Winners of the annual "Stella Awards."

John S. Lagnese jlagnese at
Mon Aug 27 01:52:30 EDT 2007

I was working at a VW/Honda/Volvo dealership in Bartlett, NH at the time of 
the so-called unintended acceleration. In most cases the accelerator pedal 
was bent from the force of people stepping on it thinking it was the brake!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Swann" <benswann at>
To: <quattro at>
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2007 11:39 PM
Subject: FW: Winners of the annual "Stella Awards."

> Thought this to be of interest even if not much Audi content, though 
> perhaps
> similar to the frivolous suit Audi endured due to CBS "60 Minutes  -
> Unintended Acceleration fiasco" later retracted as a farce.
> Subject: Winners of the annual "Stella Awards."
> It's time once again to review the winners of the annual "Stella Awards."
> The "Stella Awards" are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled 
> hot
> coffee on herself and success-fully sued McDonald's (in New Mexico ) That 
> case
> inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous and ridiculous, yet
> successful, lawsuits in the United States ...
> Here are this year's winners:
> 7th Place
> Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her
> peers after breaking her ankle when she tripped over a toddler who was 
> running
> inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably
> surprised at the verdict, considering that the misbehaving little toddler 
> was
> Ms. Robertson's son.
> ****************
> 6th Place
> Nineteen-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
> 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 because the automatic door opener malfunctioned.  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, so 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 home owners' insurance company, claiming the situation caused 
> him
> undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of $500,000. In my 
> opinion,
> this is SO outrageous that it should have been 2nd Place
> ********************
> 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 neighbors'
> beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owners' fenced yard.  The award 
> was
> less than originally sought, because the jury felt that the dog might have
> been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed 
> over
> the fence into the yard and was shooting it 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
> (tail bone). 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 P lace (drum roll, please)
> This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City , 
> Oklahoma
> . Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand-new, 32-foot-long 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 into the back to 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 that. The jury 
> awarded
> her $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed its 
> manuals
> on the basis of this law suit, just in case there were any other complete
> morons around.
> P.S.
> I think the jury pool is 'dumbing down'!!!!!
> None of this speaks well for America or its justice system.  May the Good 
> Lord
> keep us not only separated from idiots like these but safe from them, as 
> well.
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