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Monday, January 23, 2006

Legal Stupidity 

It is some time since we had some humor and I came across the following story while researching the popular interest in motor homes.

However, I must warn readers that we cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from reading this post. You are advised to be safely seated and not to be holding hot drinks; uncontrolled laughter is a common reaction that has been observed in our office since coming across the story. We are told that the following is a true account but it is truly beyond belief!

The Stella Awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts that happened in the U.S. during 2005, have been announced.

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was a lady in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home.

On her first trip home, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph, then calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago in order to make herself a sandwich.

I did warn you that this story is beyond belief; before preceding, make sure that you are not holding hot coffee, we cannot be held responsible if you fall of your chair laughing.

Now, it will not surprise you that the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned but surely, only in the USA would the lady owner sue the motor home manufacturer for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. Furthermore, only in the USA would a jury award her -
and you are sitting down, right? - $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home.

Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case the lady posses a common gene!

Sorry, I don't know the original source but I picked this up on the Miller family blog and they list half a dozen equally incredulous judgments.

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