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Winners of the Annual Stella Awards

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 successfully
sued McDonald’s (in NM). That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous,
ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States.

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

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. 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 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 just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams
who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting the poor 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.

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 driver’s 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 plus 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


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