Court Watch - Written by Beasley Allen on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 13:49 - 23 Comments
The annual Stella Awards list, a list of the years seven “most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S.,” is nothing more than a fraud on the public. The so-called awards deal primarily with fiction, and many of the lawsuits listed never happened. The examples of what they describe as frivolous lawsuits are at best gross misstatements. The Stella Awards are just part and parcel of the carefully planned efforts designed to destroy the civil justice system. Once these awards are announced, they take on a life of their own. That’s because of the Internet. Unfortunately, the media never bothers to investigate the validity of the cases mentioned in the awards, and then write stories that keep the myths alive.
An example of how these myths orginate is this year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner. Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who supposedly purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home, was the winner. On her first trip home, from a football game, having driven on to 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 was supposed to have 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. It was reported that an Oklahoma jury had awarded the woman $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. It was also said that 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. The e-mail that announced the award concludes: “Are we, as a society, getting more stupid?”
The truth is that this sort of nonsense relating to a Winnebago lawsuit never even happened. But, the media bought the story hook, line, and sinker, and never even bothered to check it out. Scores of articles – the vast majority buying the Winnebago story as gospel truth – resulted across the country. Apparently, few journalists bothered to do any research to determine whether they were true. Among outlets falling for the hoax were the New York Daily News, CNN and U.S. News & World Report. In fact, the story actually spread around the world. Readers in Canada, England, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and even Vietnam heard about this fictitious lawsuit that never happened. To his credit, Los Angeles Times reporter Myron Levin, who wanted to learn more about the lawsuit, called Winnebago and found out there was no Grazinski lawsuit. He also learned that the company had not changed the owner’s manual to avoid a swarm of copycat claims as claimed by the Stella awards.
The next time an “Internet tale” makes you believe things are even worse than you thought, check it out. Especially when the story suggests that the American court system is stacked against wealthy Corporate America. If you want to check out the “Stella Awards” and decide for yourself whether they are on the level, a good place to go is www.snopes.com, an excellent site that investigates urban myths. Simply search for “Stella Awards” and find out if the lawsuit stories are true or false.
Leave a Reply
- Testosterone Multidistrict Litigation Has Been Formed
- Favorite Bible Verses
- Exploding Airbags is the Next Hidden Danger Lurking on the Horizon
- An Update on the Firm's Mass Torts Litigation
- The Travis Grant Story Is A Good One
- The Civil Justice System Does Make a Difference
- BP's Stay Request Fails Before the Supreme Court
- Favorite Bible Verses
- Eight Car Makers Join in the Recall of Exploding Airbags
- The Deepwater Horizon Claims Program is Up and Running Again
- Favorite Bible Verses
- Pollution Plagues The Water In Alabama
- New York Appeals Court Decisions May Impact Fracking Nationwide
- The Prices Of Generic Drugs Are Going Up
- John Hopkins Settles Pelvic Exam Lawsuits For $190 Million
- An Update On Boating Accidents
- There Were 10 Deaths And 123 Injured During 4th Of July Travel Period In Alabama
- Tracy Morgan Files Suit Against Wal-Mart
- OSHA Issues Safety Violations To Bridge Company
- Investigators Say Overloaded Storage Bins Caused Building Collapse
- Jury Returns $15 Million Verdict Against The Los Angeles Dodgers
- Safeguards Needed To Protect The Public Against Predatory Lenders
- It would of been nice to got a letter!!!! For my 2012 tri-glide, mine just start...
- My 2007 F150 Triton 4x4 truck has had two regulators replaced on the driver door...
- Just in case Ford ever steps up, I'm chiming in. Original Owner 2004 F150 SCrew...
- August 26, 2014 - my wife has received an August GM recall notice on her 2002 mo...
- Thanks, Tiffany Lindsay keep me posted...
- To the lawyer of this firm, something similar happen to me today while traveling...
- Ford sucks! for not recalling this issue... I am on my second replacement.
- Both my front window regulators crapped out on my 2004 f150 back in 2007. Haven...
Recent Settlements - Feb 9, 2012 7:09 - 0 Comments
More In Recent Settlements
- A Further Update On The AWP Litigation
- Firm Reaches Settlement In Fort McClellan Radio Tower Collapse Case
- Firm Reaches Settlement In Sikorsky Helicopter Crash
- The Philadelphia Story
- St. Croix, Virgin Islands Settlement
Product Liability - Aug 1, 2014 14:22 - 0 Comments
More In Product Liability
- NHTSA Finally Issues A Rear Underride Standard
- Dangers Associated With Portable Bed Handles
- A Danger in Your Home Is Hiding In Plain Sight
- Joan Claybrook Recalls Important Product Safety Issues She Dealt With As Head Of NHTSA
- GM Stops Sales Of Some Cadillacs Over Ignition Issue
Recalls Update - Aug 1, 2014 12:23 - 0 Comments
More In Recalls Update
- Unique Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Recalls All Sterile Compounded Preparations Within Their Expire Period
- Dream On Me Recalls High Chairs Due To Strangulation And Fall Hazards
- Oeuf Recalls To Repair Cribs Due To Entrapment Hazard
- Fiberglass Boom May Conduct Electricity
- Porter-Cable Fixed-Base Production Routers Recalled Due To Electrical Shock Hazard