logo change and surprise, surprise, only a fraction of the people that originally had them got the new ones. Debbie got hers reissued, but turned it back in a year or so later.

    So at least some of this stuff actually happens.


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