Dumbest Lawsuits Award
There is always a joke here in the UK about Americans suing for anything and everything, but it seems that Americans are in on it too. The Stella Awards embrace the silliness of lawsuits and even collect votes and nominations of the dumbest lawsuits. The Stella Award of the Dumbest Lawsuits is given to someone that files outrageous and frivolous lawsuits.
The first ever winner of the award for the dumbest lawsuits is a lawsuit you may remember, and is the reason that most cups containing hot drinks now state “Caution – Hot Contents”. The first ever glass award winner of the first ever Dumbest Lawsuits Award is Stella Liebeck who spilt a cup of coffee from McDonalds, onto her lap. Stella Liebeck felt that the drink that was delivered by McDonalds was extremely hot, going on to add that is was burning hot and undrinkable.
In court the Judge awarded Stella Liebeck USD$2.9million in damages, but this was later reduced to $640,000. It is thought that an out of court secret settlement was then reached between McDonalds and Liebeck – and this is why she was the winner of the first ever Dumbest Lawsuits Award, chosen by Stella Awards.
Another winner of The Stella Awards, Dumbest Lawsuits Award that we feel is deserving of a mention was the 2007 winner, a Mr Roy L. Pearson Junior who was a 57 year old Administrative Law Judge from Washington DC. Mr Roy L. Pearson Junior took his clothes to the dry cleaners and on return he felt they had lost a pair of his pants so he took the small family business to court with aims of suing them for $65,462,500; he felt that the pants and stress were worth over $65 million!
Due to his background in law, Judge Pearson decided to represent himself, he cried openly in court about the loss of his beloved pants and added, through tears, that he didn’t feel there was a more compelling case in the District archives. However the Superior Court Judge was not moved by his emotion and upset and felt that case was a ‘vexatious litigation’ before going on to tell off Judge Pearson for his ‘bad faith’. He then went on to award damages to the dry cleaners.
It seems that Judge Pearson is not happy with this decision and is still appealing the decision today, but he does have a lot of time to do so as his previous employers felt he needed to be dismissed from the company due to the poor attention bought on the firm.
Dumbest Lawsuits Award