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Candidates for the "Stella" Award - the most frivolous lawsuit in the U.S.

In 1994, a New Mexico jury awarded $2.9 million U.S. in damages to 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who suffered third-degree burns to her legs, groin and buttocks after spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. This case inspired an annual award called the "Stella Awards".  Below are this years entries ...

  1. January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little rodent was Ms. Robertson's son.
  2. June 1998: 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 hubcaps.
  3. October 1998: 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, because 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. Mr. Dickson 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 neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced-in yard, as was Mr. Williams. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, 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 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 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.

And just so you know that cooler heads do occasionally prevail:

  1. Kenmore Inc., the makers of Dorothy Johnson's microwave, were found not liable for the death of Mrs. Johnson's poodle after she gave it a bath and attempted to dry it by putting the poor creature in her microwave for, "just a few minutes, on low," The case was quickly dismissed.

Submitted by Andy, Gettysburg, Pa.

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A priest was called away for an emergency.

Not wanting to leave the confessional unattended, he called his rabbi friend from across the street and asked him to cover for him. The rabbi told him he wouldn't know what to say, but the priest told him to come on over and he'd stay with him for a little bit and show him what to do.

The rabbi comes and he and the priest are in the confessional. In a few minutes a woman comes in and says "Father forgive me for I have sinned. I committed adultery."

Priest says: "How many times?" Woman: "Three times."

Priest says, "Say two Hail Marys, put $5.00 in the box, and sin no more."

A few minutes later a man enters the confessional. He says, "Father forgive me for I have sinned."

Priest says, "What did you do?" Man says, "I committed adultery."

Priest asks, "How many times?" Man replies, "Three times."

Priest says, "Say two Hail Marys, put $5.00 in the box, and sin no more."

The Rabbi tells the priest that he thinks he's got it so the priest leaves. A few minutes later another woman enters and says, "Father forgive me for I have sinned."

Rabbi says, "What did you do?"

Woman replies, "I committed adultery." Rabbi asks, "How many times?"

Woman says "Once."

Rabbi says, "Go do it two more times, we have a special this week, three for $5.00."


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Readers were asked to assign a gender to nouns of their choice and explain their reasons ...
  • SWISS ARMY KNIFE -- male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.
  • KIDNEYS -- female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.
  • TIRE -- male, because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.
  • HOT AIR BALLOON: male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it... and, of course, there's the hot air part.
  • SPONGES -- female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.
  • WEB PAGE -- female, because it is always getting hit on.
  • SHOE -- male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.
  • COPIER -- female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up - because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed and because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.
  • ZIPLOC BAGS -- male, because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.
  • SUBWAY -- male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
  • HOURGLASS -- female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.
  • HAMMER -- male, because it hasn't evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.
  • REMOTE CONTROL -- female...Ha! thought I'd say male. But consider: it gives man pleasure; he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Submitted by Sister wink, The Bronx, NY

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