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Stella Liebeck is the 81 year old lady who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonalds. 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 $78,000 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 tyke was Ms. Robertson's son.

2. June 1998: A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbour 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 neighbour's hubcaps.

3. October 1998: A 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. 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 neighbour's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced-in yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

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 neighbouring 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.

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 drivers 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 handbooks on the back of this court case, just in case there are any other complete morons buying their vehicles...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wife..Much better thx..

The Mrs is making good progress thx Paul and she will be able to travel on our family holiday to Greece in a couple of weeks! :D
 

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I'm with you Jeff:D

How come the courts can't see what's happening?

If I ever need a good barrister I'll get one from the good ole US of A. A speeding fine may be turned round into compensation for not letting me see how fast my car can go:D
 

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Kempy said:
I'm with you Jeff:D

How come the courts can't see what's happening?

If I ever need a good barrister I'll get one from the good ole US of A. A speeding fine may be turned round into compensation for not letting me see how fast my car can go:D
LOL, I like the way you are thinking!!:D ;)
 

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The stories are funny and all, but other than the Mcdonalds case the rest are fake stores and urban myths that can be tracked down on the net. That is not to say we don't have a messed up legal system and that stuff that is just as stupid does not happen on a reagular basis...but anyhow this stuff is fake.
 

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I think I'll move over to the USA.....

It gets me so annoyed that it isnt as easy to sue over here. I tried to sue my old employers and my solicitor, who i met twice, has charged me £500+ just for advising me what to write in a few letters, then when I got a new job he told me that it wasnt worth me sueing as I had a new job - grrrrrrr

Hmmm might go throw a cup of water at my boss then slip on it :D
 

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The thing about Stella and her win was odd and people could not understand how it happend, but one aspect of it that no one ever talks about was the temp of the coffee. At one time when you would go into Mcdonalds or 7-11 to get coffee the stuff was hot to the extreme. I always thought they did that to "brew" it faster or to keep it hot all day etc., but I kid you not, I remember getting a cup at a place and the coffee was so hot is melted the styrafoam cup and coffee went everywhere. But if you drank the stuff you understood that most of the time at Mcdonalds it was strong, horrid, and hotter that the devil butt on summer vacation. The coffee at the Mcdonalds was hot beyond belief that the evil granny got and that worked against them in the case. This is not excuse for her stupidity, if you bought coffee back then you expected it to suck and be so hot it would melt lead. As a result of all this, whenever I get coffee now at a Mcdonalds it always just has a tepid warmness, people are afraid to get it too hot to sell thanks to the old bitty moron. I sometime wonder if that is why the coffee shop made a return:)
 

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There was a woman in our local town who sucessfully sued mcdonalds too with regards to the coffee, her cup melted and it went all over her toddler who had third degree burns following on from it


And there was another case about the apple pies - man do they get hot, they have warnings on the packaging now
 

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With [email protected] like them it's getting worse over here now. People like Claims Direct encouraging people to sue etc..

Oh well, next time you get an obscene insurance quote you know who to thank eh?
 

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Don't you guys in the UK have a loser pays thing that keeps this stuff in check...I wish we did, it would change the US literally overnight if people could get nailed for stupid lawsuits with no merit.
 
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