Sunday, March 11, 2012

The True Stella Awards, by Randy Cassingham

Barnes & Noble

Gathered from the popular website, The True Stella Awards is an outrageous collection of America's most frivolous lawsuits

Named for Stella Liebeck, the woman who won a multimillion-dollar lawsuit after spilling hot McDonald's coffee on herself, humorist Randy Cassingham's popular website chronicles the hard-to-believe and amusing claims brought before the U.S.courts. The most ridiculous of these lawsuits are given the "honorable" Stella Award.

In The True Stella Awards, Cassingham documents the most outlandish of these real-life cases, including:
  • The man who legally changed his name to Jack Ass, and then sued MTV because their TV show and movie Jackass infringed on his trademark and demeaned his "good name"
  • The songwriter who left a minute's silence on his record only to be sued by the estate of another songwriter who copyrighted his own "silent" song
  • The man who sued an amusement park after being the victim of the ultimate act of God: He was hit by lightning while standing next to his own car in the parking lot

Stunning and hilarious, The True Stella Awards reveals the extremes people will go to in the pursuit of "justice."

The True Stella Awards comprises a series of 2-3 page "chapters" on assorted frivolous lawsuits. I had forgotten all about this book, so when I came across it on my bookshelves, I was excited to re-read it. Just as when I first read the book, I found myself shaking my head and wondering how we -- as a society -- have allowed such lawsuits to continue. And reading about others' poor choices and stupidity is always good schadenfreude. ;)

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