Tuesday, 17 Feb, 2009 Offbeat
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The 2009 Stella Awards Reveals Most Shocking US Lawsuits

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This week at the annual Stella Awards, some of the most frivolous and shocking lawsuits have been revealed to the public. It is worth mentioning that Stella Awards is given each year to those who file outrageous lawsuits. The award was named after Stella Liebeck, a woman who in 1992 sued McDonalds for delivering a very hot coffee which she spilled onto her lap and had three degree burns. She won the lawsuit and was awarded with $640,000.

This year some of the most frivolous cases included the case of a Washington lawyer who filed a lawsuit against dry cleaners who lost his trousers. He demands $65,000 compensation for "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort".

UPDATED: A number of case were fabricated and never really happened. These cases include an "updated" note, others are true.

There's also the case of a woman who threw her drink at her boyfriend while sitting in a Philadelphia restaurant with him, then she slipped on the spilt drink, broke her tailbone and won her case against the owners of the restaurant, being awarded $113,500. UPDATED: thanks to one of our visitors, Nelson Cruz, we inform you that this particular case was fabricated.

This year's award also went to Mrs Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma. She filed a lawsuit against Winnebago for $1.75 million after crashing her motor home, which was moving at a speed of 70mph, while she was making a sandwich for herself. She stated that the company that produced the motor home did not inform her that it is not allowed to leave the wheel when she set the vehicle on cruise control. UPDATED: thanks to one of our visitors, Nelson Cruz, we inform you that this particular case was fabricated.

A woman from Claymont, Delaware, received $12,000 after suing the owner of a nightclub. Kara Walton stated that she fell and knocked out her two front teeth when she attempted to sneak in the nightclub through the bathroom window. UPDATED: thanks to one of our visitors, Nelson Cruz, we inform you that this particular case was fabricated.

Surprisingly Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, managed to receive $14,500 compensation plus medical expense after he was bitten on the bottom by the dog that belonged to his next door neighbor. It seems that there's nothing wrong here, but here's a little detail - while the dog was on a chain, Mr Williams climbed over a fence and several times shot the dog with a pellet gun. UPDATED: thanks to one of our visitors, Nelson Cruz, we inform you that this particular case was fabricated.

It was a successful year for criminals as well. Pennsylvania court ruled that the insurance company must pay Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, $500,000 because he received physical and moral damages after being trapped for 8 days in a garage of a family whose house he burgled.

Another thief, Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California, was awarded with $74,000 plus medical expenses after his neighbor hit his hand when Truman attempted to steal his hubcaps. UPDATED: thanks to one of our visitors, Nelson Cruz, we inform you that this particular case was fabricated.

Texas court ruled that the owners of a store must pay Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas $80,000 plus medical expenses after the woman tripped over a running kid and as a result broke her ankle. The child was her own son.

During the current economic recession, lawyers warn that a lot of desperate people will most likely file even more outrageous lawsuits, reports The Telegraph. A family law specialist from California, Jim Fedalen, considers that there are going to be even more scams. "I have no doubt we're going to see a big increase in scams, such as people deliberately planting nasty objects in their sandwiches then trying to sue the burger joint," he said.

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