The Prestigious Stella Awards!
The Prestigious Stella Awards!

OK, here we go again -- further down Theo mentions an incident concerning an email received relative to the real Stella case and settlement over the spilled hot coffee incident. Well another email has been received from an irate individual who has provided links to 2 outfits that seem to make it their business to sniff out the true from the false and it seems that those other incidents did not actually happen, or so it is claimed -- they can't deny the Stella case and they did not take time to check out a number of other law suits to see which ones really do qualify for a "Stella" Award! So if you want to check what these folks have to say about it, go to the following links:

HOWEVER there is an individual who is pursuing TRUE cases of some of this crazy lawsuit stuff and you can get reports of these as they hit the news all over the country -- for information on obtaining the true Stella awards information go to:

The True Stella Awards!

And now we have actual cases that compete for a Stella Award! Take a look at:

Stella Awards for 2002!

So, my apology for this error on my part in passing on information that was possibly not factual. HOWEVER, for people really honest -- it has to be admitted we have a serious problem with a culture where it is common practice to sue at "the drop of a hat!" Also, it is evident that too many awards qualify for the label "insane" or "profane" or "blasphemous" or "Stella" -- take your pick! And guess who the real winners are -- this peculiar breed known as "lawyers!" You know -- the ones that are giving the 2 percent who are honest, have integrity, not motivated by greed, and seek true justice, a very bad name and reputation -- which makes one wonder how many lawyers or people who are related to them are pushing the "Stella Award" issue anyhow!

Now here's an additional little project for the above mentioned "snoopers" -- how about researching the tobacco industry settlements -- amounts of money -- some of us would be very interested to see the list of lawyers involved in this and how much each one got out of that messy affair! I suspect that each lawyer got more than $39.95! Talk about frivolous -- how many "victims" of smoking had someone holding a gun to their heads and forced them to smoke? There was an award of many millions of dollars to one smoker "victim" not so long ago -- could we give a Stella Award to that one and the lawyers who raked in a nice bunch of bucks -- again, in this particular case no evidence was presented that this guy had his arm severely twisted or a shotgun held to the middle of his spine forcing him to smoke pack after pack of cigarettes!

And why have they not tackled the alcoholic beverage industry -- more damage done due to use of their products than ever took place as a result of using tobacco -- is it a problem of too many lawyers and politicians not wanting to give up their martinis?

As always, the issue here is personal responsibility -- no one wants to take personal responsibility for his or her own actions -- it is much easier and more exciting -- not to mention profitable -- to sue someone for your trouble rather than admit you are in the mess you are due to your own choices, which are not always intelligent ones!

December 1, 2002 - In a column published on this date Mona Charen wrote on the subject, "Some suits are simply McStupid." Yep, you guessed it -- McDonalds is under a frontal attack again -- can't you just see those lawyers and their clients licking their chops in anticipation of a few million dollars coming their way? And that's what it's all about -- seems some teen agers (8 of the little tykes) did more than lick their chops over a period of time -- they have been stuffing themselves for a while with McDonalds stuff and have become obese as a result with one 15-year-old reaching over 400 pounds! So what do you do? Why you sue them for making you fat and so a lawsuit has been initiated against the master maker of burgers, fries, milk shakes and other delicacies! And you have no trouble finding a battery of lawyers who want to become obese financially in a venture such as this -- on their part all that is required are 3 things --

    1. Abandon all that is required for honorable character!
    2. Throw all convictions related to integrity into the garbage can!
    3. Flush your mind and understanding of all traces of common sense!

Ms. Charen effectively points to the issue of taking responsibility for one's actions. She does note that these people are "...simply following the logic of the times, which permits one to excuse -- no, reward! -- one's foolish or negligent behavior by blaming the manufacturer of products one freely purchased. Particularly unstupid are the trial lawyers who rake in huge fees in this scam."

New York January 22, 2003 -- News release by MSNBC - U.S. DISTRICT Judge Robert Sweet said the plaintiffs failed to show that the fast-food chain’s products “involve a danger that is not within the common knowledge of consumers.” The lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s last summer and sought unspecified damages. “If a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of supersized McDonald’s products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain ... it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses,” the judge said. “Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald’s.... For a limited time, the complete article is available at Judge dismisses McDonald's lawsuit

Hey, isn't it great that once in a long, long while, common sense does prevail -- and the lawyer behind the frivolous lawsuit finally loses one and sees his dream of mega bucks go down the drain!!!

