Jan 25


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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…

    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.

Jan 23

The Love Boat

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My fiancee had a car that had over 206,000 miles on it and it seemed that every month something else was going wrong with it. I can tell you, I was becoming quite the mechanic be cause of it! Well it developed, from what I was told an intake gasket leak. This pretty much means that the coolant was ending up in the oil! Needless to say; that ain’t good! And one of the ill side effects was that she didn’t have heat. For weeks I could hardly think of anything else on my drive to and from work. All I could picture is her turning blue while she drove back and forth from work. And this was on top of any number of other things that could have happened because the car was falling apart. I really didn’t like the fact that if something did happen, I couldn’t be there for her because I was hours away.

Well we had our first major decision to make together; do we fix or replace her car? In the end we decided to replace it. One of her close friends recommend a used car dealer which was going to be our first stop in shopping for a new car. Well it ended up being our only stop. They had a 1992 Pontiac Bonnerville in mint condition. Granted it still had about 100,000 miles on it, but if you do the math that’s less than 7,000 a year. On top of that it appeared to have been garage kept. The price was a bit more that I wanted to spend, but with her trade in, it was a bit more palatable and far, far better than anything else in that price range.

I can tell you I feel soooo much better knowing that she is a much more reliable car. and I love her nick name for the car, “The Love Boat”!

Jan 23

Money, Money, Money

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As my fiancee continue to integrate our lives  in advance of our wedding day; I’ve taken over the finances for the both of us. I never really thought about it before, but the amount of trust it must take to hand over  your hard earned pay check to another must be tremendous! Definitely something that should never be taken for granted. Also I didn’t realize the amount of additional responsibility that I would have to shoulder in accepting this responsibility. This isn’t going to be easy.

Jan 11

Preparing for Marriage – Roles

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As you know I have been working thru the book “Preparing for Marriage”, well this past weekend my fiancé finished it up. There really were no surprises for the both of us except, for me, that having children is actually a commandment/purpose for marriage.

There was one chapter in the book outlining core roles for the husband and wife as defined by God and I though I’d share. They broke out by the core role of the husband and the wife’s response to his role and the core role a wife and the husband’s response to her role. The key verses for the husband’s core role are:

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Ephesians 5:23

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:2-3

The point they make with these verses are that a husband’s core role should model that of Jesus; a servant leader assuming responsibility for the overall direction of his family and to serve the needs of his wife and family. He is also to maximize his wife’s gift and abilities. The wife core response should be submission as outlined in the following.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

Now the wife’s core role as defined by the following verses.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5

This can be boiled down as the wife’s role is to be a helper-homemaker and to submit to her husband. And the important thing I take from this is God is also our helper. God is not less by being our helper so wives are not less by being her husband’s helper.

The husband response to his wife’s role should be to honor and praise her as outlined in the following verses.

Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

In today’s culture that can sound very scary, sexist or any other negative you can think of., but the way it all washes out is husbands are to serve and submit to his wife; just as their wives are to serve and submit to her husband.