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#18305 - 12/08/02 04:28 AM Litigation
pauluk Offline
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
I received this in a newsletter. It's not electrical in nature, but if this is the crazy way juries see litigation cases these days, I think we'd all better start putting together a 10-volume manual to give to customers instructing them what NOT to do with their new wiring.

Subject: Stella Awards - It's time once again to consider the candidates for the annual Stella Awards. The Stella's are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck, who spilled coffee on herself, and successfully sued McDonalds. That case inspired the Stella awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United States. The following are this year's candidates:

1. 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 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.

2. A 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. 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.

4. 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 was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

5. 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.

6. Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a nightclub 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.

7. This year's favorite could easily be Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the R. V. left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded him $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 buying their recreation vehicles.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go stick my finger in a light socket. Hey, there were no instructions with it telling me not to..
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#18306 - 12/08/02 05:53 AM Re: Litigation
Wirenuttt Offline
Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 267
Loc: Massachusetts
Unfortunately the jury has to go with evidence not common sense, so who is to blame in these obsurd situations, the jury? the lawyers, the judges, the courts, probably the whole damned system. It's just outta wack, and the lawyers love making good on it. The coffee's hot, everyone knows this, common sense tells you.

[This message has been edited by Wirenuttt (edited 12-08-2002).]
#18307 - 12/08/02 09:01 AM Re: Litigation
resqcapt19 Offline
Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2148
Loc: IL
We don't have the complete story here. Many of these types of verdicts ate overturned by the appeals court, but those stories never make the news.
#18308 - 12/08/02 10:26 AM Re: Litigation
gramps Offline
Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 112
Loc: ohio
malpractice insurance for electricians?......what a concept!!!!!...
#18309 - 12/08/02 10:35 AM Re: Litigation
j a harrison Offline
Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 106
Loc: southampton, england
We in England have a loverly insurance policy for our selves called Efficacy Cover,

it covers you for the following;

Failure To Operate
Wrongful Advice
Failure To Perform

the last ones a blast, imagine you are on a job and you just cant be bothered to do anything the client sues you for Failure To Operate !!!!!

Ha Ha LoL

John H
#18310 - 12/08/02 01:43 PM Re: Litigation
Electric Eagle Offline
Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 914
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Yes, most of these awards are settled out of court for much less or overturned on appeal. But by then the damage has been done with legal fees and court costs. We need tort reform to prevent stupid lawsuits and out of line awards. The guys with the motor home, should've gotten $0 and owed attaorney fees and court costs, rather than getting a big award. He also should lose his license to drive, having exhibited his lack of basic common sense and good judgement.
This is why I have a $1,000,000 umbrela policy, "just in case"

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 12-08-2002).]
#18311 - 12/08/02 01:53 PM Re: Litigation
CTwireman Offline
Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 840
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Reading this stuff would make most sane people go mad!

There are some really stupid people in this world.
#18312 - 12/08/02 01:55 PM Re: Litigation
Wirenuttt Offline
Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 267
Loc: Massachusetts
Just think, all the insurance rates go up because of clowns like these.
#18313 - 12/09/02 03:21 AM Re: Litigation
Trainwire Offline
Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 360
Loc: Strasburg,PA,USA
So what does this say about "jury of your peers"?

#18314 - 12/09/02 04:39 AM Re: Litigation
jdevlin Offline
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 402
Loc: welland ontario canada
Most of these are not true. Here is the real story.
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