Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lazy Blogging

My friend and former colleague at the world's finest tolled river crossing and Government give-away in Dartford, Andy, has sent me an email. It is possible you have seen it already, in which case, sorry. It is a prime illustration of why that nice Mr Obama is going to have a bit of a struggle getting any kind of reform accepted. Yes, why bother paying when someone else can...

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 McDonalds 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? So... These are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. Here are the Stellas for the past year (with some editing):

7TH PLACE : Kathleen Robertson of Austin , Texas. 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.

6TH PLACE : Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbour 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 neighbour's hubcaps.

5TH PLACE : 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.

4TH PLACE : Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, Awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the arse by his next door neighbour'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 because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

3RD PLACE : A jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster , Pennsylvania $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.

2ND PLACE : Kara Walton of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a nightclub 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 nightclub had to pay her $12,000, oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.

1ST PLACE : (May we 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 on to 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.

These people elected the leader of the free world.

4 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

You will be hearing from my lawyers - I have a headache caused by the colour of the background on your page.

5:06 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

You have caused me mental anguish by allowing Vicus' avatar to appear in this comment column.

Also feelings of inadequacy by beating me at Scrabble.

I trust you have adequate insurance.

7:09 pm  
Blogger The Birdwatcher said...

So crime does pay then. It makes you want to weep. But then they did elect (allegedly) George Bush. Twice!

9:19 pm  
Blogger Carol said...

Yes and the scarey thing is, this country is getting like it too!!!

9:46 am  

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