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„Der Paul war der Dolmetscher bei einem Choraustaustasch zwischen den St. Nicholas Singers aus Northwich, UK und unserem Kinderchor, den „Kolibris“, hier in Koblenz, Deutschland. Ohne ihn hätten wir es nicht geschafft! Er war fleiβig, sympathisch und sehr effektiv.“
Ulrich De Waal, Chorleiter, Koblenz-Pfaffendorf, Germany, April 1976

The law is indeed an ass! PDF
Saturday, 18 February 2012 07:00
 

The top 7 'Stella Awards' 2011*

* The 'Stella Awards' are named after Stella Liebeck who, back in 1992, then aged 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, scalding herself. She sued the burger chain and a New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages. The case has inspired lawyers, judges, and other interested parties to search for other lawsuits that are even more ridiculous. Naturally, they have found them .....

 

 

First prize


This year's runaway Stella Award winner was: Mrs Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motorhome.  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 motorhome. Winnebago actually changed its manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Runner-up


Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club 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 night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.!

 

 

3rd Prize


Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her coccyx. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. Whatever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

 

4th place


Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th place in the Stellas when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt 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 at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

 

5th place


Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who 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 and survive 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. Keep scratching.
 

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.

 

 

 

7th place


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 store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

 

US tort law is clearly an ass. Does this kind of thing happen in any other country in the world?

 

Tags: law an ass, Stella Award, ridiculous lawsuit, , paul whitelock, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.a1-solutions-spain.com, www.webs.com, www.a1-holidays-spain.webs.com

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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