In another column Ms. Charen made reference to a class action lawsuit against Blockbuster Video -- something about some overcharges and those who wanted to cash in and make a claim got a piddling amount of a very few dollars, but the lawyers walked away with 9.2 million dollars!

So, in light of all these things, and in spite of protests coming either from lawyers or their sympathizers who are trying to get all references to the "Stella Awards" eliminated from all web sites, let's keep those Stella Awards high profile! Hee hee hee

By the way, this Stella thing is pretty far spread -- just do a search on a term such as "Stella Award" or just "Stella" and see what you come up with! It will help you see why the lawyer crowd and their sympathizers are attacking this thing with a vengeance!

Now then -- here's another challenge for the "snoopers" in their quest for shooting down "urban legends" in the reporting of lawsuit awards -- how about researching a bit as to why a number of very talented doctors are leaving Pennsylvania and seeking other states that have put the brakes on the lawsuit business -- their malpractice premiums are out of sight because even the sky isn't the limit in PA when it comes to some John or Jane Doe suing his or her doctor and a greedy lawyer with dollar signs for eyeballs sees a chance to get a big bundle of money which will fatten his already obese bank account! Perhaps a "Greedy Lawyer of the Year" Award should be bestowed on the legal shark who has expanded his bank account more than any of his competitors! In certain areas of central Pennsylvania, when you watch the evening news on TV the ads at times resemble a shark tank of another kind -- lawyers advertising and encouraging you to sue somebody or some organization or whatever to get "money you deserve!"

And by the way, anyone out there know how to make coffee with cold water so you don't get burned if you spill it on yourself? If you do, pass the magic formula on to McDonalds -- they are bound to give you a few Big Macs in appreciation! Just wondering -- and if Stella had spilled hot coffee on herself at home, whom would she have sued then? The maker of the coffee pot -- the kitchen range -- the electric company for providing heat to boil the water -- the manufacturer of the hot water heater -- the contractor for installing a kitchen range in her home? Possibilities are endless here, and no doubt an army of lawyers would be more than willing to take this and run with it!

OK - on with the original as first posted, and then an interruption by Theo, able administrative assistant here on Circuit Rider's Range ---

Most of the country has heard of the Darwin Awards given annually to the individuals who do the most for mankind by removing themselves from the gene pool.

Now, we have the Stella Awards given to the individuals who win the most frivolous lawsuits ever. The Stella Awards are named in honor of 81 year-old Stella Liebeck, the woman who won $2.9 million for spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself.

Hold it just a moment! An email was received recently by CR in which the writer expressed being highly offended at this page, particularly in the case of Stella Liebeck -- the maker of the email went on to say that Stella's lawsuit was not frivolous and she spent time in the hospital recovering from burns, etc. Included was a link to a site in which a piece was written in defense of the Stella case -- as one might expect, it is written by a lawyer -- who else??? So if you want to read what is a bit of bias from the "other side" as interpreted by a lawyer, go to The image of the legal profession - Saints, Scoundrels & Shysters. One most interesting sentence in the article stated by the President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas is when she said, "Later, a jury awarded her $2.9 million after a trial; a judge knocked that down to $640,000 Stella Liebeck became the poster lady for the bitter 'tort reform' effort." Just a simple question here -- just where has the most intense resistence to tort reform come from, huh?

To read CR's response to the "offended" reader of the Stella Awards, go to Response by CR to offended reader -- for obvious reasons the name of the offended individual is not identified.

The following are candidates for the award:

Remember, the following 7 "awards" are considered to be false by some -- it seems that there are lawyers out there who really want to hammer on these as being "false" -- but they'll have their hands full in trying to do that to the actual situations -- the tobacco awards for instance! And the following are no more ridiculous than many that are genuine -- the attempt on the part of some fat kids to sue McDonald's for their weight gains is yet another classic example as noted above.

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 that the misbehaving little fellow was Ms. Robertson's son.

