- Not to be confused with the Stellar Awards honoring Gospel Music, or the Stella Prize honouring women writers in Australia.
The Stella Awards are awards that were given between 2002 and 2007 to people who filed "outrageous and frivolous lawsuits". The awards were named after Stella Liebeck who, in 1992, ordered a cup of McDonald's coffee at a drive thru, put it in between her knees while sitting in the passenger seat of her grandson's stationary car, and attempted to remove the lid in order to add cream and sugar. The coffee, 180 to 190 °F (82 to 88 °C), spilled from the cup, causing third degree burns to her thighs and genitals; after McDonald's refused to pay for her skin grafts, and rejected several attempts at mediation and settlement, Liebeck sued. The awards were an offshoot of the weekly news column This is True written by Colorado writer Randy Cassingham, which featured "wacky-yet-true" news stories. The awards were documented on a website and in a 2005 book, both known as The True Stella Awards. There are also a number of false Stella Awards circulating on the Internet.
In July 2012 Cassingham sent a mail to the True Stella Awards mailing list, announcing that after several abortive attempts to restart the list he came to the conclusion that he had said everything about the subject of frivolous lawsuits that he had intended to say, and so was shutting down the Stella Awards.
- "StellaAwards.com". The Stella Awards Official Site. Retrieved April 2012.
- Farrell Jr., Paul (24 June 2011). "'Hot Coffee' burns tort reform agenda". Charleston Gazette. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Ralph Nader & Wesley J. Smith, No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America (1996) ISBN 0-375-75258-7, 268
- Andrea Gerlin, Wall Street Journal, "A Matter of Degree: How a Jury Decided that a Coffee Spill is Worth $2.9 Million", September 1, 1994, p. A1, available from http://www.business.txstate.edu/users/ds26/Business%20Law%202361/Misc/McDonalds%20coffee.pdf txstate.edu]
- "Time to heap glory on whoever's trying hardest to cash in on stupidity". The Gazette (Montreal). 1 April 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "The price of litigation costs us all". The Telegraph (Alton). 14 April 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Conrad, Matt (2 January 2007). "Somebody Should Do Something About That". The Herald Independent. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Bennett, Samantha (10 September 2003). "Trust me, you can't believe everything you read". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Stella Awards". Snopes.com.
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