Stella Awards Announced

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, May 05, 2006

(Note: If you do not like this blog..........well..........SUE ME!
Have you heard of the Stella Awards?
The Stella Awards is a project of a weekly news commentary column featuring bizarre-but-true stories from newspapers all over the world, all with snippy commentary by Colorado humorist (and Society of Professional Journalists professional member) Randy Cassingham.
The Stella Awards were inspired by Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages. There is so much to that story and you can read more about it here.

Now a friend of mine sent me what was supposed to be the 2005 winners of The Stella Awards and they were fantastic. Unfortunately, they were all fabricated. This page at The Stella Award site lets you see them, they are pretty good (hey, it got my attention and caused me to use this as the subject today!).

But we can review the REAL 2005 winners, announced on January 31, 2006, because folks, this stuff is just too good not to share:
#7: Bob Dougherty. A prankster smeared glue on the toilet seat at the Home Depot store in Louisville, CO, causing Dougherty to stick to it when he sat down. "This is not Home Depot's fault," he proclaimed, yet the store graciously offered him $2,000 anyway. Dougherty complained the offer is "insulting" and filed suit demanding $3 million. Ummm Bob, this sort of thing happens to you a lot I see...check out this story about this happening to Bob in 2004 also!

#6: Barbara Connors of Medfield, MA - Connors was riding in a car driven by her 70-year-old(!) son-in-law when they crashed into the Connecticut River, and Connors sank with the car. Rescue divers arrived within minutes and got her out alive, but Connors suffered brain damage from her near-drowning. Sue the driver? Sure, we guess that's reasonable. But she also sued the brave rescue workers who risked their lives to save hers. Now we need to worry about rescue workers being worried about doing what they do. There is more to that story here.

#5: Michelle Knepper of Vancouver, WA - Knepper picked a doctor out of the phone book to do her liposuction, and went ahead with the procedure even though the doctor was only a dermatologist, not a plastic surgeon. After having complications, she complained she never would have chosen that doctor had she known he wasn't Board Certified in the procedure. (She relied on the phonebook listing (which stated he was board certified) over asking the doctor, or looking for a certificate on his wall?!) So she sued ...the phone company! She won $1.2 million plus $375,000 for her husband for "loss of spousal services and companionship." The next week she visited a Veternarian for a mamogram...

#4: Rhonda Nichols. She says a wild bird "attacked" her outside a home improvement store in Fairview Heights, IL, causing head injuries. That's right: outside the store. Yet Nichols still held the Lowe's store responsible for "allowing" wild birds to fly around free in the air. She never reported the incident to the store, but still sued for "at least" $100,000 in damages. In January 2006, the case was thrown out of court. You see... sometimes the judicial system actually uses the intelligence it took to get their law degrees.

#3: Barnard Lorence of Stuart, FL - Lorence managed to overdraw his own bank account. When the bank charged him a service fee for the overdraft, he filed suit over his "stress and pain" and loss of sleep over the fee. A few hundred thousand bucks, he says, will only amount to a "slap on the wrist", whereas the $2 million he's suing for is more like being "paddled". Kinky! The only person needing paddling here is Mr. Lorence - right in the back of the head for his stupidity.

#2: Wanita "Renea" Young of Durango, CO - Two neighborhood teens baked cookies for their neighbors as an anonymous gesture of good will, but Young got scared when she heard them on her front porch. They apologized, in writing, but Young sued them anyway for causing her distress, demanding $3,000. When she won(!!) $900, she crowed about it in the newspaper and on national TV. Now, she's shocked (shocked!) that everyone in town hates her for her spite, and is afraid she may have to move. But hey: she won. You need to see the entire story, which is posted here. This woman needs serious help folks...

And the winner of the 2005 True Stella Award: Christopher Roller of Burnsville, MN - Roller is mystified by professional magicians, so he sued David Blaine and David Copperfield to demand they reveal their secrets to him -- or else pay him 10 percent of their lifelong earnings, which he figures amounts to $50 million for Copperfield and $2 million for Blaine. The basis for his suit: Roller claims that the magicians defy the laws of physics, and thus must be using "godly powers" -- and since Roller is god (according to him), they're "somehow" stealing that power from him. OK, this guy is a total wack-a-do...check it out here.

Yes kiddies...all real and all the result of runaway juries, overzealous lawyers and a court system that needs more balls to throw this crap out on it's ass...If only there was a away to fine the lawyers and complainants for approaching the judicial system with this bullshit, these cases would go away, the backlog of cases would diminish and the costs of goods and services would be reduced. These judgments are out of control. We need TORT REFORM, or we will fall further into this pile of bullshit.

Has Barry Bonds retired yet? No? Too bad. AVG. .250 HR 4 RBI 11 SB 0

Keep that spark of insanity kids...It helps keep you an individual.

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3 Of Your Sparks

  1. robsg1rl Says:
  2. Ah, all court reporters' dreams!!! This blog sounds like job security to me.

    For the record, I blame all these BS lawsuits on the original I-gotta-be-as-dumb-as-dirt-for-awarding-Stella-so-much-as-court-costs jury who opened the floodgates for the rest of the masses.

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Hey Vinny,
    Blogs are should be a disc jockey! The Stella Awards are more ridiculous every year and i am blown away by the ones that actually get paid for their ignorance!! I am also sick of hearing about the drowning magician...i'd rather be haunted by Harry Houdini!And Barry should get outta here already..........

  5. Angell Says:
  6. Thanks for the chuckle. The perfect top off to my day - although the amount of senseless cases that take up time and docet space in our judicial system these days never fails to astound me.

    Love those blogs - keep em coming.



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