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.

October 1998: Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pa., 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 in the garage 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 a half million dollars.

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 dog was on a chain in its owner's fenced-in yard at the time. Mr. Williams was also in the fenced-in yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was repeatedly shooting it with a pellet gun.

December 1997: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pa., $113,500 after she slipped on a 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.

December 1997: Kara Walton of Clamont, DE. successfully sued the owner of a night club 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.


Some would say: The United States today has a legal system (??), not a justice system!

Ok, here is the letter CR sent in response to the individual who was offended at the posting of the "Prestigious Stella Awards" -- admittedly this page doesn't do much to present lawyers in a positive light, does it? But on the other hand, facts are facts, and greed continues to blossom and flourish in our culture!

Letter of response: dated September 23, 2002

Mr. xxxx:

Sorry for some delay in getting back to you -- my weekends are pretty busy and so the first of the week is catch up time in regard to email received and the answering of same.

Thank you for expressing your concern about the area devoted to the subject of the Stella Awards. First, may I say this was not original with me -- it was one of those things circulating around on the internet. I simply dressed it up a bit with some graphics and posted it.

In an effort to meet you at least part way on this matter, I will post the link which you sent and note that there is another side to the story -- but you also need to know that I will indicate it is a lawyer's point of view and one can expect a lawyer to fully "defend" the Stella case -- it's sort of their nature to do that, is it not?

I also am not the one who began raising questions about how the present legal system operates and the fact that something should be done to bring the "sue happy" climate of our culture under a bit of control and discipline. It can be documented that a lot of lawyers have made a financial "killing" in law suits of varying kinds, with perhaps the settlements involving the tobacco industry being among the most notorious -- you would agree, would you not, that a number of lawyers really fattened their bank accounts on that one!

Perhaps the tragedy in all this is the fact that no one wants to take personal responsibility for their actions and even when it's a stupid move and one gets injured because of that, it seems the first thing we want to do is sue somebody and get some bucks for it -- I guess you might say it's the old Adam maneuver rehashed in a new form, although it was pretty tough for Adam to sue someone because of the mess he got into -- and there was no lawyer around to hire, so he just pointed the finger at Eve and said it was the woman's fault but that didn't get him off the hook and the human race has suffered the impact of that incident ever since!

As you might surmise, lawyers are not on my list of favorite people, ranking a fine notch below politicans -- I can match most of them in terms of formal education having a college degree and a graduate school degree plus additional education, but I never got near the kind of income that those people get -- not that it really matters that much because at best you can only enjoy your wealth for a few years and then it's that awesome experience called death we have to deal with and what lies beyond -- every single penny is left behind -- about all the wealth can do is buy you a fancier casket and tombstone and the remaining bucks are what the kids will fight over!

Because of my profession and its focus, I will say this -- that probably the 2 groups of persons who will be among the most surprised a few seconds after death will be theologians/pastors and judges/lawyers -- both groups will have their mouths stopped and totally silenced and will learn with no appeals possible that God meant every word He said in His special revelation to us humans and now it is accounting time as to what we have done with that special revelation. The evidence, even in a courtroom if it were intensely considered in detail, would indicate that the vast majority of humans have no real interest nor desire to take God, His revelation and His will seriously in the every day experiences of life.

And I say that from the standpoint of one who has been a pastor for over 43 years and who has contended with the pride, skepticism, and rank unbelief which has penetrated all realms of U.S. society.

That Stella Award area to which you objected is but a very minute and insignificant part of a web site which is devoted to far greater and more critical issues than someone getting an award from a law suit, and the destiny of this country is going to be determined by much more than the question as to how much someone got over a spilled cup of hot coffee!

Again, thanks for writing and expressing your concern. I try to respond to all who write, whether they agree, or are a bit upset with something, or write in such a way so that the translation reads, "I hate your guts!" -- and I have had some of the latter, but those mainly come from other pastors who regard me as somewhat of a disrespectful maverick!

God's best to you each day in every way as our Lord tarries in His return to earth.

Still contending at

PS - I'll attempt to have that link you sent me posted on the "Stella" page sometime tomorrow, OK?

The Prestigious Stella Award gem has been passed around on the Internet -- author unknown


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