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The True Stella Awards 2003 Winners!

True Stella Awards #45: 21 January 2003


This is a Special Issue of the True Stella Awards. It is designed to
be forwarded as-is or, if you wish, you may clip it between the lines
below to make for easy forwarding without the extra stuff. PLEASE be sure
keep the text between the lines complete so that people can confirm the
stories! Thanks.


The TRUE Stella Awards -- 2003 Winners
by Randy Cassingham
Issued 21 January 2003

Unlike the FAKE cases that have been highly circulated online for the
last several years (see for
details), the following cases have been researched from public sources
and are confirmed TRUE by the ONLY legitimate source for the Stella
Awards: . To confirm this copy is legitimate, see



#8: Stephen Joseph of San Francisco, Calif. Joseph runs a non-profit
group whose goal is to ban the "trans fats" used in many processed
foods and which are indeed very unhealthy. But to help gain publicity
for his cause, Joseph, an attorney, chose one food that uses trans
fats -- Oreo cookies -- and sued Kraft Foods for putting the stuff in
the snack. The resulting publicity over "suing Oreos" was so intense
that Joseph dropped the suit after just 13 days. He never even served
the suit on Kraft, showing that he had no interest in actually getting
the case heard in court. What real cases got pushed aside during his
abuse of the courts to get publicity for his pet organization?

#7: Shawn Perkins of Laurel, Ind. Perkins was hit by lightning in the
parking lot Paramount's Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. A
classic "act of God", right? No, says Perkins' lawyer. "That would be
a lot of people's knee-jerk reaction in these types of situations."
The lawyer has filed suit against the amusement park asking
unspecified damages, arguing the park should have "warned" people not
to be outside during a thunderstorm.

#6: Caesar Barber, 56, of New York City. Barber, who is 5-foot-10 and 270
pounds, says he is obese, diabetic, and suffers from heart disease
because fast food restaurants forced him to eat their fatty food four
to five times per week. He filed suit against McDonald's, Burger King,
Wendy's and KFC, who "profited enormously" and asked for unspecified
damages because the eateries didn't warn him that junk food isn't good
for him. The judge threw the case out twice, and barred it from being
filed a third time. Is that the end of such McCases? No way: lawyers
will just find another plaintiff and start over, legal scholars say.

#5: Cole Bartiromo, 18, of Mission Viejo, Calif. After making over $1
million in the stock market, the feds made Bartiromo pay it all back:
he gained his profits, they said, using fraud. Bartiromo played
baseball at school, but after his fraud case broke he was no longer
allowed to participate in extracurricular sports. Bartiromo clearly
learned a lot while sitting in federal court: he wrote and filed his
own lawsuit against his high school, reasoning that he had planned on
a pro baseball career but, because he was kicked off the school's
team, pro scouts wouldn't be able to discover him. His suit demands
the school reimburse him for the great salary he would have made in
the majors, which he figures is $50 million.

#4: Priest David Hanser, 70. Hanser was one of the first Catholic priests
to be caught up in the sex abuse scandal. In 1990, he settled a suit
filed by one of his victims for $65,000. In the settlement, Hanser
agreed not to work with children anymore, but the victim learned that
Hanser was ignoring that part of the agreement. The victim appealed to
the church, asking it to stop Hanser from working near children, but
the church would not intervene. "It's up to the church to decide where
he works," argued the priest's lawyer. When the outraged victim went
to the press to warn the public that a pedo priest was near children,
Hanser sued him for the same $65,000 because he violated his own part
of the deal -- to keep the settlement secret. The message is clear:
shut up about outrageous abuse, or we'll sue you for catching us.

#3: Wanda Hudson, 44, of Mobile, Ala. After Hudson lost her home to
foreclosure, she moved her belongings to a storage unit. She says she
was inside her unit one night "looking for some papers" when the
storage yard manager found the door to her unit ajar -- and locked it.
She denies that she was sleeping inside, but incredibly did not call
for help or bang on the door to be let out! She was not found for 63
days and barely survived; the formerly "plump" 150-pound woman lived
on food she just happened to have in the unit, and was a mere 83
pounds when she was found. She sued the storage yard for $10 million
claiming negligence. Even though the jury was not allowed to learn
that Hudson had previously diagnosed mental problems, it found Hudson
was nearly 100 percent responsible for her own predicament -- but
still awarded her $100,000.

#2: Doug Baker, 45, of Portland, Ore. Baker says God "steered" him to a
stray dog. He admits "People thought I was crazy" to spend $4,000 in
vet bills to bring the injured mutt back to health, but hey, it was
God's dog! But $4,000 was nothing: he couldn't even take his
girlfriend out to dinner without getting a dog-sitter to watch him.
When the skittish dog escaped the sitter, Baker didn't just put an ad
in the paper, he bought display ads so he could include a photo. His
business collapsed since he devoted full time to the search for the
dog. He didn't propose to his girlfriend because he wanted the dog to
deliver the ring to her. He hired four "animal psychics" to give him
clues to the animal's whereabouts, and hired a witch to cast spells.
He even spread his own urine around to "mark his territory" to try to
lure the dog home! And, he said, he cried every day. Two months in to
the search, he went looking for the dog where it got lost -- and
quickly found it. His first task: he put a collar on the mutt. (He
hadn't done that before for a dog that was so "valuable"?!) After
finding the dog, he sued the dog sitter, demanding $20,000 for the
cost of his search, $30,000 for the income he lost by letting his
business collapse, $10,000 for "the temporary loss of the special
value" of the dog, and $100,000 in "emotional damages" -- $160,000
total. God has not been named as a defendant.

AND THE WINNER of the 2003 True Stella Awards: The City of Madera, Calif.
Madera police officer Marcy Noriega had the suspect from a minor
disturbance handcuffed in the back of her patrol car. When the suspect
started to kick at the car's windows, Officer Noriega decided to
subdue him with her Taser. Incredibly, instead of pulling her stun gun
from her belt, she pulled her service sidearm and shot the man in the
chest, killing him instantly. The city, however, says the killing is
not the officer's fault; it argues that "any reasonable police
officer" could "mistakenly draw and fire a handgun instead of the
Taser device" and has filed suit against Taser, arguing the company
should pay for any award from the wrongful death lawsuit the man's
family has filed. What a slur against every professionally trained
police officer who knows the difference between a real gun and a stun
gun! And what a cowardly attempt to escape responsibility for the
actions of its own under-trained officer.

NOTE: If the write-up doesn't state an outcome for a case, it's probably
still pending. Unlike the fantasy world of the urban legend Stella
Awards, in real life the courts are so clogged, and "justice" so slow,
that it can take many years for a case to conclude. Sorry, but there
are no pat endings in the real world. If YOU hear of an update, please
DO send us a URL so we can update our readers. Thanks.

TO CONFIRM THE VALIDITY OF THESE CASES, get more information on the True
Stella Awards, or sign up for a free e-mail subscription to new cases
as they are issued, see

Copyright 2004 . This message may be forwarded as
long as it remains complete and unaltered.

Neo-Slither (Snake fanatic mailing list) http://<br />

May you live in interesting times.
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