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:
www.StellaAwards.com . To confirm this copy is legitimate, see
THE RUNNERS UP FOR THE 2003 TRUE STELLA AWARDS ARE:
#8: Stephen Joseph of San Francisco, Calif. Joseph runs
group whose goal is to ban the "trans fats" used in many
foods and which are indeed very unhealthy. But to help gain publicity
for his cause, Joseph, an attorney, chose one food that uses trans
fats -- Oreo cookies -- and sued Kraft Foods for putting the stuff
the snack. The resulting publicity over "suing Oreos"
was so intense
that Joseph dropped the suit after just 13 days. He never even served
the suit on Kraft, showing that he had no interest in actually getting
the case heard in court. What real cases got pushed aside during
abuse of the courts to get publicity for his pet organization?
#7: Shawn Perkins of Laurel, Ind. Perkins was hit by lightning
parking lot Paramount's Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio.
classic "act of God", right? No, says Perkins' lawyer.
"That would be
a lot of people's knee-jerk reaction in these types of situations."
The lawyer has filed suit against the amusement park asking
unspecified damages, arguing the park should have "warned"
to be outside during a thunderstorm.
#6: Caesar Barber, 56, of New York City. Barber, who is
5-foot-10 and 270
pounds, says he is obese, diabetic, and suffers from heart disease
because fast food restaurants forced him to eat their fatty food
to five times per week. He filed suit against McDonald's, Burger
Wendy's and KFC, who "profited enormously" and asked for
damages because the eateries didn't warn him that junk food isn't
for him. The judge threw the case out twice, and barred it from
filed a third time. Is that the end of such McCases? No way: lawyers
will just find another plaintiff and start over, legal scholars
#5: Cole Bartiromo, 18, of Mission Viejo, Calif. After making
million in the stock market, the feds made Bartiromo pay it all
he gained his profits, they said, using fraud. Bartiromo played
baseball at school, but after his fraud case broke he was no longer
allowed to participate in extracurricular sports. Bartiromo clearly
learned a lot while sitting in federal court: he wrote and filed
own lawsuit against his high school, reasoning that he had planned
a pro baseball career but, because he was kicked off the school's
team, pro scouts wouldn't be able to discover him. His suit demands
the school reimburse him for the great salary he would have made
the majors, which he figures is $50 million.
#4: Priest David Hanser, 70. Hanser was one of the first
to be caught up in the sex abuse scandal. In 1990, he settled a
filed by one of his victims for $65,000. In the settlement, Hanser
agreed not to work with children anymore, but the victim learned
Hanser was ignoring that part of the agreement. The victim appealed
the church, asking it to stop Hanser from working near children,
the church would not intervene. "It's up to the church to decide
he works," argued the priest's lawyer. When the outraged victim
to the press to warn the public that a pedo priest was near children,
Hanser sued him for the same $65,000 because he violated his own
of the deal -- to keep the settlement secret. The message is clear:
shut up about outrageous abuse, or we'll sue you for catching us.
#3: Wanda Hudson, 44, of Mobile, Ala. After Hudson lost
her home to
foreclosure, she moved her belongings to a storage unit. She says
was inside her unit one night "looking for some papers"
storage yard manager found the door to her unit ajar -- and locked
She denies that she was sleeping inside, but incredibly did not
for help or bang on the door to be let out! She was not found for
days and barely survived; the formerly "plump" 150-pound
on food she just happened to have in the unit, and was a mere 83
pounds when she was found. She sued the storage yard for $10 million
claiming negligence. Even though the jury was not allowed to learn
that Hudson had previously diagnosed mental problems, it found Hudson
was nearly 100 percent responsible for her own predicament -- but
still awarded her $100,000.
#2: Doug Baker, 45, of Portland, Ore. Baker says God "steered"
him to a
stray dog. He admits "People thought I was crazy" to spend
vet bills to bring the injured mutt back to health, but hey, it
God's dog! But $4,000 was nothing: he couldn't even take his
girlfriend out to dinner without getting a dog-sitter to watch him.
When the skittish dog escaped the sitter, Baker didn't just put
in the paper, he bought display ads so he could include a photo.
business collapsed since he devoted full time to the search for
dog. He didn't propose to his girlfriend because he wanted the dog
deliver the ring to her. He hired four "animal psychics"
to give him
clues to the animal's whereabouts, and hired a witch to cast spells.
He even spread his own urine around to "mark his territory"
to try to
lure the dog home! And, he said, he cried every day. Two months
the search, he went looking for the dog where it got lost -- and
quickly found it. His first task: he put a collar on the mutt. (He
hadn't done that before for a dog that was so "valuable"?!)
finding the dog, he sued the dog sitter, demanding $20,000 for the
cost of his search, $30,000 for the income he lost by letting his
business collapse, $10,000 for "the temporary loss of the special
value" of the dog, and $100,000 in "emotional damages"
total. God has not been named as a defendant.
AND THE WINNER of the 2003 True Stella Awards: The City
of Madera, Calif. Madera police officer Marcy Noriega had the
suspect from a minor disturbance handcuffed in the back of her
patrol car. When the suspect started to kick at the car's windows,
Officer Noriega decided to
subdue him with her Taser. Incredibly, instead of pulling her
stun gun from her belt, she pulled her service sidearm and shot
the man in the chest, killing him instantly. The city, however,
says the killing is not the officer's fault; it argues that "any
officer" could "mistakenly draw and fire a handgun instead
of the Taser device" and has filed suit against Taser, arguing
the company should pay for any award from the wrongful death lawsuit
the man's family has filed. What a slur against every professionally
trained police officer who knows the difference between a real
gun and a stun gun! And what a cowardly attempt to escape responsibility
for the actions of its own under-trained officer.
TO CONFIRM THE VALIDITY OF THESE CASES, get more information
on the True Stella Awards, or sign up for a free e-mail subscription
to new cases
as they are issued, see www.StellaAwards.com
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