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2003 Stella Awards

The Stella’s are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonalds. That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most uniquely successful lawsuits in the United States for last year.

This year’s favorite could easily be Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32- foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner’s manual that he couldn’t actually do this. The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreation vehicles.
 

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Hi Grizz,

I think you'll find this gentleman was an Airline Pilot, no I'm not kidding.

I remember quite a while ago reading about this, makes you wonder how safe you are in a plane doesn't it.

There again, we don't have this problem do we, running around in our motorhomes.


MHS...Rob :D
 

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I also like the Darwin awards although I have had none sent to me so far this year. This is where people have killed themselves doing ridiculous things and it is said that its natures way of ensuring the gene pool is kept to a certain standard.

Here's a 2003 sample

29 January 2003, Brazil) At work, Manoel Messias Batista Coelho was responsible for cleaning out the storage tanks of gasoline tanker trucks. He had been employed in that capacity for two months when he ran afoul of fuel.
The 35-year-old began to fill a tanker with water, a standard safety procedure that forces flammable vapor out of the container. He returned an hour later to check whether the water level was high enough to proceed. But he had trouble deciding, because it was so DARK inside the tanker.

A resourceful employee, Manoel forgot the very reason why he was filling the tank with water when he lit a cigarette lighter to shed some light on the situation. His little test successfully determined that the water level was NOT yet high enough for safety. The vapor explosion launched him through the air, and he landed in the company parking lot 100 meters away.

Manoel suffered severe burns, blunt force trauma, and an injury to the head that exposed his brain. Our witless car washer had learned his terminal lesson in safety by the time the firemen arrived.
 
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