02 July 2009

The Stella Awards

I got an email today from a friend about this year's Stella Awards. I found the email so funny that I was going to post it on here. Unfortunately, while quite humorous, the list was totally bogus. So I found the real site with the real awards. And now, here for your ready pleasure, are the latest (2007) Stella Awards Runners-Up and Winner. (And, believe me, you'll love the winner since he's a hometown boy.)

The TRUE Stella Awards -- 2007 Winners
by Randy Cassingham
Issued February 2008

Unlike the FAKE cases that have been highly circulated online for the last several years (see http://www.StellaAwards.com/bogus.html for details), the following cases have been researched from public sources and are confirmed TRUE by the ONLY legitimate source for the Stella Awards: http://www.StellaAwards.com. To confirm this copy is legitimate, see http://www.StellaAwards.com/2007.html.


2007 Runners-Up and Winner:

#3: Sentry Insurance Company.

The company provided worker's compensation insurance for a Wisconsin "Meals on Wheels" program. Delivering a meal, a MoW volunteer (who was allegedly not even wearing boots) slipped and fell on a participant's driveway that had been cleared of snow, and Sentry had to pay to care for her resulting injuries. Sentry wanted its money back, so it sued the 81-year-old homeowner getting the Meals on Wheels service. It could have simply filed for "subrogation" from her homeowner's insurance company, but by naming her in the action, it dragged an old lady into court, reinforcing the image of insurance companies as concerned only about the bottom line, not "protecting" policyholders from loss.

#2: The family of Robert Hornbeck.

Hornbeck volunteered for the Army and served a stint in Iraq. After getting home, he got drunk, wandered into a hotel's service area (passing "DANGER" warning signs), crawled into an air conditioning unit, and was severely cut when the machinery activated. Unable to care for himself due to his drunkenness, he bled to death. A tragedy, to be sure, but one solely caused by a supposedly responsible adult with military training. Despite his irresponsible behavior -- and his perhaps criminal trespassing -- Hornbeck's family sued the hotel for $10 million, as if it's reasonably foreseeable that some drunk fool would ignore warning signs and climb into its heavy duty machinery to sleep off his bender.

But those pale in comparison to...

THE WINNER of the 2007 Stella Award: Roy L. Pearson Jr.

The 57-year-old Administrative Law Judge from Washington DC claims that a dry cleaner lost a pair of his pants, so he sued the mom-and-pop business for $65,462,500. That's right: more than $65 million for one pair of pants. Representing himself, Judge Pearson cried in court over the loss of his pants, whining that there certainly isn't a more compelling case in the District archives. But the Superior Court judge wasn't moved: he called the case "vexatious litigation", scolded Judge Pearson for his "bad faith", and awarded damages to the dry cleaners. But Pearson didn't take no for an answer: he's appealing the decision. And he has plenty of time on his hands, since he was dismissed from his job. Last we heard, Pearson's appeal is still pending.

Copyright 2008 www.StellaAwards.com -- this message may be forwarded as long as it remains complete and unaltered.

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