Jan 25

Sigh!

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In March 1995, a San Diego man unsuccessfully attempted to sue the city and Jack Murphy Stadium for $5.4 million over something that can only be described as a wee problem: Robert Glaser claimed the stadium’s unisex bathroom policy at a Billy Joel and Elton John concert caused him embarrassment and emotional distress thanks to the sight of a woman using a urinal in front of him. He subsequently tried “six or seven” other bathrooms in the stadium only to find women in all of them. He asserted he “had to hold it in for four hours” because he was too embarrassed to share the public bathrooms with women.

A San Carlos, California, man sued the Escondido Public Library for $1.5 million. His dog, a 50-pound Labrador mix, was attacked November 2000 by the library’s 12-pound feline mascot, L.C., (also known as Library Cat). The case was heard in January 2004, with the jury finding for the defendant. In a further case which was resolved in July 2004, the plaintiff in the previous suit was ordered to pay the city $29,362.50, which amounted to 75% of its legal fees associated with that case.

In 1994, a student at the University of Idaho unsuccessfully sued that institution over his fall from a third-floor dorm window. He’d been mooning other students when the window gave way. It was contended the University failed to provide a safe environment for students or to properly warn them of the dangers inherent to upperstory windows.

In 1993, McDonald’s was unsuccessfully sued over a car accident in New Jersey. While driving, a man who had placed a milkshake between his legs, leaned over to reach into his bag of food and squeezed the milkshake container in the process. When the lid popped off and spilled half the drink in his lap, this driver became distracted and ran into another man’s car. That man in turn tried to sue McDonald’s for causing the accident, saying the restaurant should have cautioned the man who had hit him against eating while driving.

Jan 25

2007 Stella awards

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It’s time again for the annual “Stella Awards”! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doin’ that, right?

Here are the Stella’s for the past year:

7 TH PLACE:    Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

6 TH PLACE:    Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.

Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.

5TH PLACE:    Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish.

Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.

Keep scratching. There are more…

4 TH PLACE:
    Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard.

Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Grrrrr .. Scratch, scratch.

3RD PLACE:   Third place goes to Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Scratch, scratch, scratch. Hang in there; there are only two more Stellas to go…

2ND PLACE:    Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000….oh yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

1ST PLACE: (May I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please)

This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs.. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Oct 29

Anger Management

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Sometimes when you are angry with someone, it helps to sit down, not act too hastily, and think about the problem.

Oct 24

Pumpkin

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Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff — including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

Sep 26

Why We Love Children

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1) NUDITY
I was driving with my three young children one warm summer
evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved.
She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year
old shout from the back seat, “Mom! That lady isn’t wearing a seat belt!

2) OPINIONS

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a
note from his mother. The note read, “The opinions expressed by this
child are not necessarily those of his parents.”

3) KETCHUP
A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar.
During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter
to answer the phone. “Mommy can’t come to the phone to talk to you right
now. She’s hitting the bottle.”

4) MORE NUDITY
A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the
women’s locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks,
with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy
watched in amazement and then asked, “What’s the matter, haven’t you
ever seen a little boy before?”

5) POLICE # 1
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school,
I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and
down at my uniform, she asked, “Are you a cop?” “Yes,” I answered and
continued writing the report. “My mother said if I ever needed help I
should ask the police. Is that right?” “Yes, that’s right,” I told her.
“Well, then,” she said as she extended her foot toward me, “would you
please tie my shoe?”

6) POLICE # 2
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front
of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was
barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me “Is that a dog you got
back there?” he asked. “It sure is,” I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked
at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, “What’d he
do?”

7) ELDERLY
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to
elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon
rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old
age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found
her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced
myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and
whispered, “The tooth fairy will never believe this!”

8) DRESS-UP
A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When
she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, “Daddy, you shouldn’t
wear that suit.” “And why not, darling?” “You know that it always gives
you a headache the next morning. ”

9) DEATH
While walking along the sidewalk in fro nt of his church, our
minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar
wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead
robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured
a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the
disposal of the deceased. The minister’s son was chosen to say the
appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of
what he thought his father always said: “Glory be unto the Faaather, and
unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.”

10) SCHOOL
A little girl had just finished her first week of school. “I’m
just wasting my time,” she said to her mother. “I can’t read, I can’t
write and they won’t let me talk!”

11) BIBLE
A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as
he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the
Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old
leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. “Mama, look what I
found,” the boy called out. “What have you got there, dear?” With
astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered, “I think it’s Adam’s
underwear”