Debunking the ‘Stella Awards’ |

Debunking the ‘Stella Awards’

Most of you have seen the so-called “Stella Awards” floating around the Internet-named for Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald’s. The Stella Awards purport to be true stories of a legal system gone awry, generally where undeserving people reap million-dollar awards for preposterous legal claims.

The stories have always bothered me-too outrageous to be true-at least in my little, legally trained mind.

Well, we now have documented proof that the Stella Awards cases (see below) are fabricated.

To see for yourself check out and

Snopes debunks “urban legends” with actual research.

It is widely considered a legitimate web site-with a topical list of investigated true stories, from automobiles to the Titanic, with humor, law and sex in between. Check out the declaration of the young boy who allegedly slept with Michael Jackson, first revealed on The Smoking Gun web page, under

Who said this column is only about the law?

So here are the untrue but humorous-as-hell “Stella Awards,” designed and guaranteed to make you hate lawyers:

— Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury 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 tyke was Ms. Robertson’s son.

— Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran his hand over with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn’t notice someone was at the wheel of the car while he was trying to steal a hubcap.

— Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Penn., was exiting a house he 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, so 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. Dickson sued the homeowner’s in

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