Thursday, February 09, 2006

Stella Award is no award at all

I've been getting the Stella Award email from a number of sources. It leads off with the following:
Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards." The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States.
The problem is that the 2006 winners are the same as the 2004 winners and the 2003 winners. This is from the first page of Google results. If you'd like to see what really happened, you can read about the Stella Liebeck case here. You'll find that yes, she was awarded money, but nothing close to $2.7 million in punitive damages, and that all she wanted from McDonald's to begin with was $20,000 to cover medical expenses.

Moral of the story: Don't eat at McDonalds because it will make you fat, leading to diabetes and heart disease. And don't drink the coffee because it's too hot for human consumption.

1 comment:

  1. I have actually heard that this infamous case may have actually had some honest merit to it. However, it has become a popular symbol for a plague of partially-frivolous lawsuits that have plagued this country. They has made medical malpractice insurance fly through the roof, and made everyone way too paranoid and risk adverse in plenty of other areas.

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